Mr. X has been angling to take this trip for some time. After our Spuhn Island trip on Monday, we packed up on Tuesday and attempted to find a place to put the boats in out the road. Despite the incredibly good weather, the tide would have been against us, so we bagged that plan.
Saturday, though we got out the road by 9 am. We decided to park at Boulder beach and hike on the beach as far as we could, then put the boats in to make the crossing to the island. First we had to cross a couple of snow melt streams. We tried a couple times in crocks and shorts, but I nixed it and said through chattering teeth, "Why are we doing this!? Let's put on the dry suits. That's what they're for."
We inflated the boats in a little notch in the rocks. We saw anenomies and sea slugs. Mr. X spotted tiny sea stars in the water.
We made the mile long crossing in calm waters. Watching for sea lions diving and swimming, making the same crossing. Eventually we approached the Benjamin island beach and we were surprised to see what we think was a horned grebe. He let us get very close to him. Beautiful bird, common but, since they're pretty tame, I don't think their survival is very good. I'd never seen one before :)
At the beach we portaged to the other side of the island only to be greeted by a raft of curious sea lions. We opted to go back to shore and walk along the bouldered beach. That's when a kayaker told us there was a trail through the trees to the sea lion haul-out.
That's really why we went to Benjamin island, why everyone goes there. This island is one of the major haul-outs for sea lions, which means it regularly gets over 200 animals congregating on its rocky beaches.
We hiked about a half hour through the trees. Then had our lunch above the barking and belching mammals.
On the paddle back, the tide pulled us right to boulder beach. It was easy going, so we went straight to the car (instead of bouldering back).