Open Water

After-the-rain.org / Admiralty Inlet

6/21/21 Monday

This section of water freaked me out in a sailboat. The ships are intimidating, but it’s the currents that can get you. The rips reach out from both sides, and are at their most severe when the tide battles the wind. Even on a warm summer day, there’s no effing around.

Recently I chose to head out in a kayak. My big idea was to paddle to a secluded kelp bed I know, stash the boat in the bushes nearby, and use it over the summer to fish with. With the price of food going up, I’ve decided it’s ridiculous to pay for seafood when I can just go get it straight from the actual sea.

Making it to the serenity of the kelp bed was easy, and with the current, the paddle became more of a rudder. A lot of distance was covered in a short amount of time. I tied off to the kelp over a giant submerged boulder for a rest and a bite of lunch, soaking in the sun.

Before stashing the boat, I decided to try my luck fishing, hoping to catch a greenling or at least a flounder, something easy to clean and pack back to the truck. Surprisingly I caught this mini sea monster, which came up thrashing and snapping its sharp teeth in a menacing way. Fortunately I had pliers and was able to release the fish without getting cut by the teeth or spines.

Should have learned my lesson with this little guy, but I threw another lure out (this fish destroyed the jig I was using) and let it sink down 20′ or so by the boulder. What happened next was ridiculous, I tied into a legitimate mammoth of the same kind of fish, which I believe is a ling cod. After being pulled around the kelp for 15 minutes he finally tired out, and from the murky depths I pulled up a full on sea monster, with a massive white mouth full of inflatable kayak puncturing teeth. When he saw me he turned, made a final lunge and broke the line, fortunately saving me the adventure of getting the hook out. Next time I’ll be better prepared.

Even though it was a complete failure as far as bringing home something to eat, it was good to get out, feel the sun on my skin and sand between my toes. Surviving Admiralty Inlet was a plus, and as I dipped my fingers into the cold, sickeningly deep emerald water, I realized that traversing open water water is where I’ve always been emotionally, and there’s no place I’d rather be. I’m in love with life, and there’s no place to make one feel alive like the sea.

Author: Rainey

after-the-rain.org What started out as chicken scratch notes on the back pages of my boat’s logbook has now grown into a blog. These words and images help me cope with a loved one struggling with mental illness, and they help guide me through divorce, and the process of moving on. Thanks for reading along as I learn about life the hard way, do the best I can for my son in my new role as a single dad, and find weird similarities between restoring an old blue water sailboat and putting the pieces of my own life back together. Come check out my story and feel free to say hi!

16 thoughts on “Open Water”

      1. It gets crowded on summer weekends but it’s always beautiful there…the minus tides have been fun for those on land, like me. Some friends and I reserved a boat ride to Cypree Island in a few weeks – that should be cool. I have yet to set foot on any of the islands the ferries don’t go to. Stay cool!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I love the water as well having grown up near the beach and that’s my happy place. We used to have a boat when I was married and I loved being out on the open water. There’s nothing like it. Stay safe out there!

    Liked by 1 person

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