I’m on Day 3 of this adventure and on my 2nd weather day! It’s amazing the difference 2 days make. (Day 1 was a weather day, and I still had my head in 2 worlds). I was super stressed the last couple days before the trip started.
Then also on the first paddling day, I had a REALLY slow start (I had to carry the boat about a quarter-mile, then all the gear), a really heavy boat, I didn’t know if it may be loaded too heavy and bow heavy, there was water coming over the bow… I was still stressed. Was it a bad idea to round Cape Flattery like this? The forecast was 5-foot swell at 12 seconds – I expected some energy out there.
The kinks ironed out, the boat performed admirably, I remember I could paddle – and I got to the Cape and the stacks off the Cape. It was gorgeous. While I still had regular thoughts that I muttered aloud, “wtf am I doing?” – they became increasingly peppered with “I’m so lucky.”
I had to take another day off today. The forecast said 7 foot swell at 7 seconds, then 6 feet at 9 seconds, then I couldn’t get the right forecast and the marine forecast on my Garmin didn’t differentiate between wind waves and swell and seemed to show wind speeds on land, not water… the beach looked big. All the forecasts agreed it would diminish. A friend sent me ten proper forecast, and indeed, it’s supposed to be smaller. The beach is already looking smaller.
So today I made the best of a ridiculously high percentage of weather days and walked to the Cape Flattery trail to see what I paddled yesterday. Gorgeous. And all I can say is – I’m so lucky.
I don’t particularly remember that my head was still in two places the first couple days of the expedition. It’s an interesting reminder to read that several months later.
What I DO remember was competing thoughts of “wtf?!” and “I’m so lucky.” I didn’t know at the beginning of the expedition – and probably wouldn’t have guessed – that those two thoughts would be my constant companions through the next 3 months. I think that every single day, I said both of those things out loud. I still think both of those things every time I see photos from the trip – and I see them every day because they’re my screen saver now… I see the photos, and I think how unbelievably lucky I am to have had the chance to do this and to get to see all the indescribable beauty I was immersed in for 3 months. And I also have that moment of “wtf?.” As I was planning, as I was paddling, and after the whole thing was over, I’ve had this constant feeling of something surreal. I mean – really? I lived out of my kayak for 3 months? On the beaches of this country – a heavily populated, heavily industrialized, heavily regulated country?
I’m grateful for one more thing now – I feel so lucky I took this trip last summer. My initial plan was to do it summer 2020. I don’t know what prompted me to move it up by a year – but wow am I lucky I did!