Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Reach Out, I’ll Be There 

From this day on I wish to be referred to by my First Nations name: “Kayaks With Harbour Seal Pups.”

We wandered through Roche Harbor Cemetery, then into the woods to the mausoleum of John Stafford McMillin. It’s very imposing and must get pretty spooky at night.
We imagined it being a great haunt for teenagers, especially those of a goth bent, a regular hangout for cider drinking and frightening themselves witless. I don’t know if the International Federation of Goths actually has a chapter on San Juan Island, but it’s a pleasing thought that it might.
This poor soul didn’t have much of a life.

Roche Harbor itself was literally jumping to the lively thud of hammer against nail, building fever having taken hold of the little community. Nice houses.

In the afternoon we went sea kayaking, which was dead brilliant. There was me and Girlfriend in one kayak, another couple in another, and a very pleasant and thankfully competent young man called Brent (I think) who was our guide.
We were out for three hours, happily hopping from island to island, across major shipping channels, up tide, down tide, handling starfish, which are hard and muscular and a bit weird, then through fields of kelp - you can eat it, but you wouldn’t want a whole one - and I loved every minute.
We must have kayaked, I don’t know, a hundred miles or so.

My favourite bit was paddling among harbour seal pups, who would come up and look at us with their gorgeous big puppy eyes, and splash about playing and all that. I want one.
"We could keep it in the bath," I've told nobody. "And I’d take it out for swims everyday and look after it properly, I promise, and it could sleep at the bottom of our bed, and it’d be great for frightening off burglars. We’d call it Flipper, or Spot, and it would be my best friend in the whole world after Girlfriend."
Then I would pause and say, if I actually ever did tell anybody, "I wonder if they stick their heads out of the window when you take them for rides in the car?"

Now here’s an interesting fact for your contemplation: the male barnacle has a penis twelve times it’s own body length. This is because it requires far too much effort to unstick itself from whatever it’s clamped onto - a rock, a pier, the sofa whenever Kate Humble Watch is on the telly - so instead it stays put and sends it’s enormous member out and about when in the mood for love and reproduction.
Okay. So I’m six foot tall.
Supposing I was a barnacle - and that doesn’t require as big a leap of the imagination as you might think - would it be possible, I wonder, to train it to make coffee and prepare light snacks while I'm upstairs playing the guitar? Or return my library books if it was too rainy to get out of the car? Or buy a round of drinks in the pub while I remained seated, making sophisticated conversation with my friends? We’ll probably never know.

Anyway. For dinner we had pizza overlooking the harbour, and the evening’s local interest video entertainment was Snow Falling On Cedars, which was a big improvement.
It turns out that Helen our innkeeper’s son-in-law’s English teacher was the bloke what wrote the book. Small world.

Breakfast shot: Fruits.

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