Loc: behind Deep River
Dist: 27,8 km
Start: 5:40 End: 12:30
What I should have expected on this seclude beach spot happened – at 10 pm, in darkness, a park ranger came along to check the beach and woke me out of my deepest urgent rest dreams. But different to those people from the tree farm on the other side of the bay, he was very friendly, explained that I should have come up to the State Forest campsite (how could I do this by myself?), but that he could take there only a certain amount of people (which I assumed was full in this high season times), and that he would not have seen me if I’d not talk to anyone about me having camped there. Thanks! Where else should I have gone that night…but please – other kayakers – do not also camp there!
As I already had written my update a couple of hours ago, my promise is not fully working, but to prevent more cases like this and on that other island, I will from now on send out my updates with one day of delay. In this way, I can correct any unexpected “stealth camping to be” place. Also, I did this delay the other trips in places where people may be able to look me up – in friendly or not so friendly manner. I simply don’t like to be a geocache…and I appreciate any ranger or guard who let me camp in places which are “unofficial” or private, but understandable do not want to have follow-up kayakers also use these places.
I promised the ranger to be gone at 5.30 am, and he’d check at 7 am if that was true. If he did, I don’t know, but I launched once more into thickest fog. But today, the fog did not lift all morning, besides 15 min between 10.30 and 10.45 am. Then it was all gray soup again. I am really kind of sick of this fog, but more or less knew it is happening in August here is this area. I paddled first along probably stunning cliffs (nothing to see…), and then through endless dead calm waters with more or less thick kelp and many rocks in more or less shallow water around lowest tide of the months. I could barely see the coast, rather not, as I had to paddle quite offshore in the dead calm waters, not to be stuck on kelp, ran aground or to hit a rock. These were really dangerous conditions…
I kept myself busy to spot any unusual wild or marine life, and saw at least an unusual deer, which back half was bright white like an albino, and the front half was regular brown. An amazing color combination! Uncountable seals were occupying the half covered rocks, and I could paddle wherever I wanted, at some point they rushed into the water. Sorry to wake you, guys! A fat crab was clinging to a stem of thick kelp, but when I was turning around to take a picture, he was gone. Eventually, I fell asleep in these conditions, also lacking sleep from last night, when I could not go back to my dreams instantly after that ranger came along. The fog did not lift at all, the noise of the nearby road with horrible logging trucks pressing their air pressure breaks and honking along, plus some construction work noise with caterpillars beeping all the time and the fog horns of many big ships out there made me once more wishing I’d be back in Alaska.
I decided to call it a day soon, as I only want to be in Neah Bay by Friday to meet up with Chris May, my new paddling partner for the following week. So I have all time in the world to recover in a place WITHOUT people telling me I am not wanted at their beaches. I picked not an inviting small headland to camp on, as I feared this one belonged again to some park or such, but rather picked a spot along a longer forest site, where the road obviously was a bit further in, and no houses or camping areas were in sight. But who knows in the thick fog…Landing was easy, but once more, the water was not free of “natural trash” to be inviting to have a dip. So the freshwater bag must do again for a shower. Nothing about “Washington Beach Life” yet…
I took the time to clean my stuck with sand rudder, and to change some clips on my back rest, before I went for my well deserved afternoon nap. And yes, the fog eventually lifted (mostly) at 1.30 pm! Maybe I should paddle only in the late afternoon…The tide in the Strait is strange anyway, as I am rather chasing it down backwards by paddling out of the Strait about 40 km per day, than it changes every day by being an hour later as usual. So the good running out tide was rather all the days finished around 9.30 am, and I tried to paddle for about three hours against the tide before running out of energy and patience. No way I’d wait for six hours before I could conveniently paddle again…btw., the fog is down again at 6.30 pm now. Same procedure tomorrow…?