At the southern end of the Puget Sound, just outside Olympia, Washington, is the Boston Harbor Marina. It is a quiet place where the local residents can enjoy the serenity of the water from their coastal homes, as well as a place for fisherman and outdoor lovers. I fall into the third category.
I rent a kayak for the day with the adventurous plan to go out and explore as much of the area by water that I can in eight hours. The gent gives me a general idea of some places to go, but forewarns me of the tidal flow that will be happening that could make my day a little more strenuous than I may have thought. I take his words into serious consideration as I squeeze myself into the streamlined kayak. It is much more wobbly and seemingly unstable than I remember a kayak to be. I take a moment to relax, get my bearings, and then slowly start to paddle out of the marina, becoming more confident in my abilities with each stroke.
Perhaps it is my age or the pull of the tidal currents, but it takes everything I have to move through the waters of the Puget Sound. I am not complaining though, as I like to test my body physically as well as mentally. Slowly I make it out of the marina and into more open waters.
The light reflecting off the ocean is seemingly playing tricks with my mind. I think something is in the water following me. My focus though is to not tip over, and so for a bit I ignore the feeling of being watched. I come to a secluded beach to rest for a spell and feed my body with food and drink.
I am soon back out on the water though, and the feeling of not being alone becomes stronger than ever. The dark shapes that are quickly popping up around me are leaving ripples in the smooth water.
Curious seals. Once I realize that I have these creatures around me, I calm down and enjoy their company out here. I try and commune with them, become symbiotic with Mother Nature, and feel that I am successful as more creatures start to appear…..jellyfish, eagles, dolphins and I swear a baby orca makes an appearance.
I come to a confluence where bigger ocean liners are crossing with the congested traffic of smaller fishing boats and people out sailing. I could try to cross to the island across the way, but I judge the soreness in my arms with the tidal pull and the larger ocean waves and think better of it.
I see the afternoon is fading quickly into evening, and so I start to head back to the marina. I arrive safe and unscathed, sore yet refreshed.