July 7, 1997
Lummi Indian Reservation


First thing in the morning, Rich drove me down to the Marina, and I was on the water within a few minutes. Twenty feet beyond my bow a harbor seal led me out of the marina. There was no wind. The water was calm. I rounded Semiahmoo ten feet from the beach. Along the beach stood nine Great Blue Herons, each thirty feet apart. I think a few of them were still asleep. Some of them would fly off when I approached... some wouldn’t. The water remained calm and I continued to stay close to the shore for the next hour.

As if on cue, the wind began to gust in my face just as I started to make my first open water crossing on the journey. The crossing looked to be no more than four miles, but it was still farther than any other exposed point to point I had previously experienced. Although the tidal currents were going with me, the wind was more powerful. I couldn’t stop paddling for a second or I’d lose what I had gained. My arms got tired... So I began to sing. The rest of the day went by without incident. I paddled approximately 40 km or 25 miles.

I landed at mid-afternoon on the shores of the Lummi Indian Reservation. The tide had been going out all day, so I was left with a fifty foot haul to the high tide line. My boat was too heavy to drag up the beach, so I just left the stern in the water, and kept pulling it up bit by bit as the tide rose.

A paved road passed twenty feet above the high tide line, and the beach was used as a boat launch by the native fishermen. A few of their vehicles were in the parking lot. On the side of the road, I noticed a large sign stating "ABSOLUTELY NO TRESPASSING...To anyone other than members of the Lummi Indian Reservation - unless given special permission by the High Counsel." I walked back to the beach and pretended I didn’t see the sign.

Later, when the tide was up, a small fishing boat pulled in a few feet from my kayak. A native woman got out and started chucking 3 foot salmon one after another into a large metal bucket. "Wow!" I said to her, "Good day of fish’n, eh!" "No... Not really." she said, "I only got about thirty."

I set up my hammock in the bushes just beyond the high tide line, then fetched some water from a nearby home. I had noodles with tuna and powdered cheese sauce for supper. The sauce called for milk, so I used some skim milk powder. That ruined it. I hate the taste of powdered milk... but I ate it anyway.

I didn’t get much sleep during the night. Even though I wore most of my clothes to bed, I was still cold. I woke up twice to go pee, and countless times to see if my kayak was o.k. I had pulled it up and tied it at what I thought was the high tide line... but there was drift wood strewn ten feet beyond my boat, all the way up to the small sand cliff in front of which I was sleeping. I even thought I might wake up to find myself suspended above the water. Fortunately, the tide only came up to the back of my boat, and I didn’t get wet other than from my own cold sweat and the little bit of rain that fell during the night.