As the water taxi slowly chugged around a narrow point of land jutting out into the channel, a slight movement caught my attention. I strained to identify the surreal shape barely visible through the cold damp fingers of West Coast fog enclosing our boat. Kelp and salt snatched at our throats as we held our breath. With eyes tearing in the effort to visualize the ghost-like apparition, we stared at the near-by shoreline.
There. There it was. A black wolf sniffed amongst the smooth pebbles lining the beach. We listened to the chatter from overturned stones as this creature searched for breakfast. The outline of its lean body became clearer as we stood transfixed at the railing. We watched.
Sensing our presence, the wolf lifted its head and a feral stare met our eyes. Freedom, wilderness and pride were communicated in that eternal moment.