Lin Weich

Party at Sunset

The sun makes a valiant effort to resurrect itself from behind the endless drizzle. We and our kayaking guide have been marooned on this island for two days now, unable to paddle the rough, unforgiving seas.

Grabbing our tin mugs filled with brandy-laced coffee, we head down to a sandy beach to watch the final moments of the day ease into the ocean. In companionable silence, we lose ourselves in a West Coast sunset of rosy pinks etched on denim blue.

First one, then two, then as many as five, snake-like shapes coil and undulate across the now darkening sand. A family of otters are out for their evening stroll. We watch as they frolic unconcerned that their enthralled audience is observing from the tideline. They dive one by one into the gentle surf.

We remain gazing out to sea, sipping our now cold coffee.Then, less than three feet away, we hear movement. Dried grasses rustle and stones are scattered. First one, then two, then fourteen otters take turns rising on their hind legs and peering myopically at their intruders. They wheel on cue and cascade joyfully into happy waves towards the sea again.

We laugh.

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