Last night a north wind blew down Lynn Canal, exceeding 70 knots an hour over Portland Island. It is still blowing. Aki and I are trying to dodge the wind in an old growth forest just five miles from the island. The wind hammers the forest canopy, breaking off small branches and spruce cones scattered on the icy trail.
It’s just past high tide when we leave the forest for the beach. Wind driven waves slam onto the beach, tearing into the barrier band of beach grass. I have to take care not to step on broken root wads of grass. Sand and shredded strands of seaweed discolor the snow covered trail, thrown there by the waves that hit the beach at high tide.
I’ve never seen waves this big on this beach. In the 20 years I have visited it, the beach has never suffered the kind of damage done to by these waves. I worry that the sound of pounding waves will scare Aki but she acts like she would on a calm, summer day.
A cloud of gulls forms just offshore after the birds burst off the water. I think I can see an eagle flying in and out of the cloud. In minutes they settle back on the back, riding the swells with ease.