Monday, September 05, 2005

Kayaking to Patience

I paddled out to Patience Island with a friend yesterday. It was about 3.5 miles from where we put in, so it was about an hour paddle away. Fortunately, the weather was great and it wasn't too windy, so it was fairly easy going. The route we took brought us past the Warwick lighthouse, although in this picture it's hard to tell there is a light house there. Yet again I forgot my real camera and had to use my mobile phone.

After passing the lighthouse, we had to cross the main part of the west passage of the bay. The tide was going out at the time, so we tended to drift a bit south as can be seen in this GPS track of the route we took. (If you click on the picture you'll get a slightly larger view of the route.

We landed on a rocky portion of the shore of Patience, and there was this very large rock that had an interesting weathered texture from the waves.

The island is uninhabited by people, however there is supposedly a very large deer population. The problem is, with so many deer on the island, there is also a huge deer tick population. We were originally hoping to scout out some deer, but after just walking a dozen yards into the brush my friend discovered his leg was covered with baby deer ticks. I had thought I escaped untouched, but later disovered I had about a dozen or so tiny ticks on my ankle. I've seen deer tick before, but these were even smaller. I can only assume they were baby deer tick. Including their leg span, the total size was probably smaller than the tip of a ball-point pen.

From looking at this web site it appears the ticks we encountered were deer tick larvae. The description says they are no bigger than the period in newprint text. The good news is the larvae don't transmit Lyme disease. It is at that stage that they acquire it by feeding off an already infected host (usually the white-footed mouse). And since they only feed once in the larvae stage, they only start transmitting the disease when they molt and get bigger and start feeding again. Even so, I don't think I'll ever again wander into the woods on that island.