Sunday, July 14, 2013

DETERMINATION--Inside Passage part 5

When DH and I committed ourselves to a second ride with Northwest Navigation, we knew there would again be a challenge to get into those sea kayaks.  It wasn’t so much the boat or even the threat of cold salt water as much as it was the fear of being upside down underwater with no way up.  I’d been there during a white water rafting trip and probably only survived thanks to my life jacket.

Even though Captain Jeffrey assured us in all the time they‘d been putting passengers in kayaks, the only time anyone ended up in the water was when a guy actually stood up in the cockpit; I was still spooked.

Yet, there I was, forcing a smile while DH shot photos from his safe spot on the deck.  Jeffrey made sure I was tucked in with a place to brace my feet and Christine took the back seat and the job of keeping me in line.

This was a good thing because all I seemed to be capable of doing was paddling in circles.

In spite of my inept flailing we were soon off with the other passengers to explore the quiet waters of the cove where the David B was anchored for the evening.
I didn’t have enough confidence in staying dry to bring along a camera so I’ll just have to tell you it was almost magical to silently slide across the surface of the clear water and watch the sea life going about their lives below us.  We saw crabs, urchins, fish and other swimmy creatures plus all kinds of plant life.  Christine pointed out a variety of birds in the cedar and madrona trees on the granite cliffs above us, and swimming by on the water around us.

As we returned to the boat we went through a school of transparent moon jellyfish swimming along to their own pulsing rhythm. 

With Jeffrey’s assistance I made it back on board and the only wetness I wore was splashes from my own paddle.

I told DH he had to go with me next time.  He’d gotten out of this trip by saying he had to stay behind and help the captain work on the refrigerator compressor.  Uh, huh.

It was only two days later that the kayaks went in the water again. This time DH came along.

I’ve heard a double kayak is sometimes called a divorce kayak.  But we both grinned to show we were just happy to be here.

DH kept squirming around behind me which made my butt muscles try to grab for a tighter grip.  There was some curt discussion about how deep to dip the paddle and complaints about splashing before we finally found some kind of system that got us under way.

and there were plenty of things to see.  Since I’d given my point-and-shoot camera to Christine, and DH didn’t have the confidence to bring his along, I’ll just tell you we cruised right under a bald eagle scoping out a mother merganser and her brood hurrying for cover across the water in front of us.  We could have come right along side the little parade of nine fuzzy ducklings and their mom with her wild hair and sharp beak, but we kept our distance.  Soon the eagle lifted off to find his dinner elsewhere and we continued on our way in spite of my awkward paddling.

After dinner that evening I got out my sketch book and recorded, with some help from reference material on the boat, what I remembered of the duck parade.  Not as good, maybe, as an actual photo.  But drawing a picture helped me learn more about the details and features of mergansers.

Video shot of my climb into the kayak and the dance of the moon jellies.


Kara Bunnell said...

The dance of the moon jelly's is my favorite. They are so pretty!!!

Carla said...

Such a wonderful description of your day. Thanks for sharing!

joeh said...

You look like a pro in the kayak...DH not so much. S

So nice of you to protect the ducklings from the eagle... unless you are a hungry eagle.

fishducky said...

I am SO enjoying taking this cruise with you!!

Maude Lynn said...

Oh, wow. Even the thought of being trapped upside down in that thing gives me the shivers!

Val said...

So brave! You'd never catch me in a kayak. Love the bald eagle.

Terry and Linda said...

You are such a fearless athlete! I am always so impressed at you willingness to try somethings. I would be the one waving at you and cheering you on!


Anairam said...

Gosh - you are an active and brave woman, Leenie. I have enough problems just taking Snous around the corner for a walk, so I don't think sea kayaking will feature in my future plans for physical activity.
Divorce kayak - hahahaha!
(PS Nice video - you are quite a filmmaker!)

RURAL said...

Proud of you to go and give it a try...what amazing scenery you must have seen.

And the jelly fish, they make me feel nostalgic for the White Rock days.


Anzu said...

I'm glad to see you and your husband are valiant challengers. (*゚o゚*)
You are so charming with smile.
(ノ゚∇゚)ノ⌒☆ Fantastic ☆

Hey, maybe I can't swim now, but I can still enjoy the ocean.
人人人ヾ( ;×o×)〃 人人人

Alica said...

This looks like such a fun adventure! Those jellyfish are actually kind of pretty...but we just had some bad close encounters with them at the beach this week!