Wednesday 21 July 2021

Otterly different - or is it?


Another day of protest at Kennedy Point starts quietly. Kayaks and a swimmer are the only movement to see. The workers are invisible inside, the security guards chat on the path behind me, other protesters take their place at a table covered in pizza boxes, and look at their phones. It’s Day Something of the standoff with no end in sight: marina v little blue penguin colony plus an overlay of Māori territory angst. 

I support the protest, always on the side of penguins and not sympathetic to rich people with boats wanting a floating car park too. Go somewhere else! But, looking at the rocks around the edge of the bay where the penguins nest, it did remind me of somewhere and something similar that I took great pride in pinning down almost immediately.

It was Friday Harbor on San Juan Island in Puget Sound, back in 2010, and I was standing by another stretch of calm water. This one had a jetty and lots of boats, though, and was quite a busy little place. So I was surprised and delighted to see a creature emerge from the water and trot along the jetty to its nest in the rocks at its base. 

Except, now that I’ve looked it up, of course it wasn’t a penguin, so far north. It was an otter. So, not many points, memory - and also, no thanks for now sending me down a rabbit hole of species comparison and evaluation. 

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