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My mom shook her head. “There were spots in Hammersley Inlet that not even my dad would navigate.” I look over at my map of kayaking explorations. Drat. It looked like such a good idea. I suppose it’s a narrow enough inlet to cause trouble. My mom elaborates on her point. Whirlpools and things like that. This, from the lady who decided it would be a good idea to paddle under the bridge during a storm, with the tide coming in. Yeah, there’s a reason for those big waves there.

I sigh. Oh well. There are plenty of other inlets to explore. And islands. I loved the old dilapidated house the best. It leaned over the bank precariously, though it did not have far to fall. It’s roof was of moss (where there was roof), and its front door was missing, and ferns grow among the rotten floorboards. On a neighboring island wander the deer. Had they swum out there way back when? I look across to the mainland. Crazy deer.

I’ll paddle into the sun on a cold, cold day. There is frost on the shore, and spiking on the seashells, there in the shade. And later, I’ll paddle into a forest of moon jellies. Is it a converging of tides? I scoop up some on my yellow paddle, letting them slide across its surface and plop back into the water. And I’ll scare off a colony of seabirds from their roost, watching them wing out over the water and return.

And I will return. But only after I’m soaked by the chill water. My last day of kayaking before winter sets in.

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