Paddling The Past: Solo Sea Kayaking Kyuquot Sound, September 1994 Part 2

the mouth of Johnson Lagoon, a tidal inlet

When the weather and my sickness lift, I return to the entrance of Johnston Lagoon. This time, I have scheduled my approach better: like the gate of a fairytale kingdom that opens to only a few, the current admits me. Not wanting to have to wait half a day for the next slack, I leave the lagoon less than two hours later. Already the current is coursing in a strong ebb. It’s with me, but this is a mixed blessing. While I don’t have to fight against it, it also means there is no retreat once I’ve neared the mouth of the lagoon. The virtues of a kayak optimized for touring—its length, straight line speed, and resistance to turning—are liabilities in what is effectively a whitewater river. It’s like doing a downhill slalom on cross-country skis. After a couple of heart-racing minutes, I am flushed out onto the open sea, very glad not to have left my departure any later. Continue reading

A Mammal Trifecta: Deer, Otter and Orca

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.

A deer grazes in the underbrush

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