My dad has moved to Anguin, about an hour and a half drive from my house, but right next door to my sister Patty. He may now be a little far away for casual kayak trips, we'll just have to plan them a little farther in advance. But on Wednesday, he called to ask if he could crash at my place overnight after a late meeting of the Stewards of Slavianka. (A local volunteer organization dad belongs to). Of course I said yes, and suggested that we go out in the canoe on Thursday morning. Both of us had things to do that day, so we did not have time to do the Drakes Estero trip that I promised to take him on soon. Instead, we went to the Jenner boat ramp for a quick local trip to the beach and around Penny Island.
As usual, the mouth of the river was a lot different than the last time I had been by here. Dad had been there the day before, and told me that the river was running down the edge of the old concrete breakwater, which is usually stranded in the middle of the sand spit. The harbor seals were all on the north side of the river, and there was a small elephant seal hauled out on the sand near them. We stayed a polite distance away from the seals, but paddled down along the breakwater into some rougher water near the mouth of the river. The water was running out to sea, and the waves were trying to come upstream.
I have taken dad on several trips in this area, but he claims that he has never been all the way around Penny Island. I do recall taking dad out from Jenner on one particular evening when the air and water was so calm that the river was a perfect mirror for the town of Jenner. As the sun set and the sky darkened, it looked as if the town was built on a huge bar of land floating magically in open space. The houses that were built next to the water looked as if they protruded out both sides of this fantastic island floating in mid-air. The futuristic architecture of Flash Gordon, with their lights on in the deepening dusk. As long as we did not look behind us and see our wake, we had the illusion of being suspended in space, drifting up to dock at the City In The Sky.
On this early morning trip, there was no city in the sky, due to a breeze that ruffled the water and chilled down dad, so he volunteered to paddle to keep himself warm. We did go all the way around Penny Island this trip, seeing the usual cormorants, and quite a few great blue herons. When we came around the top of the island, dad was still cold and cramped from sitting in the canoe, so we went straight back to the boat ramp and home.