I overslept. Instead of being up by 7AM as I had planned, I am up nearly a quarter after 10AM. In a mad rush to beat the rising tide I skip breakfast and break down camp at speed I never knew I was capable of. I made it to Yellow Banks beach and was forced to wait for the tide to retreat. I missed the tide by just about a half hour and wasn’t able to round the last cove. I am headed to Sand Point and should have just enough time to get there and set up camp before the sky darkens.
I made tea and looked into the far off clouds, coming closer. It was suddenly cold and I did my best to starve off any paranoia with my steaming cup. I will confess – I fear the ocean. Ever since I nearly drowned on a remote island in Costa Rica, the waves bring me to my knees. The tides on this wild coast are so powerful and crash with such force that simply seeing the tide come in filled me fear the first few days. Risks are part of any journey, but when you are at nature’s mercy, all bets are off.
I round the cove which at first seemed like the most treacherous one so far and pick up speed on the sandy banks to Sand Point. I can see the warning sign for headland trails and swell with joy and calm. The tide is low and I can walk out at least 50 feet on the ocean floor. I had the perfect reason to do – a Bald Eagle. I breathed quietly in awe of this bird’s patience with me. I would come a few feet and stop. I was less than 10 feet away when I simply stopped to marvel. The brown of his wings highlighted the white of his chest. His feathers wet and his claws gripping the rough edges of a boulder I wondered how it was all happening. I wondered if it would ever happen again.