28 August 1997

Paddle back to Orcas - Ferry - Seattle

We were up just as the sky was starting to be lighter above the horizon. Later, as we hit the water, it was calm and glassy. Best of all... no motorized boats, only the constant tolling of the Danger Shoals warning beacon. Mist and fog shrouded everything giving it a surreal look.

We paddled back to Posey Island and our guides made breakfast. The rest of us wandered around the tiny island's tidal zone looking for critters and treasures at low tide. We found a purple sea star, a common sea star and a sunflower sea star and posed them on rocks for a picture. Then we wandered off to poke in more pools and eat. When we packed up to leave, something had eaten the sunflower star and all that remained was 3 of it's original 18 legs...little sucker feet still waving around, looking for something to grab onto.

We paddled past Spyden Island, at one time purchased to be a "big game" island for hunters. It had been stocked with elk and Japanese barking deer and bighorn sheep, etc. But the animals decimated the forage available and the project was abandoned. There are still animals on the island, though. We saw fallow deer, bighorn sheep and something that looked sort of like a goat.

At one point we saw a whole skad of boats collected out on the water and figured it was whales so we paddled for it. We got caught in seiner, trawler and freighter trafic as well as whale watch and pleasure boats. It got very crowded and noisy for a while. Being a little bitty kayak on the big water with those huge ships made me really nervous. And the big seining boats belched a brown smoggy layer under the fog line. I could have lived without this little chunk of trip.

We pulled out of the fray and took a little break on a small stoney beach. The beach was all smooth stones and pebbles that were black/white like orcas. Some of the group had a stone-skipping contest. Although I never heard who won, for a while it looked like Susan was the one to beat.

From there it was a short 20-minute or so paddle to Smallpox Bay where we started. We loaded up and headed out for the Friday Harbor ferry terminal. We got there about 3 or 3:30 and the next ferry left at 5. Most of the people hit the public showers at Port of Friday Harbor...5 minutes of hot water for 4 quarters. I showered just to keep my hair from looking like it had been mooshed under a cap for 3 days. I didn't have any soap but it felt good just to wash the salt off. I wandered the shops and grabbed some supper at a seafood place by the terminal to kill the remaining hour or so before the ferry.

The ferry ride was uneventful. Being the last ferry of the day, it was pretty well packed. There were more people on this trip than any other I'd been on.

When I got to the lot where I left my car, there was a ticket on it saying I owed money. I knew I didn't but couldn't see that I could do anything but pay it. The ticket-writer happened to be nearby and evidently saw my reaction. He came up ad asked me about it. I explained and he wrote "Void" on the ticket with a comment about some worker who was lazy. Other people were wandering over with their tickets too, so evidently it affected a number of people, not just me.

I got back to Dean's a little after 8 and called Kim. We set up a supper date for the following evening at 5. I took another shower, this time with soap...lots of it... and did a load of laundry then went to bed.