Day 40, Thursday August 2, 2012

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Thursday August 2nd 2012.

I caught a 10 – 15 pound Coho today, too heavy to lift up the net with one arm. We ate it this afternoon with a small portion of instant cheesy potatoes. My belly is very full, my feet are warm and happy, My clothes are dry.

After being held up due to weather the past two days, we awoke early and paddled over to Porcher island to collect water on our journey here. Alongside Lewis island we saw a pair of Sand hill cranes and then later several others calling. They make the most interesting calls and eerie noises. We also saw a family of white tail deer as we stood in a creek collecting water, when they noticed me, they headed back into the woods. The water is so calm today. Absolutely no indication of what it was like just a day ago. It’s simply amazing how everything can change so much in 6 hours.

When we landed here I stripped down and took my castile soap down to the water’s edge to dunk my head and body and wash my hair. Brrrr. But I don’t smell bad, salty dreadlocks and all.

Evening:  Sitting on a log next to my kayak on a Esperance golden sand beach on Kitson island. Listening to the ravens making strange calls and the thrum of their wings as they glide over my head. My view is out over the opening of the Skeena river, Porcher island to my right and down towards the Grenville channel . I am drinking Bacardi gold straight from the flask and eating my vanilla pudding. Today was an excellent day!

So I will end it with an excellent view and a half inebriated state of bliss and instant vanilla pudding. Why Not? I deserve it. The wind is calm and the skies high overcast. An Alaskan sunny evening. Two ravens and a gull work the water line about 20 feet below the raff line where I sit now eating, drinking, and writing about it. All that’s left to do is to lay down in the tent and fall asleep. Kitson island is a beautiful and safe place to stay. – no worries here. My belly is full of Coho Salmon that I caught today and steamed in butter and dill. I think I ate about 4 pounds of it and Traci C ate the rest.

8:10pm 4 shots of run and bowl of vanilla pudding. I think I am done for this most excellent day.
AARGHH!! I just have to rinse out my bowl, cover up my kayak from raven, brush my teeth and head up to the tent in the tree line.

Today’s highlights
Passed the 700 miles mark.
No rain.
Saw deer and amazing sand hill cranes.
Collected water at a stream.
Paddled 19 miles.
Caught a big Coho.
Ate all of it.
Basked in the Alaska sun.
Bathed and washed in the sea.
Dried out most of my gear.
Watched a juvenile eagle eat my Coho carcass as I ate the cooked salmon.

TracyL
Chocolate Bar count: 32

Mile 713, Kitsun Island, just outside Prince Rupert

Conditions: clear, calm, high 50s/low60s; barometer 1025 – wow

Gorgeous day. We got up early – 5am – to get the early morning calm conditions. I like paddling early, so that when we reach our destination we have time to relax and enjoy it (weather permitting, of course!). But I’m getting ahead of myself – except let me say now that today is about as perfect as you can get. We headed over to Porcher Island to get water, and while chilly, it was easy to do. We passed some sand cranes, always in pairs, who make the most amazing call.

Currents are either neutral, or mildly with us – except for some weird swirly stuff as we approached Porcher – probably from the Oona River, and probably due to increased flow from the rain yesterday.

Tracy started trolling after we left the shallow waters off Porcher, and about three miles from Kitsun she asked if the currents had turned against us. No, not that I could tell. She stopped to reel in and check her line – yep, something was on it. In fact, a big, fat, shiny, beautiful silver was on the line. Holy cow, what a gift! She netted it and stored it on deck, and Kitsun was right there in front of us like a mirage – large sandy beach, hammock in the woods, camping safe from the high spring tides. Simply amazing. Once ashore, I strew my gear about everywhere, washed in the sea, and rinsed my shorts. Big improvement for all.

Solar panels charging, belly full of fish, this amazing adventure continues. While we were eating our fish, a young eagle was keeping a very close eye on the salmon carcass Tracy had thrown into the water. Two crows were keeping a close eye on the eagle. Wasting no energy the eagle waited for the retreating tide to reveal the carcass, at which point she swooped down and grabbed it, and started log-hopping to keep it from the crows. Another eagle called from the trees, but did not partake in the action.

I am OD’d on delicious silver/coho. It is amazing how much fish two skinny white girls can pack away.

As I write this, a group of kayakers is coming ashore – three singles and a double, one with a sail…

(…later)

Turned out to be a nice group – family actually – finishing a five day trip. This was just a pit stop for them, so after chatting a bit they took off. They gave us some pointers on nearby camping spots, so we are set for starting the home stretch.
Tracy had cell coverage! Go Verizon (still nothing from ATT). I got to call home and say “hi” to Rachel. Nice! David wasn’t home yet. Bummer – not so nice :-(

TraciC

Sandhill cranes video by TraciC

Tracy lands a silver! video by TraciC
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