I’ve been unpacking, washing and drying out gear for the last 4 hours since I got home, but that’s sea kayaking for you, and all I can say is the effort is well worth the experience we had over the last 8 days.
We arrived in Secret Cove on Saturday afternoon, after paddling 26kms that day and a total of 166kms over the 8 days we were on the water. Despite the wind warnings we managed to stay on schedule, and decided to spend Saturday night at Dave’s sister’s house after our final campsite was full of people enjoying the long weekend on the Sunshine Coast.
Yesterday we completed our crossing of the Salish Sea, and even though we did it in stages, we still did it! The experience was a lot more enjoyable than doing it in one hit with no island hopping in-between, and even while it was broken up, some of the 8-10km stretches against waves and wind were still a hard slog!
I’m definitely one to enjoy my alone time, but I have to say I can’t imagine doing a trip like this without companions. Tyson had to leave after day 4, but even with the three of us left (Dave, Amber and myself), we had such a grand time together, respecting everyone’s highs and lows that we inevitably all experience, and functioning like a super star team. A well-oiled machine doesn’t even cut it, we seemed to function just on instinct.
My favourite memories from the trip were the moments of silent belly laughter or contemplation whilst watching the sun set over the horizon. The worst times were carrying our boats through low tide sludge where the mud would suck my shoes from my feet and force me to step on the sharp barnacles beneath. Or the mosquitos that forced me to abandon cowboy camping on Ballenas Island and set up my tent in the wind on a slant, only to wake up to it collapsing on me.
But the challenging times make the good ones even more magnificent, and I wouldn’t trade any of them for a second (except for finding Amber’s car broken into when we returned to Horseshoe Bay today 😦 ).
I feel alive in a way I sometimes forget to feel when I’m deep in the grind. A week or sometimes even a few days away can press that reset button we should all switch on and off from time to time. Those moments when you watch over the ocean and think about how big the world is are just priceless. I never come to any grand conclusions about this insane world we live in, but at least I have time to think about it, and realise just how small I am in the big scheme of things.
A small hit of nature can do wonders for the soul, and I feel recharged enough to put my head down for the remainder of August and most of September before I do anything like this again. Thanks for coming along for the adventure and for sharing in the experience. Reflecting on these moments allow me to appreciate them for just a little longer.