Finally Back on the Water
June 16, 2019 – After six days of no paddling, it felt fantastic to be on the water again. It felt so good I paddled 18.4 miles. Four of those were technically backtracking because I had already come in the main channel to Prince Rupert and, since I was so close to the top of Saien Island, I opted to paddle the two miles to the top tip and come down the other side. The first reason was to come out a different way than I came in. The second was that there was a lot of boat traffic, including smaller cruise ships, on the Prince Rupert side. I figured it would be much quieter on the other side. I was rewarded for my decision by a young harbor seal coming up right next to my boat – where I would normally put my paddle in the water to take a stroke. It was that close. It stayed there just long enough for me to get my camera out, then dove before I could take a photo.
I was right about both deciding factors, except that at the top of the island is where you’ll find the terminal for the commercial float planes. Mercifully, it was Sunday, and just about everybody here seems to take Sundays off. Once I got past the float plane area, it got really nice, with fewer signs of human habitation. As I approached Port Edward, a little fishing village with some minor industrial maritime activity. It was an ebb tide and there is a little inlet into the main channel between the two bodies of land, so I got to do a little whitewater kayaking. It definitely got my heart rate up, but I remembered my old whitewater days and studied the two rapid areas before engaging, and came through just fine. The strong eddies in those areas were challenging with BABS being so long, but we made it through with no incident.
It took some work getting on the water – now hauling BABS and three weeks of supplies and gear four city blocks to the yacht club launch. That was enough to wear me out, but then it took two hours to get the boat loaded. I still ended up with a bunch of bags strapped to the stern deck. The timing was good as far as the tide and current in that I was able to maintain an average speed of 3 mph.
After passing Port Edward, the sun was low in west making for some beautiful skies. It was so nice I just decided to keep paddling. I decided that I would padde for six hours, getting off the water at 8 pm. Today was the first time I felt I was paddling the Inside Passage. The colors, the water, the calmness felt so good I wrote a little ditty entitled, “I’m Paddling the Inside Passage”. I know, it needs work.
I found a beach on this island above Porcher Island that has a nice mossy area up above the rocks. I secured BABS to a tree branch in case the 20′ flood came that far up the beach, then stowed two IKEA bags higher up on the rocks, then took the remaining IKEA bag with tent, sleeping bag and other items I’d need and hiked up to the forest above. I found a tent site thick with soft moss, so I slept like a baby – except when I awoke a few times to hear the water below and hoping I’d stowed everything securely enough. I was asleep by midnight.
The forecast for the week calls for some rain and wind, but I think being tucked in so far in the passage that I will not get the full brunt of the wind. The rain? Well, that will just be. I sprayed some waterproofing stuff on my sleeping bag and tent bottom while in Prince Rupert. Hopefully that will help keep me dryer.