Aug 28 2012 — Disoriented in Hakai

It rained again overnight but the morning was dry. That barnacle log had shifted location with the tide. Their lives are totally dependent on where the weather takes them. At some point they’ll get thrown up high and then life will move on to something else.

There is a little creek tumbling into the water down a rocky waterfall just up the shore a bit. I stopped and filled up with water and because it was groundwater I didn’t filter it. I thought I’d try drying my shorts out in the weather on my mast.

But the rain was coming from behind. It hit me but didn’t last very long. That’s the way it seems to be out here, at least in summer. Everything blows through really fast so the rain is fairly intense but doesn’t last for long.

As I rounded the final point on Sterling Island before heading west out the channel back to the open ocean, I noticed wolf trails leading down to the water. They have a whole network across the island and will regularly run the routes looking for food, timed with the tides. It would be interesting to hike them, but you’d have to be prepared to crouch down a lot.

The currents turned in my direction as I headed west. I went out into the middle of the channel and was really moving. It soon spat me out into the ocean again and I crossed over Kildidt Sound to the Serpent Group of islets out in the middle of it. My map showed lots of campsites and other interesting things over at the Edna group of islands so that’s where I was heading. The wind started to pick up from the south and when I hit the Serpent Group I decided to cross on the windward side. That was a poor decision because I was getting hammered by both the southerly wind and the waves bouncing off the rocks. I thought maybe I’d see more sea otters on this side, which I did, but the weather precluded spending any time with them. I wanted to have lunch but there was nowhere to stop, it was too rough.

As I continued crossing to Kidney Island I went by a noisy gaggle of gulls making a fuss. I didn’t know what it was all about but in reviewing the photos it was another boil of sand lances.

The weather was really getting rough and I was paddling hard to get to shelter behind Kidney Island. I made it and just as I was rounding the final point into a calm sheltered bay a California seal lion followed me and got to within about 10 feet. Yikes, that is the one animal that could cause me some trouble if it decided to investigate and take a bite out of my boat. I went right up to the shore as quickly as possible. I pulled out my camera but of course he left just before I got it ready.

I took a break and had lunch here, and filmed some green anemones in the intertidal. The calmness was nice. But, there was no place to camp so I had to go back out. The southerly wind was blowing me onto Ronald Island so I had to fight the crosswind. I made it to a little channel between Ronald Island and a couple little islands to the west. I zoomed north down this.

This is where it got confusing. I had picked up a kayaking map of the Bella Bella area way back in Telegraph Cove two years ago. The guy at the shop said not to buy it, it is “worse than useless”. I figured, how could it be that bad? Well, the problem with maps is that they can indeed be worse than useless because if they are wrong, you can get yourself into trouble.

If I haven’t mentioned it before, I should say that I have a sixth sense when it comes to direction. I never get lost. But as I was approaching Triquet and the Edna Islands I just couldn’t reconcile the map with my GPS. I had to keep looking at it every few minutes and I couldn’t figure it out. Had I lost my sixth sense? No! The map was wrong! No wonder I was getting hammered by the wind and waves, as I was in the open ocean in the middle of a southerly storm!

This whole area is a bit confusing because there is apparently two groups of islands right beside each other, one called Edna Island and the other one Enda Island. They each have a campsite, and I wanted to go to the northern one. But their position in relation to Triquette Island (a larger one that protects them all from the open ocean) was way off on the map. I decided based on my GPS that I would head north down the channel to the east of the Edna Islands to get to my campsite, since that’s the way the wind was blowing. I couldn’t come into harm doing that.

So I made it across in the raging wind to take refuge behind another little islet.

It was here that I spotted this kelp crab in the kelp. Apparently the scuba diving around here is really good.

I moved out to go down the channel and then looked back to see this jewel of a protected beach on Triquette Island! What? It wasn’t on my map! Actually, yes it was, but I was in a different place than I thought I was.

I paddled back up from where you are looking, against the raging seas and currents. It took almost half an hour to get over from that point. It’s a really nice beach with a developed campsite. And the open ocean is right on the other side of the trees, behind where I’m taking this photo. I heard some cranes too; apparently there is a nice mudflat just to the west of here. However, the sand is very fine and given that it was only 3 pm I decided to move on. But as you can see, with the falling tide my boat got beached so I had to slide it back into the water on logs.

It didn’t take long to reach the campsite on Enda Island. My shorts didn’t dry out very well with all the rain. And you’d think I would have realized to take them down since I was getting bashed by the wind…

The site was fine sand again, oh well. There is quite a bit of garbage washed up here, and interestingly a bunch of large plastic pipes half buried in the sand.

Along with the garbage there is a lot of driftwood and I found a few dry pieces of cedar. I had brought along all the wood I chopped the previous night, which imparted a wonderful cedar smell to my bag, but it wouldn’t burn properly as it was too wet. Anyways, I managed to get a fire going long enough to cook dinner, which was pasta primavera. The rain was on and off, and it was starting to get on my nerves. The sun poked out for 5 minutes. At least there wasn’t any bugs.

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