Kayaking in Sitka . . .

July 16, 2015

Alaska Kayak MaraKayaking last Friday in the rain was SO much fun. There were 3 seniors (Don who suffers from macular degeneration; Alice (a ballerina who went to school at Butler), and me. They also had 3 dear young persons so that each kayak had an experienced and inexperienced kayaker in them. We went to Silver Bay and, even though it rained most of the day, was just gorgeous with the cloudy sky and gentle steady rain. We saw jelly fish that appeared to be neon colored when we looked into the water and bald eagles soared above us all afternoon. No sea otters though which was a bit disappointing. I will definitely kayak again before I leave! By the way, note the smile on my face. It is heartfelt! I truly loved the afternoon there.

The pictures below are of our launchsite.

Launch site
Launch site

Alaska Kayak 2

Alaska Kayak 2  Check out how cloudy and foggy it was.  I know it looks dark and yet it was noontime on that day.  You just felt wrapped by nature out there on the bay.  Simply gorgeous.

Alice Kayaking
Alice & Don on the way to launch
Devin and Sara Kayaking
Devin & Sara, our helpers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alaska Kayaking
Looking out as we row . . .

 

Kayaking Success
Bridgit, my kayak partner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dave our guide
Dave, our guide on this journey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A special thanks to SAIL (Southeastern Alaska Independent Living Council) who sponsored this trip along with their guides, Dave & Bridgit.

We have a new roommate in our house, Laura from North Carolina. She teaches 3rd grade there and is here for 5 weeks to prepare a pre-school program for the rangers to give. She is really enjoyable to be around and we love having her in the house. Here’s a picture of her and Cappie at happy hour last night at the local Pub. We three had a really good time!

Laura.Cappie Bayview Pub
Laura & Cappie at the Bayview Pub

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I attended the Sitka Fine Arts Camp Cellobration under the direction (and participation) of Zuell Bailey Sunday evening. Eight student performers included Carolyn Ronning from Indianapolis who attends the Royal Academy of Music in London. It was outstanding. And the price was $10!!!! If any of you follow Cello musicians I’m told Zuell Bailey is quite well known. I know everytime I mention the Fine Arts Camp I “ooh and awe” and it really is that awesome. Such an unbelievable treasure to have on this island.

Work is going well. I answered twice as many visitor questions this week and most of my answers were correct. The previous week all I need was defer to a ranger (any ranger nearby!) I received a lot of information before I came but I didn’t really take it all in. Now that I am here, and visitors are asking me questions, it has become more important to me so I’m reading more on my off hours. That explains why my personal reading is backing up.

Received care packages this week from Melissa and the grandkids as well as from Aunt Jane. Thanks much! Jane sent raisins in her box, which were great as they are $9.00/lb here. And the kids sent all kinds of goodies that I can use for lunch (or treats for a taste of home.) Taking your lunch here is a requirement as there is only one place to eat that is close to the Visitor Center. It’s a chowder cart that sells the most delicious clam chowder ever. However, it is $8.00 per cup. I limit myself to one lunch there each week and make old-fashioned PB&J on the other days.

The salmon are coming!! That’s the big excitement here. They are in the river but not down to the bridge (in the park) yet. From the visitor center view we can see them jumping. I keep trying to get a picture but nothing yet. I’m too slow and they are too fast. It is amazing to watch them jump 1-2 feet out of the water. The locals tell them I’ve not seen anything yet. They say some salmon can jump up to 10 feet in the air. Here’s my tidbit of learning this week. There are 5 types of salmon and you can remember them by using your hand. Spread your fingers and look at your hand. The thumb is the “chum”; don’t sock your pointer in your eye (sock-eye); look how long your second finger is, he’s the “King”; there’s your ring finger for the “silver” ring, and your pinky of course (pink).

Salmon hand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As with anytime we are away from our comfort zone there are highs and lows. This is my third week and there was a little slump mid-week as I felt a bit lonely and far away. However, a call to friends and a surprise emails from far away family and friends warmed my heart. The feelings became another of life’s lessons to me to remember to take time to reach out to friends and family as you never know when that one short email or call will make all the difference for them and raise their spirits high. Thanks to my family and friends for making my spirits soar even when I feel low.

That’s it from here this week. I’m off to explore today and tomorrow. Am scheduled to go on a hatchery tour tomorrow and a concert tomorrow night. Am also going to investigate the Episcopal “tea” house that is open to visitors on ship days (when the cruises come in).   I hear they need some volunteers.

On a note of remembrance, today would have been Tommy’s 63rd birthday.  We never forget the joy he brought to our lives and we miss him greatly.  The gifts he shared with us are everlasting and I thank him so much.  I  try to find someone (strangers work just fine) to tell a story to about him and we always end up laughing together.  And then sometimes,  I glance in the sky to see an airplane soaring and remember fondly the adventures he provided Melissa, Jennifer and me.  He was a treasured gift for too short a time.

I leave you with a prayer shared by Rev. Plausen (from St. Peters By The Sea) this morning on her daily email:

This is another day, O Lord. I know not what it will bring forth, but make me ready, Lord, for whatever it may be. If I am to stand up, help me to stand bravely. If I am to sit still, help me to sit quietly. If I am to lie low, help me to do it patiently. And if I am to do nothing, let me do it gallantly. Make these words more than words, and give me the Spirit of Jesus. Amen.

 

Love and Blessings to all,

Mara

 

 

 

 

 

 

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