It was a perfect day, sunny, blue skies, not a breeze, and perfect T-shirt temperatures. I simply had to go over to the Westside of the island and find out what the water looked like. Consulting my tide chart, I figured out the perfect time to head out, right during slack tide. When I drove down the hill to the beach where I stash my kayak I already knew that it would be a dream day to go out. The water looked completely still, like a mirror. There were absolutely no visible currents, just the glittery and calm expanse of the Salish Sea. I couldn’t wait to get my kayak into the water and rushed through all the preparations. Water shoes? Check! Waterproof jacket? Check! Waterproof pouch for cellphone and ID card? Check! Life vest? Check! Hat? Check! Sunscreen? Check! Paddles? Check! Off I went. Paddling was effortless, the kayak silently gliding through the water. I started to get into an easy rhythm, fast enough to get me places, slow enough to take in my surroundings. As I followed along the now familiar coastline I started spotting my animal “friends”, the bald eagle sitting on his usual spot, looking out for tasty salmon, the purple and orange Starfish hanging on to the rocks just below water level, small translucent jellyfish and bigger orange Lion’s Mane jellies quietly floating beneath my kayak. I was in heaven! Often I stopped for a bit and just sat in one spot, the water gently rocking me back and forth, the perfect Zen moment, my way of meditating. As I explored all the little bays along the way I quietly started to chant and sing, my vibration in perfect harmony with the ones exuding from my environment. Once I reached my usual turnaround spot, I slowly made my way back towards the starting point. Just before reaching the final destination, I decided to dip into one last hidden little cove. When I came around the rocky outcropping I noticed a harbor seal with her offspring hauled out on a big flat rock. The baby was mewling and pecking hungrily at mama’s belly, feverishly trying to find the mammary slits and the milky goodness within. Mama shifted around and vigorously tried to push her baby into the right direction. After about two minutes of trial and error, finally the baby hit jackpot. I kept a very respectful distance and could still hear the baby suckle! That sure was one hungry kiddo! While her baby nursed, mama gently rubbed its back with her flipper. There was so much love in that gesture, it brought tears to my eyes. I watched for another minute or two and then quietly pushed my way back out the cove, giving mom and baby their privacy.
I arrived at the beach and with a strong final push got the kayak up into the gravelly sand. I emptied out the water that had accumulated on the bottom of the kayak and safely stashed it back into its place behind a large driftwood log. I took off my life vest and jacket and sat on a rock to reflect on my little trip out on the water for a few minutes and say my thanks to Mother Nature before heading back home for dinner.



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