A smaller group turned out this time. And now that we're all seasoned hands, we got our own boats into the water and moving on. It wasn't long before I was nearly alone again. I could see a kayak here and there, a sailboat, and lots of birds.
This time I ventured further into the bay. At first, I headed toward Morro Rock. I thought maybe I'd get to it. In the water ahead of me were clusters of rock-like objects, At first I thought it was a group of other boaters, but they weren't moving. Then I thought maybe just wood or something like that. Then I saw that it was some kind of floating reef (is that the right word?) with many birds on it. Oh joy, more birds, I never seem to get enough of them. I got as close as I could to them, continued past, went a bit farther before I decided to turn around. I didn't see any others from the group then and thought they might be headed in the opposite direction.
I stuck close to the sand dunes, watching and listening to the birds, as I rounded the curve of the bay.
The birds! I don't know if it is the snowy white egret or the Great Blue Heron, but I watched several of these beautiful birds, white, brilliant white, tall, graceful, against the dark dune vegetation. Pelicans diving, tearing across the sky. The little shorebirds with the long thin beaks, lining up, almost hidden in the marshes. Beautiful birds, wonderful sounds.
A seal surfaced near me twice, then moved on. I didn't see any others.
It was quiet when I sat there with the paddle still in my hands. Nothing but bird sounds. I would dip my paddle into the water gently and listen to the water splash.
Then I would get interested in paddling again. My technique, such as it is, improved. I started thinking about buying a kayak of my own, of hefting it on top of the car, on my roof rack. The rhythm.
I could feel my arms getting tired but, oddly, as I started heading back in to shore I just felt stronger, didn't get any more tired. By this time, it had been over two hours and the tide was heading out, the waves were getting choppier.
After we all got back to shore, we headed to Karsten & Yiena's place, had wine and snacks, talked. Dance music played in the background, beckoning to anyone who wanted to hit the floor. Paul took off to introduce his new car to his neph. One or two others left. A few couples took to the floor, some in bare feet. Cha cha in bare feet = not so good.
I was engrossed in talking to Rose. Rose, who doesn't like water much, yet who went kayaking the first time and now again, who feels about fear the way I do. Don't let it stop you. When someone suggested we go out for dinner, I thought it would be nice to spend more time with her and her husband Steve.
We met at Taco Temple in Morro Bay. "California Fusion" done in a beach-shack kind of place, big platters of fresh imaginative Mexican-inspired food, delicious and unpretentious. Rose and I both had one taco each, and were glad of it when we saw the size. Soft corn tortillas covered with fresh vegetables, rice, baby greens, a dusting of cheese, black beans...perfect.
As I get these chances to talk to others in the class I learn a little and then a little more. I believe that every married couple in that class is a second or third marriage. Perhaps that's the secret of their freshness? How decently they treat each other, how I sometimes see one steal a quick kiss from the other, other little hints of gentleness.