Still waters

Posted by Ken Campbell August 23, 2012 0 Comment 886 views
The water outside my window has been calm lately, more than I can remember for this long. It’s hard to imagine that this is the same Tacoma Narrows that roils with current and rolls with huge wind waves during winter storms. During those times of tempest, the white bubbles trail off the tops of the rollers and the spray is driven horizontally across the wild water. Now though, it’s quiet as a mountain pond, undisturbed by any forces greater than a jumping fish every now and then, or a seal on patrol.
We had some periods of calm on the second leg of the Ikkatsu Expedition as well, an early morning run out near Yellow Banks where the whole Pacific seemed to be a flat sheet of mercury. It made me think about how, when we talk about the sea conditions, we are so concerned about the surface, without a thought about the third dimension. I realize that we are operating exclusively on the top of the water when we’re kayaking (unless we’re doing something dreadfully wrong), but it still amazes me to think that, just 10 or 15 feet down, it’s always calm. 
The fish don’t care about the weather. It’s never windy or rough where the whales and porpoises cruise, and when you go real deep, where the kelp holds tight onto the rocks and the Spanish galleons rest on the bottom, the conditions don’t really change. The farther from the surface you get, the more constant things are.
I don’t know why this seems interesting to me right now. Maybe it’s a reminder that, even though we need to keep an eye on what the weather has in store, some things are more superficial than others. Whether we’re talking about the Narrows, the wide ocean or even about the other people we’re paddling with, it’s good to consider all three dimensions once in a while.

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