Small IS Beautiful!
The Postmodern Sea Kayaker

A Day Off

BowmanThere is no work for me today so I pack up early and drive north to Deception Pass in the dark.  Unfortunately, in order to get up there I have to drive through the heart of Seattle at rush hour.  The traffic turns what is usually a two-hour trip into three hours.  But I get to Bowman Bay in time: I’ll make it to the Pass for the 10:52 6.3 knot ebb.  The beach is empty.  No one here I know.  Did I misread the tidal current table?  The water looks so smooth -- totally slack.  No problem.  I’m just killing time anyway.  I paddle along the cliffs exploring every little nook and cranny.  Hey, I’m rock gardening.  Look – it’s a sea arch!

*   *   *

CliffsSeaarchSlackOver a year ago I paddled with Dubside here.  Funny thing, he had never seen kelp before.  “What is this?” I think he said, referring to the kelp beds. 

“You’ve never seen this before?  It’s bull kelp,” I said. “I’ve heard  you can eat it.  Some people will boil it and eat it in pasta.”

I pulled off a leaf and bit into it.  It wasn’t as salty as I thought it would be, rather, crisp and mild, like cabbage.

Dubside didn’t  try it.  He just held a leaf in his hand and picked at it.

*   *   *

NookandcrannyAfter paddling at the Pass a few times it’s difficult to get too excited about paddling in flat water.  The water here is so alive.  As I paddle I watch a whirlpool form and then break up into smaller whirlpools, and finally turn into a boil.  I play in Canoe Pass, facing against the current and maneuvering with stern rudders and hanging draws, rolling in the waves.

BridgeLater I haul out and sit on a small pebble beach against a driftwood log.  These moments are what I like about touring, even though this is just a little day trip: sitting with my legs outstretched on the sand, briney, wet and tired from paddling, sipping water and nibbling on a stale Clif bar with the warm sun on my face.  Priceless. Pebblebeach


ah g!

Gorgeous pictures. Lovely. Thanks.

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