This morning I awoke at 6:30. I did wake a couple of times in the night but slept well. It was such a wet campground that everyting, including me, got a little soggy. I packed up nonetheless and was on the water about 55 minutes after the tide had turned.There was a headwind as I rounded the corner between Revillagigedo and Bold Island that built into some nice windwaves by the time I reached Coho Cove, my favorite camp site from last year – the one where I chopped all my hair off.
I decided to tuck into the cove and visit the campsite. This was at noon so it was also a good chance to stop for lunch. A couple dozen small drift logs now cover what was my campsite last year. After I landed, the wind and waves picked up. Even though it was early in the day I decided to camp here. I only made five and a half miles today but was still tired from the ferry ride, getting out of Ketchikan, and sleeping in a soggy campsite. I set it up so that my gear line and tent are both under the fly on a dry, mossy, flat area in the forest where only a few skunk cabbages had to sacrifice themselves for me. This gave me time to go through and set all wet stuff out to dry even through the few showers that came through today. It also gave me time to forage and look for crabs. I did get some sea lettuce to add to my chili. It already had some dried kombu I had on hand when I packaged it up for the trip and tasted like sea chili. Boiled crab would have been much better. I even had a nice campfire and charged my phone 10% with it. Note to self, when charging devices with wood stove, place waterproof bags containing said devices came out of are enough away that the hot ashes don’t land on them and put a hole in them. Field patch repair complete and lesson learned.
I found myself wrestling with the choice to stay after such a short paddle. Part of me argued that I really needed to get more miles under me – that whole 11.5 mile/day average thing. If I do this expedition in three months I need to average 11.5 miles per day. That is counting a paddling start date of June 1st. I didn’t get to Ketchikan until June 3rd. I paddled 11 miles the first day and 5.5 the second. So I am now behind by 35 miles. Then I started thinking about it not being the number miles but what one sees in those miles. The highlight today was seeing my first whales, two humpbacks. I saw those from the shore of Coho Cove. I wouldn’t have seen them had I just had lunch here and then paddled on. My decision to listen to my body and enjoy the day on land was the right one. As my body adjusts to all the wet both falling from the sky and in the water, as it adjusts to longer and longer paddle days, I’ll catch up. Or maybe I won’t. That’s ok.