Darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines, it will shine out the clearer. -- J.R.R. Tolkien
It's a gray day along the coast. In the distance I can see a pair of sea kayakers, just specks silhouetted against the silvery sky and water, dipping in an out of sight with each heave of the ocean.
|Kayaking in La Jolla Cove|
At low tide, this rocky beach reveals fascinating pools of water with full of strange and mysterious sea life. Nearby is the Children’s Pool, a seawall built to protect kids from incoming waves, but now it has been taken over by the local harbor seal population during annual seal pupping season. They rest on the beach with little interest to the tourists taking cell phone pictures. I'll walk out along the well-worn path of the seawall for a close-up view of this marine world.
|The Children's Pool in La Jolla|
In June 1542, Spanish explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo departed from the West Coast of Mexico and sailed northward along the coastline of the Pacific in search of the Strait of Anian, the mythical all-water route across North America, a cousin in sorts to the legendary Northwest Passage linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
Since Columbus' voyages, Europeans had hopes of finding a shorter route to the Orient. Once, realizing that North America was not India but an entirely different continent, the explorers still thought that an elusive all-water navigable route through the New World might be found.
Hugging the coastline and repeatedly sailing east into any promising bay or cove that would hopefully lead to the Strait of Anian, Cabrillo became one of the first Europeans to explore what would become California's coastline. He is credited with the discovering San Diego Bay, Santa Catalina Island, San Clemente, San Pedro Bay and Monterey Bay, yet totally missed the fog encased San Francisco Bay. He got as far as the Russian River before turning back.
|Portaging on the American River|
Cabrillo died after a wound became infected by gangrene on the return voyage and
his discoveries went unnoticed because all of the expedition records were lost after his death.
Of course, he failed to discover the Strait of Anian. That southern shortcut linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans would never be found. It would take another 363 years before an Arctic explorer would make the first all-water crossing over North America. Cold and far too treacherous it was hardly a shortcut to the Orient.
I look out over the horizon of the ocean at the end of the seawall. From this point, I can feel the ebb and flow of the sea run through me. The salty air kisses my lips and the ocean spray licks my feet. I imagine Cabrillo expedition sailing past me and exploring the bay. I know the magic of travel by way of water. It’s that time of year again. The water is calling, beckoning us to come on out and explore and search for the quickest route. But beware, as J.R.R. Tolkien, warned, “Shortcuts make long delays.” Until then, be smart, have fun, and be safe!
|The American River|
Here is a look at some of my favorite images from this year so far.
We are always looking for guest bloggers to share their adventures stories and pictures. Keep up with Outside Adventure to the Max on our Facebook page and Instagram.
|North Fork of the American River|
|The River Store|
|Paddling with Current Adventures|
|A sunset paddle on Lake Natoma|