An epic sea kayaking adventure down the west coast of Canada.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Trip Log Part 2: Spirit Bear

Day 10 –An island off Finlayson Peninsula on Campania to South Campania Island
Date: July 5
Distance: 15 nautical miles
Duration: 6 hours
Actual conditions: Tide and wind against

It was misty and foggy with visibility to about 2 miles.  We went through boomers and reefs.  We passed many beautiful beaches but the mountains stayed shrouded in clouds.  We stopped to check for camps and to get water.  Water was gushing out all along the forest from the recent stormy downpour. Streams were in full flood.  We saw 6 bald eagles, kingfishers, kerlew, and seals.  We built a driftwood log floor to pitch our tent on since water was flooding everywhere above the high tide line.

Building a platform for the tent

Tent and tarp on a wooden platform

Tent and tarp on a wooden platform

Day 11 – Campania Island to IR on Princess Royal Island
Date: July 6
Distance: 27 nautical miles
Duration: 9+ hours
Actual conditions:

The paddle today was long and hard.  We started off with a 9 mile crossing from Campania to Princess Royal Island.  There was a strong current coming out of the inlet and a small tidal race forming.   Once the crossing was over the coastline was beautiful with millions of spiny sea urchins and starfish along with some sea cucumbers.   We paddled tight to the rocks eddy hopping for hours.  We stopped at the first beach we saw.  The sun came out.  Yay!  We laid everything out to dry.

Urchins everywhere ... but strangely, no sea otters

Kirti hangs on to the kayaks during a brief afternoon rest

Finally the sun is shining and we can dry things at our camp

It looks like nicer weather may be in store

Day 12 –IR on Princess Royal Island to Klemtu
Date: July 7
Distance: 30 nautical miles
Duration: 10 hours
Actual conditions:

We left camp and saw an eagle fly into the water near some kelp.  It appeared to be stuck as it flapped about.  It had a fish in its talons and swam with it, struggling to reach a rocky outcropping.  It shook its feathers and flew low to a bush and later up to a nest where we heard a baby eagle.  We saw kayaks camped at Miln Island, but no people.  At the entrance of Meyers passage we stopped for lunch. Just as we left, a boat came over to chat.  They were a fisheries unit doing a study and diving.  They were from Klemtu.  These were the first people we had encountered since Porcher Island. Earnie jokingly asked if we had permits for Meyers passage.  We saw lots of sea urchins, sea stars and sea cucumbers again.  We saw a grizzly quite close and were able to watch it a bit.  We didn’t find the petroglyphs that we had read about earlier.  We had current with us for part of the passage and when we turned the corner it was against us, and strong.  It then became quite tough going as we eddy hopped when we could. It was like going up a river.  Quite a bit of the wall shoreline had no eddies.  We got into Klemtu and were able to stay at a place called the Bunkhouse where we spent 5 ½ hours sorting, cleaning, drying and repacking gear.  We had showers and stayed the night.

The eagle with its fish

Kirti heading toward Meyers Passage

Jenny and some giant mussels

Eating lunch with the midges waiting for the tide to turn

There were many giant sun stars

Our first sighting of the grizzly bear

Grizzly bear eating grass

Jonathan takes a closer look without going into the shallows

Jenny and the grizzly bear

Day 13 – Klemtu to South Islet off of Cicilia Island
Date: July 8
Distance: 27 nautical miles
Duration: 7 1/2 hours
Actual conditions: We had wind and tide with us for the first part of the day but not the last 4 miles.  We also saw sunshine!

We paddled in our shorty drytops.  We stopped on the south side of Klemtu on the way out to look at the longhouse paintings.  There were lots of porpoises in Finlayson Channel and we had great visibility. We enjoyed the views of mountains and we had some texture with wind waves and a bit of a tide race as we went across Milbanke Sound.  There was a lot of boat and plane traffic - at least more than we were used to.  We stopped for lunch on the East side of Dallas.  It had a lovely white sand beach.  We saw moon snail egg casing rings.  We had our first encounter with other kayakers.  They gave us a tip about a good camp at an islet.  They were heading to Klemtu to catch a ferry out.  We stopped at cockle bay and checked out the Heiltsuk cabin there.  It had a good design for a big group of people.  We paddled on to the Roar Islets. Wolves were howling as we drifted off to sleep.

Longhouse at Klemtu

Raven and wolf

Eagle and orca

White sand near Dallas Island

White sand beach near Dallas Island

Finally, lunch in the sunshine

Lewis's Moonsnail

Preparing dinner at Roar Islets

Blue topsnail shell

Blue topsnail shell

Our Bibler Bombshelter at Roar Islets

Early morning at Roar Islets

Jenny ready to launch from Roar Islets

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