The sea is flat, only a light wind blows. Three or four hundred yards out, the beach sounds: breeze in pines, the rush and suck of surf, a distant car; fade away. It is not silent. The hiss of the kayak's hull cutting through water, the plash and drip as I work the paddle, the outraged squawk of scoter and eider, surround me. A faraway piston-engine aircraft adds its insect whine to the mix.