For Aki this canoe ride is as boring as one in the car. She doesn’t mind the weather — light rain falling from gum metal clouds. It’s the lack of smells. On this large salt water lake our bee line course keeps us far away from shore with its promise of adventure. She moves nervously from side to side of the canoe straining to hear some promising sound, trying to catch an enticing scent.
If she looked down she would see grey bodied sole flattened into the sandy bottom. One bursts away when my paddle comes too close. We could easily catch a dinners worth.
Eventually Aki settles into the arms of the forward paddler, staying there until we reach the great sand bar that protects the lake, really a cove, from ocean swells. Normally a dog landing here could hope for a throwing stick to chase or some interesting flotsam to smell. But a recent large tide sterilized the bar by sweeping it clean of objects useful to a dog.
After tea and sandwiches I walk to end of the bar. Aki stays with the other adult in her life until I cross a flooded section of the bar. Then she races, ears flapping, down the sand, across the wet break and to my feet. Satisfied that I am fine, she retraces her course to the canoe.
As I return to the canoe a small barge, loaded down by a yellow school bus passes by, its outboard engines straining against the out going tide. Such things are common in this island region and I only question why a school bus is on the move on Sunday, when students have a day off.
Perhaps frustrated by the ride Aki misbehaves after we return to our starting point and charges after a raven, making it drop a crab shell it was carrying in its talons. She has never done such a thing before, the little brat. I hope the ravens forgive her and us.