so, the next day, I set out for my last adventure in the san juans.  I had no idea what I was getting myself into.  I booked a kayak trip, and I had two options: half day (3 hours), or full day (5 hours).  when I called to book a spot, I told the lady I had been kayaking before, but didn’t have very much experience, and have very little upper body strength.  I asked her how different the two options were.  she said that the 5 hour trip didn’t actually have much more paddling than the 3 hour trip, because you stop for lunch on the beach.  lunch?  on a beach?  on an beautiful island that you kayaked to?  that sounds awesome!  I signed up for the 5 hour trip.  (really, kim?) seriously.  she was very convincing with that whole lunch bit.

I show up to find that there are no other guests booked that day, so I get a solo trip!  yay?  just me and the guide!  not awkward at all!!  jk.  it was real awkward.  and, I was in my own kayak, propelling myself with just my own strength!  this was fun and novel for about an hour, and then we paddled around an island, for about 30 minutes, directly into the wind, with lots of white caps.  it was very challenging.  I was so happy when we got around the cape and into some calmer waters.  at this point I was starting to get nervous about the whole 5 hour business, but I didn’t want the guide to think I was a sissy, so I put on a tough face and powered through.  I did learn a lot about the landscape, and the wildlife, and we saw a lot of porpoises!  they were so beautiful!  I really liked them.  and we had some seal buddies that followed us around and were really cute.  we saw some big giant rocks that were a very different color than the rest of the landscape, and I learned that they were pushed there by glaciers during the last ice age, and they’ve traced them to northern british columbia, over 800 miles away.  isn’t that nuts?  by far the most interesting thing I learned about was allan island, owned by paul allen of microsoft.  we paddled all around it, and the guide was telling me that paul allen was looking to sell the island, because the slip wasn’t big enough for his yacht.  then, we paddled past the slip, and I was thinking are you joking me?  the yacht is too big for that slip? and yes.  it is.  when I got back to seattle later scott and laura and I spent a lot of time on the internets learning about it, and it is bananas.  seriously.  it has two helicopters and a submarine, and costs like a million dollars a day to operate or some business like that.

anyhow, the whole lunch on the beach business took us all of about 20 minutes, and then we were back in our kayaks for more!  we did not get back into the port until every minute of that 5 hours was used up.   after lunch, the guide asked me how I was doing, and I said my arms were a little sore, that I am a runner and have no upper body strength, and he said “oh, it’s all core!”  NO.  I disagree.  he tried to show me how to paddle by using my core, and it was really awkward and I couldn’t make it work and I felt like an idiot so I just went back to using my arms.  when all was said and done, we went more than 10 miles.  10 miles!!  3 or 4 of which were directly into the wind with big waves.  I hurt all over, but I felt so accomplished.  and experiencing the islands via kayak was pretty incredible.  even though it was difficult I would do it again in a heartbeat.