I would not describe myself as athletic or outdoorsy; true, I do enjoy yoga, light dancing, even swimming, but when a sport involves battling against the nature, I usually feels cozier with a cup of hot coca in my bed. However, since I am in Maine, I joined a kayak trip at Bigelow last weekend. So this episode is named “Josephine versus nature: the challenge.”
We started out in the charming town of Boothbay Harbor, with our friendly guide Emily and Scientist Pete from Bigelow. I was truly scared when helped into the kayak, because immediately I started floating further and further from the dock. The weather was foggy with a slight drizzle, which means that my glasses rendered me almost blind; to a green kayaker, it felt like doom. I was always left at the back of the company, and Emily made it seemed so effortless to just float to the front of everyone. After the first few hours, I felt a lot more at ease, enjoying the experience at my own pace.
As the sun peeked through the clouds and the rain cleared, the paddling became a lot more enjoyable. The ocean’s gentle waves and timid music calms my fear of dying a salty death. My arms have gone numb so I could not feel the pain. My mind wonders as the ocean cradled me. It was a nice change of pace from the busy first week.
I thought about why I was doing this program. It is quite a far jump, since my major is Psychology, and I really haven’t done much about marine sciences. I do always love the ocean, but is it reason enough to devote a whole semester? A semester that I could have used to say, fulfill more of the requirements?
To me, scientists, psychologists, anthropologist all have the same origin; they are all thinkers, dreamers. What made Newton great was that instead of eating that apple like every other person, he thought. He devoted time and related the slight bump on his head to all the other things that were attracted to the core of the Earth. To me, knowledge is never wasted, and everything is worth learning; what better time it is to dip a foot at everything that I am interested? Isn’t that the essence of a liberal arts education? In the ocean of knowledge, only those who are willing to risk all kinds of waves can truly understand the glory and be masters of the sea; every aspect of knowledge was harvested with great effort and should be tasted like good wine.
We stopped at a beautiful little island for ice cream, and this fruit of our labor is sweeter than any nectar. At night we enjoyed a relaxed but somewhat awkward night standing around the warmth of the fire; in the dense fog, a party boat circled and blasted live rock and roll music. I loved eating the camp food that my mind would never allow me to eat; Velveeta and butter and chicken and beans fueled me with energy for another day of paddling.
This is Pete, and I love surprise photos.
The next day was sunny and beautiful. At breakfast we had eggs and sausage, but I am too timid to brave the cowboy coffee. We paddled past the ship used in Pirates of the Caribbean (“Arrrgh!”) and back to reality.
We did a total of 22 miles around various islands around Boothbay. At night when I reached home, my whole body just gave up and fell into a heap; I could not even reach my phone to answer a call from my parents.
All in all, it was a great weekend.