This image of Rupert Arm came pretty easy for me. I was talking to a friend, turned around towards the water and there was this scene in perfect light.
It always hasn’t been this easy for me out there, though. One time I decided I would walk out during a low tide on the estuary and capture some morning images. Equipped with rain pants, my gum boots on, my waterproof photo backpack and my two dogs I started to head out towards the grassy estuary.
I soon come to an obstacle of a short muddy section where the water flows in and out with the tide. It looked crossable so I ventured into the mud. The first few meters I fought the sticky mud by moving lightly and quickly as possible. When I stepped and saw my boot sink over the height of it’s top, feeling the suction of the mud trying to hold it there, I had to make a decision to quickly put one more foot further or to turn back.
I went with one more foot deep into the mud and soon found that I had two feet stuck deep, which is quite more difficult to get out than just one. In fact, I found the longer I stood in this muck the deeper I sank. I now was up to my groin in mud, but thankfully not sinking further.
Just lifting my boot out was not possible without doing some digging around each leg. I soon found I was able to free one leg and lift it out, the other would sink deeper due to now holding twice the weight on it. I fought this for over an hour when I noticed the tide had changed and it was time to either come up with a new plan or start to call for help.
During this whole time, I noticed my two dogs had only slight difficulty walking about in this stuff. I furiously dug out around both legs then called both of my goldens over to me. Grabbing each one by the scruff of their necks I placed most of my weight on them then said “let’s go”.
Neither dog cared for me planting them into the mud but I got moving and so did they. We skidded across the muck like a threesome of mudskippers to solid ground. No photos that day, but lesson learned.
Douglas Bradshaw has lived in the North Island for 33 years. He is a Landscape and Wildlife photographer based out of Port Alice B.C. His website is portalicephoto.com follow him on YouTube and Facebook at Port Alice Photography, Images by Douglas Bradshaw