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Kayaking on the West Coast – part 2


Author: Cheryle Cook

Article:

Thump, a falling acorn bounces and rolls across the ground, interrupting our relaxation.

As you may recall we were resting on the beach, after our lunch…

We unhurriedly open our eyes, hearing the playful chatter of a local squirrel scrambling in the Oak tree above. Cute little alarm clock. This little squirrel is probably wondering why we rest during the day, when there is so much to be done.

Time to get ready, for our next island hop. The sun is higher in the sky and it lights the emerald floor of the tidal pools, deep sapphire blue mussels sleep clinging to the rocks, contrasted by brightly colored sea weeds. Gazing into the water, we see the eel grass as it gently sways with the current, in a musical rhythm.

Fortunately, we pulled our kayaks up high on the beach, the incoming tide has come up a lot, only a few feet from the stern of our boats. This is good, less walking to launch. Nature teaches to distinguish between lazy and practical.

We settle back into our kayaks, it feels so nice, like a favorite chair. Gentle paddle strokes now as we slowly glide through the narrow channel leading to the open waters. The slate colored pebbles below us look darker, as they fall away beneath us. Several jagged rocks push upward through the kelp beds. The kelp makes a scratching sound as our kayak slides over it.

We maneuver to avoid the rock tips, watching as the waves break over them in a wash of bubbles. Our paddling advances to a more constant rhythm, as we head toward the open waters of the waiting sea. The wind is more brisk now; waves are large and smooth like big rollers. We cling close to the rocky shore. The rise and fall of the surf revels the abundant marine life in a constantly changing view, many creatures reside here between the crevices. Starfish cuddle in groups, radiant colors, bright orange to deep purple. The translucent sea anemones contrast with the deep colors of the ocean floor. Easily spotted are the strawberry pinks of seaweed. What a bouquet of colors. Natures canvas only a few feet from the waves pounding onto the rocks. Our kayaks bob like ducks, in harmony with the sea, it’s a great feeling.

The rhythmic sounds of the surf is interrupted by a honking sound, as a tour of Canada Geese fly over us, in a rather casual formation, their honking quickly fades. Two small but curious seal pups appear from the ocean depths, glancing our way, nonchalant and playful, whiskers shining in the sun. As the sea floor reappears we can clearly see the white sandy bottom dotted with sand dollars & the remains of clam shells, left behind from the starfishes’ last feast.

A perfect place to see Orcas, but no such luck, yet.

The wind is stronger now, coming from the West. Wave tips are white and it feels good as the bow ride the crests. Traveling much faster, the wind sings in our ears. Next stop is the charming beaches of Maude Island, an easy two kilometers. These rock-strewn shores beckon us to explore, as the surf drums a song of welcome…

Circumnavigating Maude is always interesting, the personality of each bay changes so much as we glide by.

We paddle around the east tip and see a beach boasting a very light colored sand. The waves slide up to the driftwood scattered in an unorganized yet artistic arrangement.

A Seagull perched atop of the lighthouse curiously watches our arrival.

Reflections change as we move toward the south, the water glistens in the sunshine. On our left, the remains of a sunken ship, and it’s secrets from the past. This marks the passage between the granite rocks, leading us into the safety of an enchanting little cove.

To be continued: part 2 of 3

This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 16th, 2005 at 1:54 pm and is filed under HEALTH & WELLNESS. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Synergy Magazine: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada