Saturday, September 6, 2014

San Fog Juanderers: My Introduction to Whitman

This year I am lucky to be a transfer super-sophomore at Whitman College. I'm grateful for the two years I had as an Ohio State Buckeye, and now I am elated to begin my three years as a... Fighting Missionary?

(I prefer the ultimate team mascot, Lady Sweets!)

I started my Whitman experience in the coolest way possible: sea kayaking for seven days through the San Juan Islands! Whitman has a stellar outdoors program which puts on pre-orientation wilderness trips called Scrambles.

Although my Scramble was originally named "San Juan Wanderers," we relabeled ourselves the "San Fog Juanderers," and that's about all you need to know. Please enjoy these photos taken by one of our wonderful and wacky leaders, Haley Forrester.

At first, it took us a while to pack all our gear into those skinny little kayaks.

But it always fit in the end.

I felt so accomplished each morning after packing up camp and loading the boats, but by that point we still had a whole day's paddle ahead of us!

When we arrived at camp, our first order was putting up the Themple.

Then I liked to take a coooooold, salty bath.

One of the best parts was the incredible amount of wildlife!

We found several Moon Jellies and this enormous Lion's Mane (I think?)

The highlight was this epic Giant Pacific Octopus chilling a few feet below our kayaks as we launched!!!

My single favorite moment was waking up on the top of Blind Island after sleeping under the stars.
(Pictured here is one of our stupendous leaders, Hilary.)

We named ourselves the "San Fog Juanderers" because our departures were delayed nearly every day by thick marine fog.

But the fog wasn't all bad -- it turned our morning campsites into glowing cloudscapes.

Tired, salty, and rather unclean, we held our final cookout breakfast in line for the Lopez-Anacortes Ferry.

And as soon as we got back in our van... our collective iPhone addition became apparent.

I'm so glad I get to see these smiling faces around campus all the time.

Or more often... these ridiculously derpy faces!

And most of all, thank you to our unbelievably awesome leaders.
They were always there to look out for us.... except at beach-nap time. :)

2 comments:

  1. Gorgeous setting. I could hardly see the octopus, camouflaged as a piece of orange seaweed, but now that I see her she's lovely. I especially like the foggy morning forest campsite. The colorful kayaks and paddles are like a rainbow against the sea and sky.

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  2. YAAAAAAAAYYYY
    Nina, this is AWESOME!

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