We checked the weather this morning and a storm is blowing in. Instead of packing up and getting as far as we can before it arrives, and possibly being stuck on the water longer than we’d like, we opt to wait it out at the beautiful protected cove we are camped at.
Because we have full dry gear, we are free to wander around in the rain and wind, safely on land or in the tidal area. We wander the beach at low tide look through the pools of water filled with life.
It’s amazing how much is going on under us as we paddle north. Small fish dart back and forth trying to find cover, pink and white sea anemones filter the water for food with their long sticky tentacles. (If you carefully stick your finger in the center of it they will close around them and you can feel how they grab a hold of their food). White and brown sea slugs inch along the sea floor moving with the tide. Vibrant purple starfish, red sea urchins, bright yellow nudibranchs all moving somewhere. It’s an extremely colorful place down there. Everything has its place in the circle of life.
As we walk along we laugh as we dodge the streams of water squirted up out of the sand like a water fountain by the hundreds of clams.
We have fun playing with our waterproof cameras trying to capture the beauty. It’s nice having our water tight bibs to wade up to our chests and not worry about being wet and cold. Anna always seems to be picking up some weird things taking a picture of it and asking what it is. She looks happy like a little kid on a journey into the unknown. I wander around with my kayak paddle moving kelp looking for crab to eat, but we only find small crabs. I feel like I am one of the boys in Lord of the Flies.
After wading through the tide pools, we decide to build a fire and I wander down the beach gathering sticks like a chipmunk gathering its winter food. Looking for dry wood in places that have not been touched by recent high spring tides. I find semi dry cedar and start shaving pieces off to make my giant fire. See, my manhood is at stake here. Anna is always saying that I am terrible at starting fires. This is kind of true, I get to impatient and want it now. I grew up with my dad using a hair dryer to get our fires started at home, and one time he even ran an extension cord over from a neighboring campsite that had power to light our fire. That was more than embarrassing as a teenager. (my dad is actually a good fire starter, just impatient like me). So I stack my wood (I use the teepee style), light the tinder and blow a little, Anna walks up and asks how it is going and I tell her everything is going as planned. In reality, I know my fire is dwindling and will be out soon so I blow like hell and wait for Anna to walk away. Within seconds the fire is out, so I go to plan B. I quickly grab a piece of wood pour way to much white gas on it, set it on the pile of sad damp wood, light it with a loud whoosh, burning all my hairs off of my hand and start beating my chest and yelling “I am man, man make fire”. As the fire takes off and I feel good about myself Anna walks back my way laughing and says “Only one thing makes that whoosh. Do you still have your eyebrows?” I give here a grin.