Sat 15/04-2017 Day 22

Pos: 50.2458, -127.7818
Loc: Bonner Islet West
Acc: tent
Dist: 45,8 km
Start: 07:40 End: 17:00

Columbia Cove was not too bad of a campsite, all the floating logs on high tide upfront our quite sandy beach reminded me to the North-West Passage where ice floats may be a frequent bother. It was raining again on the launch, all gear was packed soaked, and it was still raining when we were doing the first third of the dreaded Brooks Peninsula. Still our spirits were high as the forecast did not sound too bad for today, with low to moderate South easterlies and just 2 m seas. After the exit out of our sheltered cove I guessed I better put on my PFD as it may be too disrespectful to even think to round the dreaded peninsula without!
The horizontal cold side rain and wind stopped perfectly in time when we started to turn North West, giving Clerke Point a wide berth. The sea was rolling in over scattered reefs, and we had to be on the watch. But it could really be worse out here! Our comfort zone was not really extended of the outer headlands, having rounded the last points between Solander Island and Cape Cook we were relaxing fully after this potential dangerous corner. A float of sea lions lingered in the rolling swell before Cape Cook, and at some point, before s rolling breaking reef, a sea otter almost climbed Justine’s front deck! The cute little creature was completely un-shy swimming around us, and grabbed already her deck line with one hand, but unfortunately did not decide to give it a full pull up! So sweet!
Justine was already escaping from some rollers upfront the next reef, I took the safer “topless” outer berth, as I was too lazy to put on my PFD again which I dumped soon after Solander Island. Something was rubbing my inner shoulder. Justine was wondering if the blue-sky spot behind us was at some time due to overtake us? Patience, girl, it will…
We left Crabapple Islets, the regular, sandy camp spot before resp. after the Brooks Peninsula, behind us. I got a camp spot marked just behind Medougal Island from a friend in Bella Bella. I guessed already this will be an ideal bear area…? It was completely sheltered waters with a designed anchorage for boats, and we saw a man-

made sign like for a trail head with a roof up in the bushed behind the beach. I also saw a big black lump on the beach…no, this is not a bear, this is a log…no, this IS a bear! He was moving! Very slow, thank goodness, digging in the sea weed on the beach, taking barely notice of our presence. Justine took some video, I talked to him, and really wondered if he already had his eyes open from the last winter hibernation and if he would be seeing us? He sniffed around, looked around, all very slow…
As we guessed it is time to land now and to check out the potential campsite which the sign and roof may promise, we were shouting the magic spell from the delectable Polar Bear Lady Kristin Nielsen:” BEAR – BE GONE!” – and he slowly trotted off…
Armed with bear spray and half paddle, I stepped through the bush to check out the site. But the sign turned out to be just a park sign, no trail head, no camp spot, all was overgrown, if something like this has ever existed. We checked on the river entrance, but here was no cam spot…so back in the kayaks, we just crossed over to the other side, and found a beautiful sandy beach with well dry sandy areas behind the logs. Perfect! There was even some sun coming out again, and we tried to dry our gear as good as it gets. A cute squirrel was feeding himself from pine cones, and we fed ourselves well from Justine’s outdoor cooking skills. Life was good! We even lit a small campfire, and as the icing of the cake of an idyllic sea kayaker’s life on a dry and calm evening, we had roasted marshmallows!