Tue 16/05-2017 Day 53

Pos: 54.3967, -130.8162
Loc: Island 42
Acc: tent
Dist: 39,9 km
Start: 07:00 End: 15:45

Yes! My updates are now coming again daily, as I made obviously this Optimizer device working in Prince Rupert. Still, it takes about an hour off my evening recovery time to write those, which is quite noticeable for a tired kayaker.
John picked me up from Sheila and Greg’s house early in the morning, perfectly in time at 5.30 am as agreed. Thanks for giving me your new B&B site, Sheila, and Greg! Mike was driving down to the water himself at a different launch place where he could already load his boat from the car and wheel it down. We met at the Yacht club as agreed, and both waved John off at 7 am. Thank you so much, John, to take so much generous care about both of us! He even took Friday and Monday off work to do so. Few people would do…
having Mike now as a new paddling partner besides me felt different, but very good. He looked confident in his slim QCC 700 kayak, and obviously also fitted all his gear inside the similar long but less volume kayak, and not strapping any deck load. Still, my kayak was around 20 kg heavier than his. I carried all those batteries, a shitload of fresh fruit and am obviously also a packing genius to fit the most load into the available volume.
We had a short play around an anchored tanker sitting silently and unloaded high up on the water. What a gigantic metal wall…I was close to paddle through the arch under its stern rudder, but as the ship was unloaded, the propeller was visible over the water line and it did not look really inviting to get shredded there, in case they start the machine for some reason…?
Mike was unfortunately in vain searching for some ancient rock carvings right across the ferry bridge form Digby Island. It would have been nice to have had a precise way point!
It was calm water and wind, though fore casted to breeze up to 10-15 knots first north, then west. Not a fully easy crossing to Melville Island, but doable for me being more experienced and Mike being stronger. The swells were barely noticeable, which came handy when we paddled close to rocks and through some mazes of islands. Mike was not so much used to slip through rocks and paddling in rock gardens in general, but I told him just stay right behind me and he will be fine. He realizes soon there are usually clean lines between rocks on the path I am picking, and when I felt fine paddling “topless” through those, then there is really nothing to worry about!
We had been stopping prior to getting out in the unprotected side on a beautiful sandy islet tombolo, and climbed the top of the islet to have a look. What a view on that bright sunny day! Many white sandy beaches were lurking everywhere, but I was aiming for “the” best in this area. A white sandy beach with white shells, sunny, fully sheltered, and with some open hinterland forest.
Amazingly, Mike opted to put up his ten on the clean, but not sunny upland site, where as I *loved* to camp right down on the sunny beach on the white sand. We do not get that many sunshine here! And this has been the best day of this year so far! I was warning Mike already in PR about I would not care and still run around topless even when I am not alone anymore, and he was Man enough to stand that…  When my body is stuffed in a dry suit all that sunny day, it really yearns for some UV rays on the bare skin of the whole body! I also took a dip in the clear water, but it was not more than a short dip in freezing temperatures…
For cooking, Mike built a small fire for his pot, I opted to still use my gas stove for mine, I do not like black pots. Maybe he just liked to show off to use his nice ax and saw he brought along – no chainsaw though, in a country where the length of the latter measures man power, hehehe…
Out of sudden, from the brightest sunshine, we were from one minute to the next covered in thick fog! Scary weather changes! Well, we heard the howling buoys out there making noise all afternoon – and now the soup reached our paradise! It did not last forever though, but my afternoon sun soak was a bit spoiled.
We went for a walk. and Mike explained me a lot about the local biology. A climb on top of the tiny islet in a nice open forest with huge trees and regained sunshine finished the lovely day with my new pleasant paddling partner. An excellent choice – or better good luck on my “blind date”?