July 24 — Day Off in the Wind

After the long hard day yesterday I took a day off today, and the weather seemed to agree with me – it was sunny and windy right from the get go, and warm. I mostly just hung around, dozing in my tent in the sunshine, lounging on the beach, and procrastinating all the tasks I had been meaning to tackle. But when I am so tired and busy from paddling all day, I just don’t feel like dealing with non-pressing chores. I’d rather go to sleep.

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Early morning cruise ship traffic

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Osprey often kept me company

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I had cashews dipped in honey for lunch. I am also starting to crave sugar. I just want to eat it raw. At every meal I just take a spoonful of brown sugar. I guess I need the calories. I brought a kilogram with me.

One thing I needed to do was use dental floss to sew up my sleeping bag. I have had my sleeping bag for a very long time, probably over 15 years. It has become my best friend and goes with me to all sorts of interesting places, but not if they are warm because it is a winter sleeping bag. It is way too warm for any warm climate. But after all these years it is starting to become frayed up near the head. I need to sew it up to keep the synthetic filling from coming out. But I didn’t do that today.

Other things I did instead included searching for some pieces of wood shaped like my head. What would I want with that, you may ask? I could use it as an anchor for holding my sports video camera sturdily on my head. I attached the camera to my headlamp but it flops around whenever I move my head and creates frustrating video movement. If that mount was also attached to a piece of wood wrapped around my head it would make it more sturdy. I found two potential pieces but didn’t do anything with them other than keep them for possible later use.

I also walked down the beach to the other side of the cove and took photos of this really nice camping spot. I’d highly recommend it. It should be protected in both south-easterly and north-westerly winds. It has a muddy / sandy area for putting in and pulling out. It even has water in dry weather.

I also charged up a lot of my batteries in the sun. I also may have to take out one of the 16 GB SD cards from one of my DSLR cameras and use it in a video camera since I am running out of space and I don’t want to fire up the computer until absolutely necessary. I would replace it with a 1 or 2 GB card since the cameras use less memory.

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But most importantly today, I dealt with another more pressing concern that needed attending – fixing my water filter. Beside my tent was a nice big log which served as a workbench for doing this. The acrylic rod which pushes the piston during the pumping action had cracked cleanly and it fit back together perfectly. Luckily, I had brought some “cyanoacrylate” crazy clue with me which I had picked up for $3. I assume that cyanoacrylate will bond well with acrylic since the name is very similar. What luck! Or was it good planning? I set to work fixing my filter, as you can follow below.

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You can see the gasket and plunger which broke off inside the cylinder. The piston to which this used to be attached is below.

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With a poke from the piece of my fishing rod which I got from Bryan way back in Desolation Sound, the plunger was out.

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Ready to glue the two pieces together with crazy glue

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The glue was dried up at the tip so I used a needle to clear it. I’ll just let it set for a few hours now…

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Greasing up the gasket with silicone grease which I just happened to bring with me … then it will be ready to put back together. It probably broke because the gasket got too dry and stiff.

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And I’ll replace the prefilter while I’m at it.

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Doh!! The piston is supposed to slide THROUGH that red ring, whcih then screws on the body! How am I going to get it through there now? I’ll have to break it! So now I’m worse off than when I started!

So, with that huge mistake under my belt, I decided to instead collect some water from the creek without filtering it. I would dump out the gross old plasticky water from the drybag and get some more. The creek, as it entered the beach, was brackish and full of washed-up seaweed so I searched for a way into the forest to go further up to a cleaner spot. I quickly found a trail into the woods which was well worn, but low hanging. I had to duck down to walk through. Obviously this was a game trail, probably bear. It led through beautiful old growth cedar forest to a pool in the creek and I filled up all my containers. Oh, and I had my camera on my head and my audio recorder on my arm, so I got footage of it all. Once I finish writing my blog and I figure out how to put the two files together to make a real video, I’ll add it. It’s overwhelming to organize all this, as well as my blog in my spare time.

I have many videos to add by the way. Most aren’t too exciting (who knows, maybe you will find them interesting; they are mostly of me talking). But reviewing them provides feedback as to what works or not from a technical standpoint, what is interesting or not, and what makes for dynamic shooting style. I am spending more time now analyzing the takes when I watch TV. So next year I should have more interesting videos. I hope to make a movie out of this trip.

In the late afternoon while lying in my tent in the sun and wind, looking out across the strait, I started to hate the wind again, like back at the windy bear beach near Sayward. It had been windy all day and I didn’t know what tomorrow would bring. How long would I be stuck here? I was hoping that the winds would become less of an issue as I moved further away from Johnstone Straight and got more inland.

But the constant cacophony of the wind was eating into me. Some people like having houses near the beach so they can listen to the waves. But this was different. It wasn’t individual waves majestically crashing on the beach. This was a more incessant, disorganized noise from a combination of waves crashing everywhere and the sound of the wind buffeting everything; all this did was stand in the way of my progress. I just couldn’t get away from it. And in this area there is also the constant drone of large boats off in the strait which adds a strange background; the result is something more reminiscent of a factory.

In our modern societies we seem to always have a solution at hand for overcoming some physical stumbling block. The issue isn’t whether it can be overcome; rather it’s how much it will cost. I am accepting that I am completely at the mercy of the winds out here. When they are blowing, I just can’t go; it’s that simple. I either adjust my life around the winds and work with them, or I jut don’t go. It’s a game I have to play. I have to get up at first light and get in the water ASAP. Then I should plan on finding a campsite by lunch time. Sometimes I get lucky or unlucky and the winds don’t behave as expected and I have to have an alternate plan. That too is part of the game that makes it interesting. I am a tiny speck out here and the elements do not care about me. That’s why I wish I had a photograph of me from a plane, so my insignificance in all this could be put into perspective.

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I went to bed around dusk, as always nowadays, and was expecting to be awoken at midnight again by the high tide. Of course I was, and it was still a little bit windy which kept the fog away. It was also a large moon. And the tide was right up near my tent. The result was such a beautiful full moon scene that I had to get up and set up my camera in my tent on my tripod and take several 2 minute exposures to capture the moment. One of them turned out pretty nice.

I was planning to get to near Blunden Harbour tomorrow, about 16 km up the coast. The day after that I would go for Shelter Bay. After that I enter Belize Inlet and a new phase of the trip begins.

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