Today was a really interesting day. not only because it was fun but because it was a day of person growth. First lets start off with yesterday. Yesterday was more of an academic adventure. We had allot of class room studies yesterday. It started off with a training on liability insurance and “dont do anything stupid insurance” and other stuff blah blah. Then we went to Toyon Camp to see their fish and shark labs since our are not finished yet. We learned about the different fish found in the waters and what games to play and what to do. It was really interesting.
For all my fish geeks out there.. did you know there is a fish called a top smelt that does not have a lateral line system? Weird right? For those of you who dont know here is a learning moment. Have you ever looked at a fish and seen a “line” separating the body? Well that line is a series of pores in the fishes “skin” that allows them to sense the changes in water pressure around there body. This is the reason fish can school so exactly. Anyway this smelt lacks a lateral line and therefore cannot really sense any pressure movement in the water. And our boss was telling us of sometimes on night snorkels with kids these fish, which rely on sight, will group together and when you blind them with flashlights they will literally crash into the kids hahahah.
Anyway after fish, we went over to the shark lab. The only new pieces of information I got there were on the specific species that we see on Catalina. Doing shark presentations at the Maine State Aquarium really helped there. And after sharks came marine mammals. Again a walk in the park because of the aquarium this summer. However the notes on Sea lions were new for me… but still very cool.
Now on to today. We were all very excited to go do something today because of all the classroom stuff yesterday. And Kayaking and a hike sounded like the perfect answer. We put in at about 830 and set sail in our kayaks. The water was so clear it was like kayaking on long lake in the summer… some waves but very calm. There were a bunch of sea lions but no dolphins this time. We paddled out 3 miles to a place called goat beach. From there we put on our hiking stuff and started to hike… umm false..Climb is more like it. We were hiking a natural drainage that the mountain uses so there were lose rocks and giant rocks, erosion and dirt everywhere. Once we passed that death trap we got to a grassy field. Which would have been nice if it was not going nearly straight up. After the grassy steep hill of one-slip-and-gone we came to our hardest part. a near rock face that was 40 feet high, on a cliff and nearly straight up… oh luckily there was a rope to guide me… ha ha. It was slow and painful, with all the cacti everywhere, but I made it to the top… the view was great, and we even got to see two grey whales in the water below. But the harest part was not over… going down everything we came up was 556558565145 times harder and more scary. I was slow, and I may have slowed the group down but as James, the old fish who was guiding us, “slow is pro.” My response… “then I guess im the most pro today.”
It was an intense day of hiking, kayaking and over coming some self doubt and looking deeper to find the strength to carry on in the face of fear. Wow. what a day.
After writing all that I am reminded of a quote that Crystal Lynn would also know.
“Feel the fear… and do it anyway.”