It all started when I stepped out the door and inhaled. The early morning colors and the crisp, cool ocean air seemed to imbue my senses, wrapping me gently in blue and golden hues. The stately palm trees sensed it too, a warm sunny 75° day unfolding.
We have been anticipating this day for the past few weeks, when we would launch our kayak out into the ocean and paddle to the kelp beds. We had to wait until the surf was fairly flat and this day the gods were smiling on us as the ocean looked to be as serene as an alpine lake. The surfers were none too thrilled I’m sure, but they have had plenty of opportunity to catch some big waves with all the high surf warnings we’ve had around here lately.
For the past few weeks, standing atop the bluffs, we have seen several whales spouting from beyond the kelp beds and we were hoping to see some up close from the water. Dolphins have teased us with their surfing skills as well, joining in right alongside the other boarders.
What is it about floating on the water that can soothe even the most restless part of me? The sight of the paddle dipping into the water as we propel ourselves forward, sun’s shimmering rays dancing on the water’s edge, pelicans soaring just above the water’s surface…simply divine.
We managed to get the kayak into the water and beyond the break without swamping the boat, a good first step. Pointing our boat west we headed out, hopeful for new discoveries. Looking down into the depths, we watched huge schools of silver fish dart to and fro, as tiny white jellyfish gently floated by. Seals lazily glided through the beds, looking for their next snack, but keeping a wary eye on us all the while.
We found friends Bill and Lisa out on the water, enjoying this sun-kissed day balanced upon their paddleboards. They shared with us some of their great finds – moon jellies, zebra fish and leopard sharks, unfortunately none of which we saw, but a couple of surprises still awaited us before day’s end.
Just when we were about to call it a day, we spotted a pod of five dolphins. Our best efforts at closing the distance between us and them were not good enough, as they toyed with us, managing to stay far enough away to avoid a photo. Suddenly we felt something glide beneath our kayak and a curious dolphin broke the water’s surface. I clicked away in the hopes of getting at least one usable photo. Sometimes luck is all one needs!
We couldn’t think of a better way to end our day, except maybe to see a whale or two, but that wasn’t happening. Time to head back in, which can be the tricky part when in a kayak, particularly for a couple of novices. If you don’t catch the wave at the right angle, you can end up getting pulled sideways and flip. We took a deep breath, prepared for the wave coming our way, and proudly rode it into shore. A most excellent way to end the day!
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