Say Hello to My Little Friend
July 4, 2019 – The day began in Port Hardy at the Providence Inn motel. Uncle and I made breakfast on the campstove just outside in back of the motel. Then everything was packed and we drove to the marina.
Launching is so much easier when one has help! I realized after we got there that I could load the kayak on the dock and together we could lift it over the rail and put it in the water. No hanging over half my body over the side railing of the very tall dock float. Yes!
After my very easy launch out of the marina I met with choppy water that lasted the rest of the day. Lots of swell and waves that at this point really don’t make me nervous any more. About half way along I noticed a specifically shaped “log” floating about 20 feet in front of me. One of those logs about three feet long with a round end and a bunch of little sticks on the other end. I saw it about three minutes before the log saw me, but once it did see me it didn’t dive. It was as curious about me as I was about it. The sea otter and I stared at each other for a good minute or two before I slowly and gently put one end of my paddle in the water and took a small stroke. The otter continued to stick the upper half of its body out of the water watching me. I took a few more strokes and noticed that it was staying on my starbord side, maintaining the same distance. I paddled slowly but steadily onward and the otter stayed with me for ten minutes, until we came to a place where there small rock islands between us. It didn’t come out on the other side. Out of site out of mind, I guess, for the otter anyway but not for me.
I also got to experience my first cruise ship wakes today. They were two smaller ships; they looked like the one from the old Love Boat television series. They were way on the other side of Broughton Straight and they were going very slow so by the time they got to me they were pretty small.
At the end of a fine 19+ mile paddle, I arrived at the campground just north of Port McNeill where Uncle Sidney and Gaston were waiting for me. It feels rather luxurious to pull up in the kayak and have someone there to help carry it to the campsite. On top of that, Uncle Sidney had picked up a box of sparklers and some firewood. He built a very nice fire, made s’mores for us, we lit up our sparklers to celebrate US Independence Day.