Aug 21 2012 — North From Penrose

The next morning brought lots of little fishing speedboats right offshore. I guess this is a good spot for salmon.

The tide was way down, exposing the impressive extent of the shell deposits.

The upper tide line being encroached by forest was also thick shell deposits. Another reason this is a great camping beach is that there is a very sheltered tent site above the beach amongst the cedars, out of the weather.

This was a small pebble that was completely encircled by live barnacles. I guess it spends its life rolling in the surf, otherwise one of those faces would be clear.

A nice easy put-in in the tropical-like waters. There was nothing tropical about the temperature of the water though — 12 degrees in the middle of August! That’s how warm it gets here! El Nino years would be quite a bit warmer, however, and that’s when more southerly species come up.

Purple and orange ochre stars, and green surf anemones

I came upon this gaggle of surfbirds (that’s actually their name). They showed very little fear and I got to within less than 10 feet. The currents were fast and in my direction so I tied off to some kelp and started clicking away. I was there for a good half hour.

Chickens of the sea, pecking around the surf line and seaweeds

This guy liked eyeing me up.

Looking across to Calvert Island

I continued on north for a little while with the currents behind me and made the almost 3 km crossing to the mainland.

As I reached the other side I heard a humpback and went over to investigate. It was a lone whale feeding using bubble nets.

There’s something fishy going on here, I can tell… It’s easy to get a shot because you just point the camera to the bubbles and … wait for whale.

There he is! Taking a huge gulp of presumably herring.

He was moving around a bit and I kept my distance of about 50 to 100 m. I just hung out near the shore of the little island, repositioning myself every few minutes.


You can see the baleen here.

Yum! Herring!

I hung out for about an hour, then moved on after the activity died down a bit. I needed to make some miles, but on the other hand, I came here to see humpbacks feeding, so what more was I going to see?

I planned to camp up near Addenbroke Island (the one with the lighthouse) and I was basically out of water. I needed to get it from the mainland somewhere as the island would not likely have any. The GPS showed a little creek entering at one point so I went ashore in the difficult waves to fill up from this picturesque little gully.

Maidenhair ferns

It had been another fantastic day with cooperative winds and currents. I started to scout out potential campsites but the coastline was pretty rocky. Addenbroke looked even more rocky and steep so I instead elected (there was only one of me so the election was a landslide) to investigate the sheltered waters of Blair Island.

I rounded the bend into the bay at Blair Island and found a little islet with some fairly flat rocks. The time was 5 pm and I hadn’t seen any other suitable camping spot for a while, and there didn’t appear to be much further on either, so I called it a day. Back to sleeping on angular rock outcroppings…

It’s a nice little spot and there appears to be a place nearby on the main part of the island that might have a small pebble beach that doesn’t get flooded, plus entry and exit would be easier there. Not ideal, but if you really need a campsite it will work.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s