June 30, 2019 – Today I got to see what I missed. And then some. This morning, after breakfast, the honeymooners from Switzerland and I climbed into one of the lodge’s motorboats with Pilot Clark, his wife Lorraine, and guide Jack, and we started out by just seeing what was out there. The first things were Dall’s porpoises. They are fairly large porpoises with a thick, strong body, and almost look like a mini-orca. They are super fast too, and spent over half an hour playing in the wake of our motor boat. This was my first time seeing them.
We then went into an inlet where bears have been sighted recently but not there today. We did see one very small black-tailed deer – my first this trip.
We then went to the southern end of Price Island (the Canadian one, not the one in Skamokawa). There we saw at least 200 Steller’s sealions. I’ve never seen males a large as some of these, maybe 2,000 lbs.? They were magnificant. Many of the younger ones were quite curious about us and hung out in a pod near the boat. They would jump up and flip nearby and/or just stick their heads out and watch us.
After hanging with the sealions we headed down to Bella Bella to drop off the newlyweds and pick up five new lodge guests. While waiting for the dropoffs and pickups I got to walk the loop of Bella Bella. They are erecting a very large longhouse. The construction seems to be steel frame, with wood strips attached to that to which they are attaching the finishing cedar planks – a design that ought to last a long long time. The town of Bella Bella seems a little larger than Klemtu, with a hospital and airport.
Most importantly, we went the route from Klemtu to Bella Bella that I would have paddled. It definitely would have been doable for me, but I am a little relieved I didn’t do it as the last exposed part was really big, with big crossings. That would have added more days than I had originally planned for so it was good reinforcement for the decision to ferry to Port Hardy. Plus, I actually got to experience Bella Bella for a while. Someday I’ll go back perhaps.
After supper I was able to do the sanding and sealant on BABS’ hull. It should be good and dry in time to test paddle it tomorrow. All of the drybag repairs are dry and tomorrow I will get everything packed up and all of it will be completely dry. It will be nice to start the second leg of this journey with all equipment mended and dry.
It will also be wonderful to see my doggy in just a little over 48 hours when Uncle Sidney and he pick me up at the ferry in Port Hardy.
A great day on the water today for me and many new cherished memories of this special place.