Winters on San Juan Island are very different from summers: the days are short, the weather is wet and gray, and the town is quiet. People get through the winter in different ways, but there are lots of different community activities to help pass the long, dark nights. Sports are my personal favorite. In years past I've played hockey and done rollerblading at open skate, and this year I've tried badminton and indoor soccer as well. This week I ended up doing all four, resulting in various types of soreness as I use muscles that have laid dormant all summer. I thought it was amusing, however, that the thing I was most sore from this week wasn't a sport at all - it was crouching on the dock taking underwater video clips.
I got a Flip video camera for my birthday, along with an underwater case. This is the perfect time of year to put it to good use because the marina is just full of schooling fish, and as a result, lots of other wildlife. We've had groups of seals coming through several times a day, plus different types of gulls and other marine birds, river otters, and the regular assortment of intertidal life.
I still have a long ways to go in getting the types of clips I think might be possible from right off our dock (including getting the camera lined up right in the casing), but here are a few samples from my first week or so of attempts. Featured here are a dock shrimp, a couple schools of fish, a cross jellyfish, a very brief look at a seal (they're proving the hardest so far!), and a Bonaparte's gull: