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Mouseing along above the "trees"

The bottom of the aquatic course inside the breakwall that guards the Western Beaches is an underwater forest full of "flying" fish darting in and out among the "trees." The water is so clear in the wake of the zebra mussel invasion that paddling a Mouse on a windless day is like having a glass-bottom boat. It felt like I was flying a magic carpet along above a forest at night.

Also, the loons and geese are migrating, and I paddled through a mixed flock of 75 or so. A pair of swans were gliding along as well, with their tail feathers rigged up as sails.

I took my handheld GPS along. Including halts for rest or sightseeing, I averaged 2 knots. "Cruising speed" is in the neighbourhood of 2.5 to 2.7; putting my hips into my stroke and carrying it farther aft gives me 3 knots with a bit of effort but not too much. My absolute top speed was 3.5 knots, with much churning of water behind and at the forefoot.

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( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
kat_chan
Sep. 23rd, 2005 01:50 am (UTC)
It's amazing what those zebra mussels do. Granted, it's not entirely good (they end up starving the fish with all of the plankton they consume), but Lake Erie hasn't been so clear since the mid-19th century, I'm sure. And having Lake Ontario clear up will be great, as well. But it's going to be difficult for the native species to compete for food, as well. I know that the perch and walleye populations in Lake Erie are struggling because of the competition.
futabachan
Sep. 23rd, 2005 05:58 am (UTC)
There has actually been a substantial die-off of zebra mussels in Lake Ontario; they may have competed *themselves* out of a niche. It'll be interesting to see if the lake returns to what passes for normal....
kat_chan
Sep. 24th, 2005 02:22 am (UTC)
Oh, well, that's good to hear. Maybe there will be something similar in Lake Erie. Or perhaps Lake Erie gets warm enough in the summer to sustain them, where Ontario doesn't. *shrugs*
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )