Passed 300 miles today!
We entered the Johnson straight today. Kayaked through rips and 2-3 foot waves with swell and rebound and made a somewhat sketchy dash into a cove on Yorke island against tide, wind and waves to camp. Going around the windward side of the island was a decision we did not have to make, we just went for it.
This morning, we left our beautiful little island and paddled along the mainland across from West Thurlow island. All very rugged terrain, only forest, logging and fish farms. No people, only a couple of boats. Then we did the length of Hardwick island and picked up a current that we rode until we emerged on the straight. I love paddling in water with more waves and swell, the headwind was even warm – a delight. It only got sketchy later when I decided to go around the windy side of Yorke at full flood and the days building wind waves. Afterwards, I promised Traci that it will not get any rougher than that, I even had to use a brace stroke at one point. So we surf into this cove on Yorke after paddling 22 miles, glad to have survived. Unload the boats, carry them up high onto the logs and attempt to find a trail in the underbrush to bushwhack our way to the point that has a lovely looking spot. As we scramble under the Western Hemlock and over the beach debris my bootie gets caught on something and trips me up – BARBWIRE! This island is surrounded by hidden barbwire! Left over from its days as a military fort. Yorke, still has a few battlements from WWII on one side of the island, but trip wire? Thankfully, Traci spotted the wire around my ankle and I did not get hurt. We covered up the barbwire with driftwood and found a deer path that took us to a very nice campsite on the point complete with a bench and fire pit. Perhaps Canada’s navy seals come here to camp once in a while? Safe we are tonight, surrounded by barb wire on an abandoned military island with 3 foot seas all around us and zero anchorage or beaches.
Total miles: 307, Yorke Island
Conditions: wind from NW; barometer steady at 1018
The wind was from the NW, building all day, very strong (15-20kt) at days end. Launched at high tide, not much ride until Hardwick Island, then: woo hoo! Rips at Current Passage where T2 went sideways faster than I’ve ever seen, then headwinds/counter current up the NW coast. Lovely bay at the point for some hot rock therapy. The crossing to Yorke took me to the limit of my comfort zone, and somewhat beyond. Clapotis big time. Found a protected harbor, where I nearly knocked my jaw off my face in my eagerness to pop the spray skirt. Access to the camp area was a short hike through the woods. Not just any hike – barbed wire around the perimeter. Yikes! This island was a military installation after all, but Miller lists it as a camp site. Time to burn this book.