A Fantastical World

Hello everyone! Here is a short memoir I thought you might enjoy about my experience kayaking near Catalina Island.

Those who live by the sea can hardly form a single thought of which the sea would not be part.

Hermann Broch

Crystal clear water surrounds the rocky bay of Catalina Island. Frothing waves wash against the shore, disrupting the beautiful silence. Forever echoing voices carry across the water. Brightly colored shops line the street corners as if painted with watercolor, every detail distinct. The rising sun casts an intricate array of shadows across the white sand.

We are taught the ways of the water; how to steer, how to accelerate, how to escape if a life-threatening situation arises. We fasten our life vests simultaneously, crossing the straps in a lattice pattern. The waves are warm and welcoming. The boat sways with the ocean, as if in perfect harmony with the endless blue.

We paddle away from the mainland, heading to the darker waters of open sea. The clouds weave picturesque patterns in the sky. The bright yellow blades of our paddles slip seamlessly into the water, strikingly vivid against the beautiful turquoise. Each pull adds to a developing momentum, framing the path of our sea bound rafts. Shafts of morning sunlight pass effortlessly through the constantly morphing waves and continue endlessly, reaching undiscovered oceanic depths.

Leaning over the side, we gaze at the marvelous beauty of the creatures below. Spotted leopard sharks frolic merely feet away, swift and playful. A manta ray deviates from its path and gracefully navigates beneath our kayaks. A magnificent white bird perches on the wet cliffs, scrutinizing us with one eye. We look up as a bald eagle soars toward its nest in the craggy rocks.

The serenity seems infinite, nearly overwhelming. The journey becomes full of unlimited possibilities, with scenery to admire and uncharted waters to explore. The ends of our paddles alternatively break through the infinite transparent barrier and become one with the ever spilling, crystalline sea.

As the tide washes in, we head back toward the shore. We snap a picture, documenting a magical moment. The wonders of the ocean will never cease to amaze me.

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