July 17th Tuesday
No incidents last night and we slept in between the alarm to check high tide, it never came near the tent. NO sign of Bears of cougars either. Thanks for that!
We were off this morning around 5:30 am and paddled the 10 miles or so to Skull Cove. The Ocean swell was pretty big with some bounce back and currents in places. You definitely have to be careful not to get too shallow and watch for breakers. Traci is nervous about the big seas and swells but she keeps on going just fine.
It was a maze of rugged jagged islands and islets trying to find this place, but thanks to our GPS systems we found it and just like Colleen said there were stairs leading up to this abandoned whale research station overlooking the ocean. It is amazing. The view, the fishing, it’s spectacular. I caught 4 fat codfish and we fried them up for lunch/dinner plus foraged for mussels. I boiled them up on the campfire with garlic and butter. I got a great fire going all day and I will bake camp bread this evening. I think we will stay here tomorrow and rest up before heading out around Cape caution. That will be a 24 miles of open ocean day. It’s going to be slow with no stops. My ass hurts just thinking about it. We will leave really early in the morning to avoid wind and catch the best currents. I am wearing my dry suit now. It’s better in this grey oceanic cold weather. Plus I am not paddling very hard in order to stay with Traci. We have this entire whale station to ourselves and having the luxury of a cabin I feel free to catch, clean and cook fish galore. It will be safe sleeping tonight despite the fresh cougar tracks in the sand this morning upon our arrival. Four walls and a roof and no mice scurrying all over me, I hope.
Off to pull the kayaks up for the night. Then mix up some bread dough and cook and eat some more. Plus listen to my VHF for the weather report.
6:00pm Hanging out around the campfire baking bread in my pot. The sides and bottom usually burn, I have not perfected this, but it sure tastes good, even the mostly uncooked middle part. I have one more yeast packet and about 4-5 cups flour left. I will be glad not to be packing that around much longer. The food supplies are going down, but we still have quite a bit – which is good. This whale research station is quite a trip. It has around a half dozen little cabins with bunk spaces, outhouses and this amazing oceanic overlook kitchen space. We will remain here all day tomorrow, then if the weather forecast is good depart on Thursday or Friday.
It sounds like Saturday will be the calmest day – but that is a bit of time not moving – we will see. I want Traci C to be wanting to go, not dreading it so much and I could use a day’s rest as well. Busy all day, but it sure is fun catching fish, cleaning fish, making and stoking the fire.
Other items from the day:
Giant Fail! Gluten mess campfire bread. I ate it all anyway. That plus too much salt from the mussels = multiple dashes with bear songs as I run to the outhouse. Plus use of much fucus t.p. paper, washing of items, shorts, etc. OH JOY! I am such a disgusting animal!
Conditions: mid 50s, barometer 1012
Total miles: 420, Skull Cove, Brahmin Island
An uneventful night, thank goodness. We saw cougar prints on shore, so camped at the highest point on the beach, rather than in the woods. Set up our tent between our kayaks, and set the alarm for high tide, but we were fine. Speaking of fine, we have fine white sand on *everything*.
Got off to another early start. Wind calm. Large swell, some confused water around the rocks and islands. Made good time over to Skull Cove, and miraculously found the beach with the whale watching station at first landfall. We certainly had our doubts! We had a description from Colleen from Joes’ cove, but there are so many islands, so many coves, that we managed to find this oasis was a minor blessing. From the beach, there is a set of steps/ladder up the bluff to a cluster of sleeping huts and an open kitchen looking out to sea. Cougar tracks on this beach too, I will be glad for a door tonight. We gathered up some shellfish and T2 caught fish right off the rocks below the kitchen. Fattening up for the crossing tomorrow.