July 10, 1997
Clinton, Washington, USA

I was on the water by 7am. Skagit Bay was glassy smooth. It was perfect paddling conditions. I kept my mind busy by watching the seals watch me. Their heads would come out of the water like submarine periscopes, then submerge again without creating a ripple. I played games, trying to guess where the next one was going to reappear. I was always wrong.

After reaching the end of the bay, I paddled through a maze of long grass and cat tails, then down a short channel, and into a large shallow bay. The clouds cleared and it became hot and sunny. The bay was perfectly calm and incredibly shallow. I was in the very middle of the bay(over a mile from either shore) and it was still only two feet deep. I decided to take off my life jacket and paddle my boat like a K-1 racing kayak - with my knees up close to my chest. It worked well and I was able to move along quite fast.

Two hours later, I exited the bay ten miles northwest of Evert. Evert is not a very large city, but it is known for having the largest building in the world - the Boeing aircraft manufacturing plant. A guy who used to work there told me that it takes at least an hour to walk around the perimeter of the building.

This evening, I pulled into a beach with very nice homes on it. I went up to one of the houses and asked if I could cook my supper on their picnic table. Ten minutes later, I was using Vicki’s microwave and she said "If you like, you are welcome stay in the guest room over-night". Clean clothes and a shower later, I’m a new man. Life is good!

I spent most of this evening writing email, and speaking with Vicki’s husband, Dugan. He asked me where I stayed last night, and I told him, "There was no town near by...but I think the Island is called Whidbey." "You’re still on Whidbey..." he told me, "This is the longest island in the lower forty-eight states." I was very surprised. Whidbey Island's shape is deceptive. I thought I had paddled past the end of it early this morning.

Seattle is only 25 Km away, I’ll be there tomorrow...