Thursday, August 27, 2015

while in washington

Yesterday was whale watching.  I caught a ride on a boat out of Port Townsend that headed north out of Puget Sound into the Strait of Juan de Fuca.  While cruising across the water, I kept thinking how much I'd love to live in a tiny house on the beach, a beach anywhere as long as it faced an ocean.  If I didn't love the four seasons, skiing, and most of all, my family all so close, I'd seriously consider moving to a beach.

We headed north toward San Juan Island. Along the way, we saw many of the 81 orca that live in three pods in the area.  See the two dorsal fins in this picture?  Yes, I really wish I'd brought my real camera.  It would have been good if I'd even had my phone when one of the female orca headed straight towards the rear of the boat and surfaced ten feet from the side of us.  Or if my phone camera had been able to capture the image of the mama orca with one of the four calves that was born and survived this year.

We also saw Stellar sea lions.  They're the brown blobs on the rock in the picture below.  Again, seriously wish I'd brought a real camera...they were huge.  Two thousand pounders out enjoying a day on the rocks in the sun.  Showing off for the lady sea lions.

Then we headed back towards Port Townsend through an area where gray whales had been spotted recently.  For many years, there were no gray whales in the area because whalers had killed them all.  But since the 1970's, they have slowly started coming back, bringing their calves.  And we saw two.  We spotted the twenty-foot spray as they exhaled, saw them breach, exhale, breach, several times.

And then they arched their backs and we watched their tails break the water as they dived deep, deep, deep.  It was so amazing. Two of them, each the size of six elephants.  One is diving while the other exhales before diving deep in this shot. 

Four hours on the water.  It felt so good.


Today, I dropped off Jack at his class and headed to the ocean.  I drove through the Olympic National Park.  I passed a beautiful lake, Crescent Lake.  This shot doesn't do it justice.  It was huge and a deep emerald green/blue color.  Surrounded by jagged mountains covered with dense forest that included evergreens and ferns and mosses.  Who knew there is a rain forest in Washington?  I do now.

My plan was to drive to Ruby Beach.  I drove and drove, clear blue skies after I left the rain forest area.  Siri notified me I was half a mile from the beach.  That is when I noticed the skies were no longer blue, but were instead misty and foggy as though I'd entered the clouds.  Then I spotted the entrance to the beach parking lot.  As I got out of the truck, I could hear the waves crashing below.  I headed through the mist, down a path, towards the sound of the ocean.  I first saw this--

then this--

Then as three people came up the trail toward me, I looked down in time to see something small and dark scurrying across the path just a foot in front of my feet--and had there not been other people around, I'm sure I'd have screamed out loud.  I convinced myself it was a beach chipmunk although I'm certain it was a mouse...but I really, really, really wanted--needed--to get to the beach, so I continued on and as I rounded the last bend in the path, I came upon this--piles and piles of driftwood washed ashore--

And this beach, covered with smooth round stones of all sizes--

And then this.  

My mind told me I was home and I felt the mist, which was warm, not cold, on my face along with tears that started slipping down my cheeks.

I walked along the beach, passing this dad and his boy fashioning a castle--and of course, wishing Jr were here to play in this beautiful place...

All along the beach were waves of jellies...whole ones and bits and pieces that had been smashed apart by the incredible power of the ocean.

Huge rocks, all that remain from years and years of pounding waves--

I must return to this place again.  Deep, peaceful, joy.

1 comment:

Jessie said...

So, so beautiful. And I love your new header. You belong to the ocean.