Wednesday, September 2, 2009

kayaking, kelp beds, creeping crawling things that grab your feet

I haven't been out in a boat (other than a ferry) since I was about ten years old, at least until last June. My friend, Bridget and I took a trip to the San Juans and she convinced me to go kayaking with her in an ocean kayak out on the Puget Sound. An ocean kayak is different from a regular kayak because you just sit on top of it instead of inside of it and it rolls with the waves better and doesn't flip over. Although, it would be fairly easy to roll right out of one if you are a big wiggler or fidgeter.

At first I was a little nervous because there was a jungle of sea grass beneath us and it looked creepy and like a great place for things to hide that want to grab your feet and pull you under to the depth of deep sea horror. Then we went out to a kelp bed and that was even creepier because you could get tangled up in those big long tubes and get pulled under to the depth of deep sea horror. Bridget off-handedly said that anything in the water below us was more worried about us stepping on them than they were dangerous, so that made me feel better. And I started to feel a little more comfortable by the end of our first kayak trip. The second one the next day I felt even more comfortable.

More than just feeling comfortable - I loved it! I loved being right on the water like that, it feels like you are gliding along on your butt right on the surface of the water - it doesn't feel like you're above the water at all, but right in it. It helps that feeling that there is no way to keep water from seeping up into the boat and lots of water splashed in when you're paddling. I wish I had a waterproof camera because I see all sort of cool photo ops but in the three times I've been out I've been soaking wet every time.

I'm back in the San Juans this week and I'm with my mom and EJ so no one is here to go kayaking with, so I took a single ocean kayak by myself to see how I did. It was rougher out in the Sound today than it was the two times I was out in June but it was still really easy to navigate. Going against the waves though was rougher than I had experienced before and with each wave I'd go up and slap down and go up and slap down. It was fun though. There's a vacant island not too far off the coast that has nothing on it - no one lives there or tends it or anything, it's all wild. I don't think I'm in good enough shape to kayak all the way out there yet but when I'm out here again with someone who can go in a double kayak with me I'm psyched to do that.

I'm fascinated by the world underwater. It really seems to me like an alien planet. Someday I really want to learn how to scuba dive. But for now I love kayaking. I wish I could afford the 3 million dollar house on the beach that is for sale down the way from our cabin.

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