The story below was shared by an Anonymous Camper…we hope you enjoy seeing camp through his eyes.
My instructor smiles and says “are you ready?” With a nod of my head, my instructor pushes on the back of my kayak, and I glide off shore and on to the ocean. We are headed for Whites Landing. I don’t know where it is but since the class I’m in is “Extreme Catalina,” I know its probably pretty far. Our goal is to kayak to Whites Landing and hike back. Since the hardest hike I have ever done was a trip with my parents to our local park, this will probably be the most difficult day ever!
For some, this is just another trip on the ocean, but for me its the first time on the ocean. Right now the ocean seems so flat and all I can see around me is my friends on kayaks and the ocean. I can’t even see California. It’s really easy to feel small out here. The best part is that this isn’t the only time I get to do this! I am here on Catalina for three weeks.
Kayaking is different than anything I have ever done. I have my own boat! I have my own paddle and I get to choose where to go. Our instructor taught us how to paddle and how to wear a life jacket and then just took us out on the ocean. We spend time looking for dolphins, whales, and even something called a Mola. My instructor tells me that this is a type of fish called an ocean sunfish and it spends the days deep in the ocean hunting jellyfish. After it has eaten, it heads to the surface to lay out and warm up. Birds will even land on them and remove parasites. Apparently they can get to be as big as a me!
About halfway there, we see splashes off in the distance and the splashes are heading our way. My counselor and instructor get really excited and tell us to paddle faster. My arms are so sore I can’t even imagine going faster until they yell “Dolphins!” I have never seen them up close and they are so fast. The first dolphin popped up just off my boat and surprised me. The second one went under my boat and I swear it looked right at me. I practically fell out of my boat trying to look at it. Soon at least a dozen swim by breathing and diving. It was so cool!
Hopefully this won’t be the last time I see dolphins this summer and this will not be the last time I come to camp. It was a moment that I will never forget.