It was something I had waited seven months to do and it was better than I imagined. We, John and I, arrived on Fox Island in Resurrection Bay, Alaska and were directed to a shack, the place where our adventure would begin. We met our guide, a fit-young man, looking exactly like who I would describe as a summertime guide in Alaska. I forget his name, so for the remainder of this story, I am going to call him Guy.
Guy directed John and I to the restrooms, where we were to change our clothes from our outdoor gear, to swimsuit, wetsuit, wetsocks and sandals and return to the shack. I was so excited to get this adventure under way, get out on the water and take on the challenge of ocean kayaking. A little information you need to know before we get on the water is that John was very worried about this adventure from the day we booked it. He had not been in water that cold and was quite leery of having a big wave, or something, come up and take us out of the safety of our boat. I however, was incredibly excited and ready to ride the waves battling the big bad ocean and winning. One major difference between John and I; I am into the adrenaline and adventure, he, not so much.
On the beach and I use that term loosely, because it was really rocks, we were given our crash course on ocean kayaking and sent on our way. I must admit, at this point I was a little bit nervous too, how do I get my rear end in this boat, get my skirt secured all while holding my paddle and not tipping over? We made it with no problem and were in our tandem kayak following Guy out of the cove into the deep and very, very cold water. I wanted to see how these boats handled and rocked my body side to side causing the boat to roll back and forth. I only did it one time because the cursing and yelling from right behind me was quite passionate and I knew it did not go well with Mr. Fairbanks.
We paddled, paddled, paddled, paddled and then did some paddling only to find, we were really out of shape in our upper bodies. I guess it did not help that we were both a pack a day smokers either. We made it around to the other side of Fox Island where we got to stop on what is called a spit. The spit had what was called a ghost forest. Guy was full of information and taught us that the trees on this island were protected by state law and anyone caught cutting one or taking any part of one from the island could land in jail. John and Guy explored the island and gave me some privacy to answer an important call from Mother Nature
Interruption: let me just tell you that answering Mother Natures call on an island in the middle of the ocean in Alaska while wearing a kayak skirt, full body wetsuit and one piece bathing suit is not an easy call to take and one I hope I never have to answer again.
Okay, back to the story. After getting myself put back together I headed towards the men and found myself surprised by the oddest sound. It was like popcorn on cement being walked on with hard soled shoes. Crunch, crunch, crunch. I stopped and the sound stopped, I started and the sound started too. Clearly, I was the one creating this crunch sound and had to figure out how. I looked down and saw what looked like hundreds of thousands of little brown rocks. I looked closer and remembered Guy telling us to the right of where we landed, where I was right now walking, there were several colonies of mussels. Stephanie, Stephanie, Stephanie, how could you? I crunched thousands of innocent mussels in their cozy little colonies. I was no longer a tourist out for a kayak tour, I was now a Mussel Murderer. (see photo below. directly in front of me are the millions of innocent mussels, of which I crunched many.)
It still saddens me to know that I robbed some innocent families of their mussel mates because of an idiotic misstep and an answered call to Mother Nature. So you know, I have set up in memoriam funds for the children of the victims so they may go to the best schools available in their colony and have good productive lives.
Murder behind me, John, Guy and I got back into our Kayaks and headed back around to the part of the island where we had started. Again, on our way back around, we paddled, paddled and paddled and found that our arms were burnt out. I had no strength left in my bi or triceps to paddle that boat one more inch. But suddenly a shot of adrenaline came along in the form of a boat, a big boat. The boat created waves. Waves which rolled towards us one at a time. Guy told us how to navigate the waves so we would not be over turned. I squealed in delight at the thought of my little boat riding the large waves, while John was breathing both deeply and nervously as the wave approached looking like it was fifteen feet high. Wahoo!!! It was fun and we made it without capsizing.
The seven months of waiting was worth it and I had a fantastic adventure. Not too many people can say they have been kayaking in the ocean off the coast of Alaska in <46 degree water.
Thank You Sunny Cove Sea Kayaking