Not My Cousin’s Kayak
This one was a rental which meant that Maggie had one, also. We put in at Boston Harbor, about six miles north of Olympia on a foggy morning. Our plan was to head back toward town about a mile to explore Gull Harbor, a small cove we’d seen in July when we kayaked from town with the Capitol Land Trust. That trip didn’t offer much time to explore very far in so we wanted to come back. Today we did.
Well, not quite. At the marina we learned that the tide was almost at low ebb which meant not much access back into Gull Harbor. Even more telling, the tide would turn in about two hours, and we’d be returning against a strong surge. We wisely went the other direction, following the last of the ebb tide so we could ride back with the returning tide. Like a tailwind on a bicycle.
The change in no way diminished the trip. A harbor seal watched us as we walked down the dock to get our boats and gear. The morning was gray and cool but the sun was beginning to burn off the fog as we paddled out. The marina is home to some interesting craft, including a double masted square rigged sailboat and some ponderous older large craft. One looked like it may have been a yacht at one time but has long since been a working vessel. In the shallows we saw starfish, hundreds of them in all sizes. I lost count of the many herons we spotted.
As predicted, the sun came out and the day was bright, pleasant and still cool. We paddled along the shore, checking out the many houses and private beaches. The other view was open water across Budd Inlet. Houses on the far side, too, but the open sky and water diminished the human presence somewhat. This is no wilderness but it is calm and peaceful this time of day. Along shore, jets of water spurted from the tidal flats. Clams, I think, filtering water. Some of the jets were pretty impressive, maybe 12 inches or more.
As the day brightened clouds in the distance began breaking up. The high peaks of the Olympic Mountains came into view amidst the clouds. It didn’t take long for the clouds to completely give way to a jagged horizon beyond the near islands. We pulled in for lunch by a small creek near the remains of an old pier and watched the traffic on the water. Some fishers trolled past. Farther out, weekend sailors headed north to the main channels of Puget Sound. These are the last fine days of summer here in the Northwest. I’m pleased to have made it out on th water at least one more time before the wet, cool weather set in.
This has been a curious year for me in that I’ve been to the back country not at all. I’ve not slept in a tent in over a year. Still, I don’t feel like year has been at all disappointing. Living in Olympia has been adventure in itself; I’ve found so much to explore and give me wonder. And to tell the truth, I don’t miss sleeping in a tent too much; I’m quite fond of my comfortable bed.
Today’s trip reminds me that I have much yet to experience. Gull Harbor is still out there.