Pos: 49.4065, -126.5649
Loc: Homais Cove
Dist: 32,4 km
Start: 08:30 End: 15:15
We had a good calm (but too short…) night on Shawn’s boat in lovingly set up cabins, followed by some slightly complicated packing of the stuffed to the max floating kayaks from a wobbly dock. It was a cool, but sunny morning, some easy forecast, and we were eager to go! Leaving the steamy fountain of the Hot Springs to our left, we threaded our way through a nicely sheltered maze of rocky island behind the headland, until we ended in a dead end with just some too rough and confused breaking exit. Ok, a bit of paddling back, and out we were!
Justine had a detailed printed chart, navigating by compass and transits, I had the chart on my GPS, recording also our track. I think this was a perfect combination! Until I put the wrong headland into my GPS to aim for…as we set out to cross Hesquiat Bay, I mentioned we need to point in a bit more, there would be quite a drift offshore. Hmmm, with a light south westerly wind, and a running up tide…really? It took us a while and a slight dogleg before realizing the navigation mistake.
We got rewarded by sights of two gray whales, one showing first his back ridge, then his beautiful tail on diving down deeper. The other one left us to his frequent spouting.
On the crossing, gentle swells moved the very calm sea in almost no winds, and we realized once more our obvious differences of our kayaks. While Justine’s Valley Nordkap in its traditional shape with some rocker and an upswept bow was better to wrap around the waves and to get it to surf, also being around 30 kg lighter loaded, my heavily loaded straight running tanker with the long waterline and little rocker was gliding along with leas effort on calmer water. Yesterday, it was me who was guessing I must punch harder than Justine, today it was mostly her turn to think the same. Overall, we both thought we made a great matching team on the water!
Matlahaw Point wanted a wide berth with quite some rolling breakers, and it was time for me to put my PFD on again. The next headland with the lighthouse demanded the same action after a quick pee break, stayed for safety reasons not right besides but behind Justine, and this time I was doing well being prepared to get trashed – almost…I could not avoid climbing a huge steep roller and had to throw myself in a low brace into the thank goodness short but quite foamy break on top. That was close…Justine paddling 2m in front of me escaped. my first half-serious brace on this trip…
Also a first for me was Justine’s effort to use her female drop seat for a pee at sea while I had to support her boat. I must admit I prefer my “male” pee zipper with my Freshette funnel system, it makes me independent from some other person’s support. But she was quite trained on being quickly done with the job with a high-pressure spray, but at least I now realized why she fancied a yellow kayak deck!
We plugged on against the now NNE wind and turning tide for a while, until we found a great shelter bind the reefs of Homais Cove. While still checking and pondering the further north camping options, we drifted closer to the shore and decided to stop for the day right here with some beautiful sunny sandy beach. Sometimes nature takes the decision! It looked like the best camping was on the river mouth to the right of the totem pole of the Indian Reservation.
We set up our tents on some nice flat grass, though checking the paw prints on the sand and spotted some path on the grass. But all felt all right to be here! I had to re-glue a patch of m under-deck bag, but I guessed I had the right glue and some sunny but cool afternoon to do a proper job.
A walk up to the river further north revealed even more paw prints of an animal we were not sure about what it was, probably a wolf. No bear sighting yet…! A delicious pasta and onions dinner sitting on a dry log finished the perfect day! Thanks to Justine being such a wonderful matching trip partner!