Aug 22 2012 — Blair Island to Koeye

The wind picked up a bit by morning but the sun was poking through. It was a pretty difficult put-in as the tide was completely out, way below the rocks I camped on. I set up and video-recorded the fun of me loading my kayak. But the dessicant strip in the housing was full and the GoPro camera fogged up when the sun hit it.

I headed north across the bay.

Every piece of “dry” land here above the tide line is covered with thick vegetation.

Looking west across to Calvert Island with Addenbroke and Sweeper Islands in the foreground.

Yes, the sea she was angry that day! But only if you were heading south. Or over at Calvert Island where there was showers. I was laughing where I was!

The narrow channel between Sweeper and Addenbroke Island

Looking north

Looking east up Fish Egg Inlet. Just more of my big playground…

I love the patterns of old growth cedar.

Solar powered light station

With such a nice tailwind I had some lunch as I drifted north. Peanut butter, Persian dates and dried mangoes.

It was a pretty uneventful day as I headed up the coast. I had tailwinds and tailcurrents all day.

The Koeye River empties into the chuck before that mountain. It’s well hidden in a small bay.

As I made the final approach I turned crosswind to get around the headland protecting Koeye Bay. The big winds had created some decent sized waves, plus there are open ocean waves pounding this shore as well. They were all bouncing off the rocky shoreline creating a few tense moments as I made my way across. I made it though and here I was rounding the final point.

The Koeye watershed is a fairly recent conservancy and is sacred to the Heiltsuk First Nation. They had a lodge here which burned down last year. They are rebuilding it now.

I went up to say hi.  There was a Nature Conservancy guy here hiking the trails with a group of First Nations grizzly researchers from Bella Bella. They have set up barbed wires along the bear trails to snag tufts of hair which they then send off for DNA analysis. They were up the trails today. If only I had been here a day earlier, I could have gone with them! I said that I’d camp on the beach on the opposite side and the work crew foreman said that was fine, although there has been a bear wandering around some mornings. He wasn’t overly talkative so after a few minutes talking about things I headed down to go look up the river.

Norwegian Camp is an old mine just up the river from the bay.

The tide was still rising and I rode it into the estuary. It is an interesting place because there is a kilometer of river protecting the estuary which is a ways back from the ocean.

The river was low since there hadn’t been much rain lately. The water was warm and crystal clear and I could see salmon zooming around underneath me. They were pinks waiting for the rains. They were jumping all around me. I couldn’t stop laughing, it was so funny, there were thousands of them. It’s not easy to get a picture of a jumping salmon but here it is.

Looking up the estuary

Rain was starting in the mountains.

It soon moved down to the estuary so I decided to take refuge under a tree and wait for the tide to turn so I could ride it back out.

Just as I was getting back to the bay it started to pour. I set up my tarp and tent in the rain with the fine beach sand getting everywhere.

The gulls taking a break for the evening.

Then the sun came out! I shoulda waited and set up my tent in the dry!

And of course a rainbow.

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