We look forward to socializing with owners Bill and Jean and crowds of other boaters whenever we stop at Lagoon Cove. The daily Happy Hour is typically a noisy meet 'n greet event. This year we arrived late in the season and found just one other boat, Lady J, at the dock. No matter, we all made up for the small numbers with lively conversation and larger portions of appetizers. Piles of Peel 'n Eat Prawns, fresh oatmeal cookies and watermelon slices quickly disappeared.
The evening ended with an hour long photo op with a fat, glossy black bear. He climbed into the top stories of an old, multi-trunked plum tree and gorged himself on fruit while we observed from a nearby boardwalk. Seven noisy humans didn't worry this big bear, oh no. He kept on eating while we chattered and several cameras and smartphones clicked away. The bear kept an eye on us, monitoring everyone's position, but never slowed his pace. He gobbled the fruit, pits and all, using paws and claws to pull branches closer to his mouth. Branches creaked and bent, one major limb had already broken off the trunk from his weight, but he was drawn by the plums just out of reach. Jean may never enjoy any of her plum crop as the Cracroft Island bears happily harvest the nearly-ripe fruit too.
A second, smaller bear noshed away in the same tree the following morning. He was more timid, dashing down the tree and up into the brush as soon as he heard or smelled humans moving up the boardwalk. No Kodak moment with that little guy.