Today’s paddle takes us back out the Arm, south along the coast of West Redonda Island, past Refuge Cove to the Martin Islands. Again the water is glassy smooth. Richard just shakes his head and once again says, “I have never seen it this smooth.” I think he has been saying his every day since day 2. And each time explain the weather gods want to make it a good trip for me ensuring I come back, so they are making the ocean calm.
We get startled as we see a buck deer swimming across from a tiny island to West Redonda. It’s surprising to be reminded deer swim! We see more seals and a sea lion enjoying a fish lunch. Peering into the water on the island’s edge we see sea stars, anemones and cucumbers.
The zen of paddling takes over, just like road riding or climbing up a mountain when back country skiing. The mind wanders, the body just moves, and we paddle.
When we land on Martin Island, actually it is on an isthmas connecting the two islands, we are amazed we arrive early, 2:00pm. After all the longer paddles, this 16 km one feels easy, and short. The campsite is well used, as indicated by all the “decorations”. There are swings, permanent structures, sign posts, benches, a fire pit and a picnic table. We wait to see if anyone else shows up.
The quiet continues. The only sounds are cawing ravens, buzzing flies and wasps, crickets and the occasional splash of water from a sea lion, seal or fish. Is there a world beyond this island? World, what world?
The sun is shining through the haze and it is spreading warmth so we lay out our mats, sleeping bags and kayaking clothes. They do dry some and it will be nice to not climb into a clammy sleeping bag tonight!
We loaf and wander and watch John and Richard float an errant tree away from the beach. Then we watch the tree float closer and farther and closer and then far enough away that it won’t block the kayak loading zone. We cheer. The world is FAR away!
The kayaks are stored above the high tide line and are tethered together and to a log, just in case.
After supper we gather around the fire pit where John has started our only fire on the tour. We stare into the depths of orange flame and before I know it, my eyes are drooping. I made it to 9:00 this time!