22 September 2009
Today was difficult. We set off with favorable conditions, and for the first time I was in one of the singles, Tropic Thunder. Learning to be lead boat, staying stable, steering without a rudder were all part of the challenge of today, which was then compounded by adding in the wild open ocean. Walls of water and a big chop, the wind against me all the way--it made for a wild ride. I still have not reached my optimum kayaking endurance level and pushed past my limits and into the land of dogged misery. Ken and Gene traded off babysitting and body guarding duties, which meant I was never unsafe, but not being able to switch out or take a decent break with food, water, sunscreen or stretching equalled one furiously tired and grumpy girl. At the end I ever started to get seasick, which never happens, and hopefully will never happen again. I was so slow paddling but it meant that at the very end, when Ken asked for a go, I could paddle like crazy and ride the breakers in to a perfect first controlled landing. I am glad today is nearly over but I also think it was an important day for me and for the group. Now we are here at 3rd beach, the rollers crash into a curving sand beach, dry skies, a beautiful stream of fresh water, grassy field for tents, rocks rising up out of the sand in shattered formations, and the charry smell of a driftwood fire. Ever cooking tonight was calming and low stress. The boats are safely moored, the tent is up, and I am in good spirits after a calming cup of tea and a chat with the fearless leaders. I tried to bathe in the creek earlier, but Dr. Bronners is as poor at hair cleaning as I remember. There have been some unusual prints in the sand, some sort of large canid? and I wish I could ID it for a bear or wolf or dog. Tomorrow we will move on along this rugged coast. Never did I think that I would ever see the wild shore of the Northwest Coast from both the land and the sea. Life moves in interesting patterns.