WEEK 31: KELP IS YOUR FRIEND

Original Blog Post: June 19, 2018

The first time I heard the phrase "kelp is your friend" I simply accepted it as a fact, I didn't know why kelp was my friend but I was sure that it would become clear eventually.  It did, fairly quickly.  In rough water head for a kelp bed if you can. The turbulence will dissipate among the floating bulbs and fronds and you'll have an anchor to hold on to or to drape across your deck for stability.  Also, it's a great place to sit and whale watch.

A post-storm, low tide beach will be strewn with the ropey stalks and shiny bulbs. Once I tried to weave a basket of bull kelp winding and twisting the 12-foot long stalk.  Mostly it was an exercise to save me from boredom on a bad weather beach-bound day, I wove one that fit into the palm of my hand, no larger than a toonie and another using 3 12 foot long giants that weighed about 20 lbs.   My big basket would have been ineffective for hauling anything but it had a certain beauty in form. I had to leave it lying in the sand as there was no room on my boat to bring it home.  Also, it would have smelled bad drying out.

If you have ever visited the Vancouver Aquarium you'll know that there is a large 20-foot deep tank with kelp and a current.  It's incredibly soothing to sit and watch the fish swim or hide among the long waving fingers reaching towards the surface.  Ironically, I don't like swimming in kelp as I can always imagine sea monster fingers reaching to pull me under,  I really hate the feeling of seagrass or kelp on my legs.  But when I'm in my boat I am drawn to its beauty.  I love it when the sea is clear and I can see into the depths of a giant kelp bed.

This week I had a bit of fun sitting at Decades Saturday Market flogging my cards.  Carol Kinnee set her table next to mine and we basked in the warm sunshine chatting with passersby about our projects.  I didn't make a lot of money that day but I did sit still and relax for a few hours and sometimes that's worth more than the cash.

See you next Tuesday!