Hello everyone! Well this week things weren’t up and running; they were down and getting wet in the water!! This week was mostly monitoring BLOYs and about my first time doing some real outreach on the waters of Elkhorn slough!
It started on Saturday, with a beautiful day: well ok, rewind; it really started on Monday, where I received my certification card from the Monterey Kayaks shop in Monterey, CA. (The main image is actually me doing self rescue).
(You know that feeling Charlie had when he had the golden ticket in his hand? Yup, that’s how it felt).
So back to this Saturday.. I met with staff leader (Scott) and three other volunteers; Scott showed us around the gear area and where equipment was stored, as well as lockers where we can place our personal items. He then reviewed datasheets and once we were changed and ready to go, chose our kayaks and went down to the shore. From there, we broke up into groups of two. Since it was our first shift for another volunteer and me, we actually shadowed our partner to see their approach to talking to people on the water.
We learned a lot. From the semi-generic approach of “Hello, how are you? My name is ____ and I’m with Team OCEAN..” to the completely random and personalized address; as well as many interesting facts about the wildlife that lives at Elkhorn slough.
Let me tell you; it is SO much fun being out on the water, but the people add a unique and purposeful dimension to it. It’s not just fun; its meaningful. And some people just make your experience. Like this one young woman, who came rushing to our side saying “Hi, I met some of your other people, and they told me I could ask you anything!” and then having her ask question after question and after a extremely pleasant conversation see her speeding off, as fast as she could paddle to ask her friends if THEY had any questions; while also exclaiming “These guys know everything!!”
(We don’t, but we do what we can) 🙂
Seeing the diversity of people out on the water, and their admiration of often knowledge of nature; from the fisherman that know the one-mile fishing boundary, to people that recently purchased kayaks because they love it; just being on team OCEAN has given me that pleasure and experience, that I personally don’t think I would have ever encountered if I was not in this internship. So thank you- because I have kayaked about 5 times now, and I absolutely love it!
Adding outreach to it makes it even more priceless. Time felt like it went by so fast and in the end when tallied up, I had talked to thirteen people! Not bad for the first day and it only makes me want to do it more!
Plus, you can’t beat the wildlife: southern sea otters (of course), harbor seals, leopard shark, lots of brown pelicans, nesting gulls, cormorants and even three purple striped jellies- amazing!!
Until next time-
see you on the water!