Day 32: Wednesday July 25, 2012

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Wednesday July 25th.  Off to Klemtu

We got up early, around 6:30 am ( not that early for us.) So as to have an easy launch off the rock. Off we headed towards Jackson passage. The current was with us and we ate a couple of energy bars along the way. Down to just 2 or 3 left.  It was time to pick up our box of supplies in Klemtu. Jackson passage was beautiful. Narrow and calm with a wonderful shoreline as we cruised on through it at low tide. No traffic worries here with the tide down low. Only very small boats could pass. The only boats we saw were for working on the fish farms that are towards the west end of the passage. As we finished up in Jackson and I looked towards Finlayson channel we could see thick fog. We hoped that it would clear out before our 4-5 mph arrival, but it did not. We checked our compass headings, scanned the vhf radio for shipping traffic (nothing) and then we set off across the 3 miles towards Cone island and Klemtu. I scanned the horizon constantly. It is really hard to know just how far you can see – in nothing. We made it across, no boats to be seen or heard and continued North up Cone island. Then around and into Klemtu. This was the first time we had done a crossing in the fog where shipping traffic was a concern – lucky us. We have not seen hardly any boat traffic so far on this trip. This crossing was bit of excitement in an otherwise extremely calm morning of paddling in peaceful Jackson channel.

We arrived hungry and a bit tired. (Good thing I stopped at the tip of Cone island to pee, because there are no services in Klemtu anymore.) We tied off on the dock and
walked dripping wet and cold up to the band store to inquire about the post office, café, stores and camping. No camping, no more café, the band store has some supplies. We would need to paddle across the bay to town and the post office . They do have good internet service and Oh yea, no contact solution or saline solution to be found either. Apparently, no natives have contact lenses in these parts. Traci C was able to reconnect her iphone to the spot and check on the blog. Klemtu internet is light years faster than Shearwater.  Don’t drink their tannin water. Klemtu water is really good. I could not stop drinking it last night. Great water and boy was I dehydrated. (No bathroom break for Traci, boy she can hold it like a champ!) I watched the kayaks on the beach if you could call it that as Traci went up to find the post office. Careful not to cut my feet on the broken glass in the fucus.  As I waited, I ate salami and chocolate with peanut butter. Cold, wet, and hungry. Traci returned with our box full of goodies and we smashed them into our packed boats. I walked up to the health clinic and had them clean out my cut hand. They were very nice there. The doctor gave me a tube of antibiotic ointment better than my Neosporin and a prescription of antibiotic that works well on marine type of infections, to use just in case it got infected. – No charge!  Thank you Canada health care system and Klemtu people.

Back to the band store we paddled so Traci could work on the blog and for me to shop a bit and get water. We did find a toilet and water by asking the young kids hanging outside of the store. It was in the closed up café space. No burger, but we did get a toilet and good Klemtu water. Then off we went in search of a place to sleep up the channel. We passed by Boat bluff light house – no way to get our kayaks out – Darn! I really wanted a light house experience, but it just is not working out. As we passed a humpback whale and stellar sea lion swam around irritated at our presence ( I hope I got them on video.) We covered another 5-10 miles for a total of around 27 miles for the day. Slept hard under a tarp next to our kayaks.

Klemtu Shopping:
“This aint no Trader Joes”
Energy bars – Yes
Saline solution -NO
Granola – NO
Oatmeal – NO
Cheese – Yes
Internet – Yes
Chocolate pudding – NO
Chocolate Bar count: (no update)

Voyageur camping
Sleeping under a tarp draped over our kayaks nestled in the rocks.

Klemtu Post Office pickup, mid-day stop

Christmas in July! Our box is here and so are we. We left our lovely little island and headed north. My right arm did its fall-asleep thing again. Very annoying; takes about an hour to wake up/warm up when it happens. We could hear some gentle whale spouts, crows, Bonaparte gulls. Why are there no ravens when there are crows?

Jackson channel was twisty and beautiful; crossing Finlayson Channel was foggy and gave me some feelings of misgivings. Odds were good for no commercial traffic; we checked our VHF radios, but not being able to see was a bit nerve wracking. We took our compass headings, kept our ears cocked, and safely made the other side right at the north end of Cone Island. The fog cleared and humpbacks appeared! We followed them with the SE breeze at our backs, and rounded the north end of Cone Island into Klemtu. We had planned to enter from the south, but this was better. We first saw the ferry dock, a beautiful new affair with a long house style waiting area, and a canoe over the entry arch. Another mile in was Klemtu itself, with the long house facing our direction. We paddled into the dock at the band store, but found that the post office was on the other side of the bay. Back into the boats and over. I went up and there was my box waiting for us. What a friendly sight! I chatted briefly with the two people working the post office; turns out we are just missing a big potlatch next week. But just as our boats were getting easy to load/unload, we’re filling them up again. Must. Eat. More. T2 got her hand looked at in the clinic, and they cleaned it up and gave her a good antibiotic ointment, plus oral antibiotics just in case. GOOD. No saline solution though, not even at the clinic! T2 has been nursing along the tiny travel bottle she was given in Lagoon Cove. Nobody seems to wear contacts around this route. We then paddled back over to the store, got some cheese and a few other things, and filled up our water bottles. Free wi-fi here was excellent, and a far better connection than the one I paid for in Shearwater. All the local kids and passing mariners were checking their emails and sending messages. Me too, and sending what might be the final live blog update until Ketchikan.

Mile 575, later in the day, peninsula on Susan Island.

Conditions: day turned warm, sunny, slight SE wind, mid to high 60s; barometer dropping to 1016

We’re on a rocky little peninsula, sunny and warm, buggy. Going to sleep hard tonight. Passed an amazing humpback travelling our way at Boat Bluff lighthouse, lazing and spouting. Stopping at lighthouses is still a big fat ZERO for us. Approaches are very tough for kayaks, or we’re just hitting them at totally the wrong tide.


GoPro video by TracyL
video by TraciC
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