Monday, August 22, 2011

The Second Day . . .

The Great Circumnavigation Adventure!

"The grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never dried all at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls".
- John Muir

We wake to the most amazing sunrise and begin what would become a daily morning routine. Boil water, start breakfast, drink coffee, and leisurely go about our morning hygiene regimen. Each of us caught up in our own thoughts breaking the shared silence only to express the obvious  - words like "stunning", "amazing", "blessed" and "content" punctuating our comments.

There is no need or desire to rush. A lone Loon floats by, her haunting call completing the scene.

Loons are unique and beautiful birds, yet sometimes they are tricky to identify. They hold their bodies lower in the water than most ducks, but one group of ducks—mergansers—swim low and are even shaped like loons. Cormorants also have a similar profile in the water - we often mistook nasty Cormorants for Loons on our voyage until right on top of them.

After making sure we had left *No Trace* we headed out, plotting a course close to the shore and heading north, northwest towards Fossil Ledges open to any and all possibilites for the day.

We were both surprised to discover the *Ledges* actually start miles before the State identified *Fossil Ledges* and dominate the shoreline, rising from dramatic drop offs easily visible from our low riding cockpits. The feeling of floating in mid-air was hard to dismiss and we purposely paddled the grey area between ledge and drop-off until reaching the official *Ledges*.

Our original plan called for making the Ledges our second campsite of the voyage. But the weather and wind have combined to bring us here just in time for lunch on our second day. We beach our kayaks, break out our lunch, wander the shoreline and SWIM! The water has never been warmer thanks to unusually high temps for most of the summer.

There is even time to goof for a portrait photo shoot!

Not wanting to waste such awesome paddling conditions we make the decision to continue further  west. Thinking we will camp on State owned land in the area of Chippewa Point we set out to enjoy the sun and calm waters.

As we close on the Point we are greeted by an omen in the sky. My name clearly written out by the clouds. You can just make out the *C-a-n* here - we sat watching these fluffy alphabet letters float by without thinking to photograph them until they had almost disappeared! Coincidence or blessing from my father? My eyes stuing with tears and we decide to take a break on a small shoal to regroup.

Again we decide to travel further than planned. Who could resist the call of the water under these conditions?!

On entering Potagannissing Bay we find ourselves back in the hustle and bustle of boating society. The traffic coming and going to the North Channel is fierce on such a beautiful day. We are quickly and rudely awaken to the fact that not all vessel captains understand or honor the pecking order in the *Overtaken Vessel* rule as a southbound trawler not only cuts us off - threatening to swamp our cockpits - BUT sounds its horn and greets us with a single-finger wave as they pass under full throttle. WHOA!

We decide, after this experience, to get as far away from other humans as possible and push on to Mare Island.

We set up camp and enjoy appetizers while sitting on rocks in our tiny cove. Triscuits, cheese and wine have never tasted so good!

Later that night we sat and watched our campfire until each separate, dying ember wrought its ghost upon the island floor. The perfect end to a perfect day.


kener said...

I love your quotes, your pictures, your descriptions!♥♥♥

Candis Collick said...

Kener - Thanks so much for your kind words - they are really appreciated!

Paul Strom said...

Candis, another wonderful recollection of an epic quest. Really enjoying the daily pictures, and descriptions of the time enjoyed around the Island.