Mon 02/07-2018 Day 244

Pos: 55.0803,-161.7095
Loc: Dolgoi Island
Acc: Hilleberg Keron 4 tent
Dist: 31,6 km
Start: 09:20 End: 16:10

We didn’t sleep before midnight – still in bright sunshine, though the solstice has already been and the days are getting shorter. we had a relaxed, undisturbed night on the bear-free and cow-infested island, the few cows we saw turned around quickly in fear of us. It was better not to have to mutate the bear-spray to bull-spray…once in Australia, when I had water buffaloes around, my only “weapon” was the ready-to-light camp gas-stove to hold under their nose if too curious…who wants a by long buffalo horns sliced open tent fly? I didn’t had to use it though…

Though sleeping until 8 am, my body didn’t feel rested enough to dig in deep again today after that pleasantly hard workout of 65 km yesterday. I was paddling the first hours nicely close to the coast on shallow clear water, which added kind of a fourth dimension to the view. Nice! But when we left the coast to cross over to the next island, I almost fell asleep by paddling with mostly closed eyes…one can’t be on the top of the power range all days…

We stopped for lunch at the gravel spit of Poperechnoi island, no sign of bear activity here. When we left again, the tide had already turned, and it was magic to see off the spit for aboiut 50 m very, very long strings of leafless kelp just under the surface, never had seen so long and thin kelp!

Our energy level didn’t really get better along the southern shore of Dolgoi Island, and instead of crossing over another 25 km to the Outer Ilasik Island as planned, we decided we had enough for today and turned into a wide exposed bay for landing…it looked good enough for our content, though it was one of those steep gravel beaches with some dumper going.

Michal landed first this time, and went in well. I was a second too early and was paddling in rather on instead of behind a dumper, and had to lay back hard to avoid the worst of digging my nose in. Still, a rock was biting a small chunk out of it and side broached me on top of some larger boulders…no good landing, but no leaks. Well, we decided to go in here…

Michal did major landscaping with a flat piece of lumber to even out the top gravel ledge for our tent, glad to have a man doing the hard jobs, lol…I would have just placed the tent closer to the flat ledge and might have to pad it from inside for leveling. But sure this is much better! Thanks!

Michal also found some bear traces further down the beach at a small waterfall…hmmmm, we just got used to a bear-free island last time! The dumper sounds nasty on the steep gravel beach, the seas go up tomorrow and it will be the wonderful easterly wind direction – but as usual a bit too much with up to 28 knots and rain…see if we decided to go or not.

I am very much looking forward to eventually cross False Pass and to head north east again, with the prevailing wind direction south west it must be a pleasant flight! And when it is strong easterlies then – we simply stay in!!