August 17, 1999 Stania and I were up at 6AM to stow our gear. I dropped her with our kayaks at the Government Wharf in Port Hardy, then bucketed my trusty Escort Wagon over 63 kilometres of logging roads to our takeout on the San Josef River. As arranged, a truck from North Island Transportation picked me up there at 11AM.
Meanwhile, back at the dock, when Stania asked to change in the washroom at the Coast Guard Office, she was welcomed with open arms. She was even invited to take a shower (or perhaps be given one – it wasn’t quite clear). Oddly, when I appeared, I was not offered a shower and only grudgingly allowed to change.
I wheeled my kayak aboard the Queen Of Chilliwack at Port Hardy at about 20:00 hours. After a late supper of burger and fries in the cafeteria, I found a quiet corner of the solarium on the upper deck, and made camp with my mat and sleeping bag. As we steamed north through the night, the weather changed from clear skies to the cloud and light rain more typical of the central coast.
Recently, I got in a quick kayak voyage through our local and lovely Gulf Islands. In addition to great weather and excellent company, I enjoyed three animal encounters.
On Cabbage Island, I watched a deer graze. It must have been commuting from one of the larger islands, since Cabbage is too small to support a herd. On the islands with permanent human populations, some residents consider deer to be, at best, venison-in-waiting, or at worst, vermin (they pilllage the gardens many islanders grow). But on this uninhabited islet, this doe foraged only for natural foodstuffs. Continue reading →