This is the mouth of the Russian River. As you can see, it's calm and peaceful at this point, perfect for kayaking. Especially perfect for kayaking at sunset/moonrise.
Moonrise over the eastern hills. Kind of fuzzy -- handheld in a floating boat, after all. It was orange, really -- sorry the color didn't really shine through here.
Still later, from the beach. We'd beached the kayaks on the river side, then walked across to the Pacific to meditate. I didn't do much meditating -- lay back exhausted and watched the stars and moon and listened to the sounds of incoming tide and surf.
I had a white-water kayak for a year and loved it, but aside from playing with my boat in still water enough to learn to make it go in a straight line (not easy in a whitewater kayak!), I didn't do much flatwater paddling. Whitewater is very different from paddling in still water. In whitewater, you're mostly moving with the current of the stream you're on and the paddle is used mostly for steering, keeping upright, maybe paddling through a rapid. This was constant paddling, and we took an extra long route, hoping to find a different place to stop. After awhile, my arms felt as if they were going to fall off! It didn't help that I'd spent an hour using a old-fashioned slingblade to clear weeds and grasses along a trail that afternoon, so my arms were tired before we even started.
I just didn't have the strength for this kind of thing, and alternated between internal whining and full awareness of the beauty and joy of being where I was. I'm sore and stiff this morning, and tomorrow morning will be worse, no doubt, but I'm so glad I went. I was up way past my bedtime so I'm a little groggy this morning, will make an easy day of it.
But what an experience! Many thanks to the people who made it happen.