Tuesday July 24th: 6:30 am launch
We paddled this morning from just west of Idol point and crossed over to the light house at Ivory point, but it was going to be difficult to land there with the dropping tide, so we just took a few pictures and headed up Reid passage. The next few hours were the quietest of the entire trip. You could watch the trees go by through looking at the clear reflection in the mirror like water. Low clouds, foggy like skies, no sound. It was like sleep paddling. We cut behind Lady Douglas island. No wind, no sound, no waves, no people. There is not really any good camping spots here in Fjordland, but we found an islet and a great little spot for the tent up between some trees growing out of old washed up nurse logs. Sphagnum moss covered in wildflowers. It is warm and the sun is almost out. We covered 22 miles by 1:00 pm and landed here to dry out and make camp. Safe, away from shore and hanging out with the birds on warm rocks in Mathieson channel. We spent several hours drying out gear, resting and eating. Slept great on the moss in our very tiny spot on this islet.
Mile 547, Islet just north of Arthur Island, off Dowager
Conditions: cool, grey, misty morning, lightening afternoon, high 50s/low 60s; barometer 1019
I’m sitting on a lovely small islet, listening to whale spouts. We’ve had several people report humpbacks, but we think some are Minke. They seem smaller than humpbacks, with a sharp triangular dorsal fin. Next time we get online we’ll have to check the differences between the two.
We started early and got easily off our beach and got a nice ride down the channel to Ivory lighthouse. Lovely spot, and we were hoping to visit, but rugged coast and dropping tide level didn’t seem to make that a good idea. Plus we would be dropping in unannounced in the very early morning. I think I was too practical for T2, she was quite disappointed. Bummer, I agree.
We went up Reid Channel to Lady Trutch Passage. The calmest, stillest, quietest paddling of the trip. In Matthieson Channel we ran into a rower going the other way. Wood oars in a canoe with riggers and a sliding seat. He had started from Port Hardy, gone north, and was now returning. Brian (I think). He had camped last night in Jackson Passage and had a grizzly encounter. I’m liking our little rock island, and we will run Jackson without stopping! T2 slipped and cut her right hand – not good. Barnacles are NASTY. She is out fishing right now.