July 9, 1997
Whidbey Island, Washington, USA

I woke up to a big breakfast that Bob’s wife, Joanne, had made for me. And I really enjoyed a hot shower... Amazingly the Lord provides.

Since the tides weren’t favorable until after lunch, I spent the morning writing emails, and looking at charts. Joanne made me salmon sandwiches for lunch, then she and her son, David, came down to the shore to give me a send-off.

When I reached the main flow of water, the current quickly carried me down the Swinomish Canal. As I was cruising along I made eye contact with a man motoring a large yacht approaching in the opposite direction. It appeared as though he was the only one on board. "This is the life!!!" he hollered down at me in passing. We both went on our separate ways with big fat grins on our faces. It was raining ...but neither of us seemed to care. It was Tuesday. People work, or go to school on Tuesdays. But not us... We had more important things to do.

Eventually, the weather cleared up, and the sun turned the water into gold. All around me, high cliffs rose straight up from the water. Perched on the edge of the gorge, were beautifully constructed houses. I wished my camera wasn’t packed away in my rear hatch, but sometimes you just have to enjoy the moment, and let your mind take the pictures.

Upon reaching Whidbey Island, I landed on a small beach in front of a large house. I walked around to the back, and knocked on the door. A man in his seventies came to the door. "Would you mind if I got some water from you to cook my dinner?" I requested. "You’ll be eating your dinner wherever you’re staying tonight!", the man retorted. "Use the spicket on the side of the house!" He then shut the door. Through the window, I could see him sitting back down into his comfortable chair to waste a few more hours of his miserable life in front of the television; in his beautiful home, over-looking beautiful Skatgit Bay. Whenever I meet stupid people like that, I never take it personally. I have no idea why some people are such big jerks! " I mean hell... What does this guy have to lose by treating me with respect!?! Heaven forbid... I should ever mat down the grass on his lawn!

There was no other obvious place to hang my hammock, so paddled another two hundred feet down the shore and cleared out a space between two fallen trees. It rained off and on throughout the night, and I got very little sleep. I had strange dreams. Most of them were about sleeping bags. Once, I sat up, looked around and thought to myself, "How did I get in my boat?". The two pointed ends of my hammock kinda look like a kayak. Now that I think about it, sitting up-right in a hammock would also cause you to rock like a kayak. So... I’m not totally nuts...