Thursday July 19th. Around Cape Caution – 22 miles nonstop.
This was truly an amazing day in so many ways. We awoke in the dark at 4:00 am, put on our dry suits and headlamps and sang our bear songs as we make it down the trails to the stairs leading to the beach and our kayaks The tide was ½ way out and fast retreating as we very carefully carried our unloaded boats over focus covered boulders, down to the muck and sand. As far as boat hauling, this beach was moderate. Not a steep rock ledge – A general sloping beach. No big deal for us now. (Side note: If your are going to do a trip like this; you better have good balance on slippery rocks!)
Anyway, the plan was to be on the water at sunrise. There is no wind early in the morning, and hope for the forecasted calm seas and take advantage of the ebb current we should have for the first few hours.
Mission accomplished. I described the seas as “I could water ski on them – no problem” My course would take us out into deep water > 162 feet and cut across the cape about 1 mile off of shore. Visibility was over 15 miles – so we could see the cape for a couple of hours. I told Traci many stories along the way and we made easy time towards the cape. In fact, we cut in close to reduce the distance, with 2 foot swell, calm seas, no wind – Why not?? Since it was only a mile away, I decided to paddle over and touch the rocks at Cape Caution. Something I would guess not many kayakers have had the opportunity, or as Traci C would say “hubris “to do so.
Around the cape – cutting almost due North there are amazing sand beaches and rock points and kelp beds. Two curious heads popped up – not seals, Sea Otters. Over 430 miles paddled before seeing otters so this was a true highlight. All we needed to see now were some whales to make it a perfect morning. “There she blows” I spotted greys feeding in by the rocks and we paddled through the area they were feeding in. (Sure hope my video turns out on all of this.) Then the wind, (light 10ish – 15mph) came and it was a tail wind. No F’ing way! The tide/current had shifted, but for only the second time on this journey we had a tail wind. Oh yea! It was sunny too. Still we had to remain on our butts until Brown island and its beautiful white shell sand beach. We landed at ½ low tide around 10:45 am A most glorious day.
We did have some good luck – but then again, we did wait, rest, eat, and listen for a good seas forecast and we got up in the dark to take advantage of the early morning and tides. Traci C was rested and really, ready to go as well. Truly an amazing day – It was much easier than the 2 shorter ones leading up to it on the 6 foot seas.
The rest of the day was spent on a Corona advertisement worthy, white shell beach in the sun. Traci C taking good care of me as always, made chocolate chip pancakes. We bathed and swam nude in the cove, washed our clothes in the sea and dried out on these amazing siltstone rocks. I attempted to tan more than just my face and hands as I fretted around with gear. Recharging my batteries, camera and go pro. We dug down into the shells /sand to make an almost level tent pad for the tent and slept on the beach. I paddled out to catch some dinner using my Wilson dart. Caught this most beautiful rock fish with copper colored leopard spots and no quills, but flipped it out of my net, while trying to put it on a clumsy stringer I made . The next fish was not so lucky! I paddled back to hand it to Traci C, then back out to double bag the next 2 fish. Quillback rockfish all 3.
Tomorrow, I might try to troll as we travel, only I am not sure if I can place my net and pole in a convenient place, plus all the normal gear, maps, gps, etc. that I need on the deck. I will have to figure that all out. We will be passing rivers inlet and I would like to catch more than rockfish. My kayak must not smell like dead fish in bear country, so all this complicates the fishing quite a bit. My fileting technique is improving with practice. (Thank goodness for that). Thanks to Knut for reminding me to use 2 knives to keep the blades sharp – Steel on steel works great. Since I did not bring along a wet stone!
Mile 441, Brown Island
Conditions: mid 70s, barometer 1016
Couldn’t have asked for better conditions. Absolutely calm, getting on the water at dawn. We paddled right up to the cape itself, it was so calm. Tide running slightly with us, we made good time. Saw a lone kayaker heading south, about a half-mile farther from shore than we were. Several other small motor craft taking advantage of the conditions to pass the cape.
New faces: sea otters popping up curious heads just north of the cape. Always in pairs. Also two grey whales, leisurely feeding. We stopped to observe – they were teasing us. They would disappear, but when we would start to paddle they would surface behind us.
Home today is a beautiful white beach on Brown Island. Stunning black stones, white beach, crystal clear water, flowers, birds, dolphins… a piece of paradise.