The cool gentle breeze across the protected slough. The splash of the frolicking harbor seals nearby. The saucer plate-sized dark eyes in black-, grey-, and white-dabbled heads popping out of the ocean a few feet away. Sacks of thick fur-coated otters lounging on the sand bars with harbor seals. Harbor seals with heads and tails kept high out of the water, their bodies shaped in the letter U. An eerily beautiful orange and translucent jellyfish several feet across, silently floating by. Dark-colored living sand dollars plucked from the sandy shallows of a beach. Bristly. Sadness for the one fed to a starfish. Back into the ocean, the sandy bed, goes the sand dollar I examined. The wacking sound of an otter slamming a shell against the pillar of a bridge. Again and again, until he could finally crack it open with his teeth. Pelicans gliding low just over the water. Cormorants half extending their wings as they sat on the banks, drying from recent dives into the ocean for food. A flock of terns with their high-pitched shrieks. All the while I was paddling. Paddling. With nature everywhere I turned.