Friday, September 17, 2010

With Brenda

There is mist and just a bit of rain in the air today, but it is very calm and so putting in on bigger waters is a good option. Brenda and I put the canoe in at the bottom of the deep ravine on the north side of Elliot Bay and paddle west, staying close to the salt water shoreline. She comments on how clear the water is, the bottom visible from 8 or 10 feet, if not more. A big roller wake comes past once or twice from far out boats. They have to stay out from these shallow waters and the trip is quiet. The tide is high and as we paddle along the shore of Discovery Park, the boulders that are present are, for the most part, well submerged. We spot 3 osprey in the trees. They should be getting ready for a long migration to South America. Maybe the current salmon run has brought them here. We stop briefly at the lighthouse, where I recover a huge block of foam and toss it over the fence where it won't blow away and a groundskeeper can get at it.

We talk about nature, and art, which is what we really have in common.
Then, we continue north and into the ship canal, where we spot a kingfisher and then a 4th osprey as we pass under the railroad bridge. The lock is just beginning to close, but the lockmaster hails us and opens the doors again, and we race up against the current. I've never had them hold the doors for us before. It is a short ride today at high tide, no more than 6 or 8 feet. As usual, we're sent out first, a safety issue with toy ship drivers sharing the concrete enclosure. Now we are in industrial waters with tugboats and fishing fleet. Being in the midst of working boats such as a large fishing fleet is just as visually stimulating as remote wilderness. We stop briefly so that Brenda can take close-up photographs of the bumper on the bow of a large tug, and then head into Fishermen's Terminal, which is where we begin the mile long portage back to Elliot Bay. But first, fish and chips at the best fish and chips stand in town.

It starts raining in earnest when we get back to the water and the last half mile of the trip is soggy. It is a warm day, and it just doesn't matter. Nothing much matters on a day like this other than making sure to experience it.
(this trip was on September 16)

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