June 5th, 1998
La Jolla, California, USA

Earlier yesterday morning, Mark picked me up at Faye’s house, and drove me down to the Marina for my departure. Darryl met us there. Neither of them had much time to hang around while I packed my kayak on the dock, so they just took a few minutes to pray for me and wished me well, before leaving me to my own devices.

It was a magnificent day. I had perfect conditions, saw several dolphins, and paddled a distance of about 27 miles. There was a nude beach along the way, but I was too far from shore to get a good look. On top of the cliffs, high above the nude beach, was a popular hang-glider and para-glider launch pad. I counted a total of 13 para-gliders in the air at the same time. I wanted to be one of them.

Shortly after landing on the beach near the Scripps Institute pier in La Jolla, Preston picked me up, and took me and all my belongings back to his house - where I am now.

This morning, I went to work with Preston. Preston is employed at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and works in the Neuroscience Department studying the evolution of fish brains. I’ve never been a believer in evolution; however, after a long discussion with Preston, I now believe that some evolution within the animal kingdom has taken place. The fact that weighs in favor of evolution most, is that many of the animals that are around today, cannot be found in the fossil record from earth’s earlier years.

My main problem with evolution in general, with relation to the "Big Bang" theory, is that I find it impossible to believe that something as complex as an eye ball can be the result of an explosion. I don’t care how many billions of years people say it has taken; it goes against the laws of nature - which says that everything goes from order... to disorder. For example, if you were to stick a firecracker in an eye ball... how long do you think it would take for the particles of that eye ball to form something more complex than the eye ball itself... after being blow into little pieces? The answer is obvious. It is not going to happen. And yet, it amazes me how many people will believe that everything on the earth was created because a zillion years ago something blew-up in space.

After spending the entire morning in conversation with Preston, and touring the Neurobiology lab, I headed off to explore the Scripps aquarium. I got there a half hour before closing time, and convinced them to allow me free admission. I met a photographer who specializes in fish, and he showed me how to get great photos without getting my flash reflected in the aquarium glass. I stayed an extra 45 minutes after the aquarium closed, but I still didn’t get to see everything.

After supper, Preston lent me his mountain bike, and I rode to the launch-pad at Tory Pines to get a close-up look at the para-gliders in action. It was an awesome sight. It appeared to be effortless. They stood on the glassy slope, holding open their large rectangular shaped nylon craft open behind them, allowing it to be filled with the warm afternoon air being blow directly off the Pacific Ocean. As their craft rose into the air above them, and the lines which attached the craft to their body harness became taunt, they slowly stepped forward. Before reaching the lip of the 250 foot precipice which lay just a few paces away, they’d already be floating above the earth, as if on a swing attached to a cloud. Within seconds of lift-off they could be found 500 feet over the ocean, and a quarter mile from land. As the sun set, the entire sky was transformed into brilliant hues of pink, purple, and orange. Bringing only one roll of film was a mistake I deeply regretted.

Among my emails tonight, I received this one from Irving Oil Ltd of Saint John:

I am pleased to let you know that Irving Oil will sponsor you by way of purchasing a Magellan World phone (or comparable model) for you to use during your travels. Irving Oil considers itself as your primary sponsor in Canada. Please note that the phone must be returned to Irving Oil Limited once you have completed your journey and you have returned to Saint John as the final destination point.

I’m psyched! They just saved me two thousand and seven hundred US dollars! It feels good to know there are people who believe in me, and are willing to put their money where their mouth is.