Loc: East Channel Island
Acc: Hilleberg Keron 4 tent
Dist: 42,8 km
Start 06:45 End: 16:40
Well rested physically, we were up relatively early. A huge waterfall offered himself as the first play spot, but I had to walk over myself from our landing spot, Catriona didn’t feel like it and rather watched the boats. Another small fox was foraging between the rocks, not shy of us at all watching! Impressive towering solid cliffs at cape Unalishagvak, many bird’s home!
We chose to cut across Portage Bay, a mere 20 km with light headwind on only slightly choppy seas. Nothing compared to our previous headwind crossing! We both enjoyed the workout, and the dry, but over casted weather. We hugged the coast back again at Cape Igvak, and I had to land to pump out some water in my cockpit…not sure where it is still coming in…the hatches are bone dry!
The cliffs at Cape Igvak were different again, many gravel slides, and a “rock castle” on the top, pretty cool! Some white beach was lurking on the first of the Channel Islands, we landed to find the white large gravel dug out on many points from bear activity…they swim! I’m sure there is no resident bear here but who knows? we enjoyed our lunch anyway…
We decided to land on the inviting reef beach of the East Channel Island, but also here – the walking on low tide or rather swimming distance on high tide for the buggers is simply too short to make another convenient bear-free island stay for us…so we arranged our campsite on the sandy beach to be off the beaten bear track path, and there will be room for all of us!
Catriona… so she says… the bear prints are a mere 2 ft from the tent lol But hopefully no resident bears, although I have found several print paths to the grassey land above the beach. Two eagles watch us from their nest high up…. oh godt have the eagles view and know what lurks here….. Freya all refreshed today and set good pace. I may have kept up with her but I wasn’t feeling as strong as other days. I think my paddle style just wasn’t as good. Something to work on. The foot peddals again gave some bother and needed the nut tightening again. Everything else about the boat fits well. I seem to be ableto manage the size and volume of the boat, the tapered front to reduce volume near the stretch for paddle movement is good and accomodates close paddle entry without any thumb hitting. The seat is comfortable and fits my well proportioned ass quite well lol. I do like the rudder system and the foot plate stye, despite having lots of issues with it so far. This is primarily because I am a short ass and the original plate does not allow the foot pegs to come forward far enough. Freya attached an extension rail but unfortunately the glue was not the right one and epoxy glue and fibreglass tripes is not really designed to have two strong legs pushing on is all day long… and aparently I have some push lol !!!
Today started of with puffins, then three nosey sea lions and I swear one of them was stalking me. Sinky breath he had too!! I didn’t see any whales today but Freya seen a spouting whale. I am sure I shave een a bear and watched it climb, but I was a distance away so maybe maybe not. Lots of birds on the headlands today with the usual white wash walls. Thats the first collection of birds we have seen as we pass the coast. The gravel hills showed lost more land slides. Earthquakes here or is it just continious weather beaten??
Freaya was ever ready again today, when my foot plate began to move she was able to get the tool kit and tighten it again instantly…. more learning. Mind you her flexibility does help getting into her back day hatch. Today I asked Freya about her GPS and plotting her course. I was asking if she adjusts her course depending on what the current is doing…. lol her actually response was… “I don’t give a shit…. let it be… I’ll deal with it when it is” lol there you have it, and that gets her around the world…. literally.
I notice Freya is picking up some of my words… she is saying wee alot.. The wee island, a wee piece of chocolate etc etc. I think I am rubbing of on her lol More hints, I have really recognized the benefit of just having lots of spare batteries for what ever it is you are using, phones, laptops, cameras, GPs VHFetc etc. The power banks, solar charges etc are just too heavy in the long run and it’s just as eacsy to have lots of batteries. They are not as heavy as the power banks I brought with me.
I also think having a phone that is easy to change batteries and carry spares is a must… even though I have no coverage on this trip… but learning for other trips.
I was amazed at Freyas dry suit. Brand new Kotatat drysuit and the first thing she does is take the sissors to it… adding a neck zip on her touring suit makes it alot more comfy and breathable. Don’t think I would have the confidence to do that lol. Another important hint, especially for anyone with cold hands and tender hands, cutting the tops of the fingers of gloves and adding surf wax to the paddle to enhance grip. Plus she uses open palm mitts on top. She states this stops all blisters on her hands, protects her hands while also help with the coldness.
Right now we are all tucked up and its only 8.20pm….. time to sleep. we did good ground coverage today and hoping for similar tomorrow. nite nite all