The exhalation of the Orca’s blow summarizes the experience of this trip…
It was a freeing of our creative energies, a release, a thrill and astonishment, all in a powerful exhale. The trip gathered us for a 3 day 2 night camping and kayaking adventure in the Salish Seas off the San Juan Islands, Washington state. The home to the Southern resident killer whales, ORCA’s, with frequent visits from the transient Orca whales. Setting our internal compass to the degree of “open” we gathered at the Earthbox, a local Inn and Spa, situated in the town of Friday Harbor. This beautiful and luxurious spa prepared us for the days ahead and welcomed us at our return from the sea and forest of the Pacific Northwest. The group met and settled into a ceremony of greetings with REIKI treatments to realign ourselves and to relax the weary travel body before moving out to the human powered adventure, of camping and kayaking.
Taking our limited supplies in the provided dry bags and working together to load, pack and lift the kayaks across land to the water. We set ourselves off paddling for a total of over 11 nautical miles this day, learning a new way to gauge our progress. This day we paddled along the shoreline that was home to the seals lounging on the rocks or playing in the water as we paddled softly by. Our eyes lifted to see bald eagles flying over head and the heron who stood steady at our send off stayed with us along the way, stopping with us to have a gourmet lunch at the first of the many parks available to explore in the island chain. The trip offered sightings this day of salmon jumping in front of our kayaks, and porpoises popping out in curiosity of us.
Approaching the cove to the island where we were going to set up our camp, our guide noticed some activity and pointed our sights to the big event of day!
The visitation of a pod of three transient Orca whales! They swam past lifting their dorsal fins out of the water gliding smoothly by us. We gave way and moved aside to give them the full breadth of space to pass. They gifted us with with tremendous blows from each whale!
This was our entrance to the cove of the island and our new camp home. The welcome from the elite Orca’s and the enchanted old forest of the Pacific Northwest gave us peaceful rest in our tents on the soft ground under the stars and fresh air. The beautiful setting held us and we settled into the healing of a Reiki energy session bringing us to a deeper connection to ourselves and the surroundings of Mother Earth and her gifts.
Waking to the soft ocean flow and fresh breeze accompanied by the sounds of birds nudging us out of the tents, we were treated to a camp breakfast and coffee that one would wait in long lines for on the mainland! The food not only nourished us with fresh, organic offerings it brought us together to share the experiences. This breakfast did have a cost… we did have to do our camp dishes! Allowing our guide and chef extrodinaire time to map our adventure. Each of us took a turn at the “sink” and we prepared to pack the kayaks for our next explore. Today‘s paddle would take us to Deer Island where we could taste the “Best Ice Cream” indeed it was !
Taking time to explore this harbor town, we wandered around the docks, boats and local stores. We found an easy place in the warm sun on the dock to chat with other boaters and kayakers sharing the sightings of all creatures spotted in this 6 plus nautical mile paddle. Returning to our cove and camp we hiked around the island, greeting other campers, making new connections with them and ourselves. Resting in the final night at camp we wrapped ourselves in this space that enveloped us with such easy comfort. Opening ourselves to this space we sank into a deeper state of peace with the support of Reiki and a guided tapping technique. All designed and delivered to meet each person perfectly.
This day was a day of putting away the tents we so carefully set up on our first day to return them and allow for the next lucky individual to have the pleasure of their accommodation. We cleaned and cleared and proceeded to pack our kayaks. Bidding a farewell to the beautiful gifts we shared in this gorgeous land. Todays’ paddle to the mainland would prove to be challenging. We were facing wind and currents. Our guide was mapping our return using all the tools his experience and training had given him plus his inner wisdom to guide us as elements changed. He prepared us for this with one simple phrase. This phrase transcended from the physical act of kayaking for me to a life’s application, he said, “Just don’t stop paddling.”
The guides advice was prudent to navigate the difficult water, current and wind. This advice is what allowed us to continue forward and again meet some amazing creatures along the trip. This mantra, “Just don’t stop paddling,” also kept us from landing into the rocks along the shoreline! But, as I listened to our guide continue to encourage us to keep paddling, I felt this in a much deeper and embodied manifestation. As I soaked this in, a very vocal raven called out squawking and cawing to us as we, “ just kept paddling”, this raven seemed to say to me, “one paddle at a time – you will arrive” … AND… we did!
Todays’ obvious accomplishment more nautical miles to add on, this was closer to 13 ! The inner accomplishment was acknowledged. A knowing that to keep paddling through, be it water or life’s challenges, one paddle stroke at a time with gentle grace to move you not fighting the current but using it, you will arrive and you will arrive accomplished and well. Releasing yourself to allow and accept the creative gifts around you and inside you, all are available to exhilarate and amaze you!