Kayaking in Monterey. (Weekly Photo Challenge: Ephemeral)

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Good Evening:

Glorious Saturdays. those most ephemeral creatures, must never go waste! And when you work with people who like their jobs and each other, you can’t let the opportunity to have fun together slip past, either. Monterey, California looks especially glorious during March, so seven of us took a day trip down south to go kayaking.

Only our ringleader Edwin had any ocean kayaking experience. Yours truly has canoed in lakes and very mild-mannered rivers; going from those to the sea rather resembles a two-year-old going from the kiddie pool to the deep end. The other five? Zero experience whatsoever.

Sea lions love humans like us.

Edwin Wonders Why His Co-Workers Are Paddling Out to the Ocean

Edwin Wonders Why His Co-Workers Are Paddling Out to the Deep Ocean

With one real kayaker and six landlubbing city slickers, the comic potential became reality quite quickly as we kept bumping into each other, pausing for breaks after getting winded easily, and saying, “Whoa! Whoa, whoa!” whenever an incoming wave reminded us how little control we had over our own fates. Still some of us learned quickly, such as our highest-ranking member.

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A few shots of the scenery from the bay.

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Speaking ephemeral, I now present the last picture I will ever take with my Nikon CoolPix S9100.

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Oh, these kids today–they’ll text from anywhere.

So why is this my last picture with this camera? A moment later, some kind of miniature rogue wave grabbed a hold of our kayak and flipped us. Saltwater is as deadly to digital cameras as you might have heard. Fortunately, the memory card survived intact and we managed to extract all of the shots. The S9100 is dead; long live my new S9900.

Anyway, after we righted ourselves, the sea lions watching stopped barking and made a different sort of noise, rather like a gaggle of honking Canada Geese with very bad sore throats. Edwin and I continued on our way and explored Monterey’s remarkable kelp beds. When we paddled past the sea lions again on our way home, that same group of sea lion looked at us and again made a different sort of noise, rather like a gaggle of honking Canada Geese with very bad sore throats.

And I have to wonder.

Did they recognize us?

And were they laughing at us??

Vonn Scott Bair

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