Day 35: Saturday July 28, 2012

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Saturday morning July 28th, Butedale.

As I wrote this I sat in the Butedale cottage sipping my instant mocha. A hot beverage in the morning is what keeps me sane and civilized when in the out of doors!

Thank goodness I am writing in this journal because we experience so many amazing things – The brain can’t keep track of it. You lose sense of time, days merge, miles go on, places meld into each other. This will help keep some of it straight for the future.

Saturday morning thoughts: Its raining but we are inside removed from it. I had to look out the window to see what the weather was like. (Strange –  but nice.) I think this what the next few weeks will bring. Wet days and nights and I need to prepare mentally for this reality. We have been really lucky the past 2 weeks with sun and the ability to dry out in the afternoons on the rocks. Later this morning we head out again.  I will see how many days I can go without my dry suit and when conditions allow I will try to troll. Who knows?? Perhaps a random surface swimming salmon will hit my lure as we paddle the Fraser reach- Miles of fjord paddling. Conditions = not too rough, not when working up the shoreline against current and wind, etc.

10:00pm:  Sitting on rock just above high tide overlooking Wright Sound as the Alaska ferry passes by. Sitting and waiting for the tide to go down enough so we can set up the tent and sleep on this very small gravel beach. Good thing we have head lamps, going to need them tonight. Hands covered in garden gloves and bug net over my head to minimize the bites. We got a late start from Butedale. It was so nice staying in the cottage. But we said goodbye to Lou.  Big hug and then started our slow paddle up the channel. Past several waterfalls. Water just pours off of the mountains on Princess Royal Island, quite a sight. There are no pullouts here so we earned a new merit badge today- peeing into our kayak sponges. I started trolling today as we went along dragging a 4 ounce lead and pink cop car spoon with a small pink hoochie.  I forgot to put on a new barbed hook for insurance, oh well, legal fisherman I am.  About 2-3 hours in a big salmon hit and I fought it as it jumped and ran almost went right over my kayak bow before coming off the hook, before I could net it. I had another fight and loss and then bagged a 12 pound Coho. Tide was against us, it was slow going but I figured out how to transport the salmon and found a nice pullout about 2 miles from here where we cooked and ate most of the silver.. Two women ate around 6 pounds plus of salmon. Then we loaded up and came here to wait out the tide and spend the night. The fishing was quite exciting. They really fight and it is a big challenge to land one in a small loaded kayak. Mission accomplished stomach is full!!

Daily Menu
Coffee and oatmeal with apple slices and powdered milk.
Venison jerky 2 lara bars
Salami slices
Six pounds plus of steamed Coho.
Chocolate Bar count: +27
1. catching and bagging a Coho around 12 pounds while paddling the Fraser reach. Eating 90% of it for dinner.
2. Peeing into boat sponge – no stopping on land, just pee, rinse and go.

Mile 631, Gribble Island Conditions: cool; barometer ???

We are perched on Gribble Island, ready for Grenville in the morning. Bittersweet departure from Butedale. Lou was so sweet to us, but we hit and run every hospitable spot we come to. A sailboat came in last night, crewed by three women from Nova Scotia. They have sailed the entire way in in segments over the year. I met Karen and Marika, but not the third. I wish I remembered the name of their boat! They were heading south, where they will store the boat in Vancouver. They said Bishop Bay hotsprings were amazing, but that just seems a bit too far off route. Dang it.

We set north for the second half of the Princess Royal Channel. Long, straight, with many beautiful waterfalls, a BC ferry, and a tug with a barge. Traffic! Near the end of the channel, T2, who had been trolling all morning, got a strike. Salmon! On the third hit she landed a beautiful king. We shall feast tonight!

No accessible shores on Princess Royal Island, so we crossed over to Gribble when the current started going against us. We found a rock shelf about two miles from our destination, and set up Salmon Rock dinner. We stuffed ourselves on so much salmon! Butter, garlic, and fresh fish. Absolutely fantastic. We got back in the boats and paddled our stuffed selves two more miles. If we’d been on land we’d have barely been able to waddle. Delicious as it was, I ordered a one day moratorium on fishing, or I would simply burst at the seams.

We found a steep sandy beach, good logs for boats, sketchy camping. High tide is in an hour (9:40pm) and we will be out before the next high, so we’ll camp on the beach. Lovely moon, nearly full, reflecting on the sea with the Alaska ferry gliding by. Lots of bugs though – ugh.

Quote(s) of the Day

Random thoughts…
Those idiots who chase after Sasquatch on tv should come up here to Queen Princess Royal island or anywhere in Fjordland. Mystical creatures are everywhere. Moss covered trees, rocks, white bears and black ones the size of grizzlies. No shortage of Sasquatch or trolls in the woods here. Just look in the forest and you see them all around you. – TL

“Why just paddle when you can fish at the same time??” – TL

Waterfalls and Tracy fishing by TraciC

GoPro video by TracyL
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