Saturday, August 25, 2007

Discovery Islands Day One

Once the gear was dried out from my wet trip in the Gulf Islands, I still had a handful of days before I was called back to the 'job.' Diana and I loaded up all the food and tent etc, again, and this time included her kayak so she too could have the satisfaction of self propelling her way through passages and crossings. The trip is much more intense if you put some effort into it!

We caught the ferry to Quadra and drove across the island to launch at Rebecca Spit. Once the boats were in the water and all our gear on the beach, I drove the car to the storage compound at a near-by campground. Great hosts!

I walked the road back to the boats and got all the gear back into the storage tanks, sails up and rigged. We had a little crowd waiting to see us off. Despite the lack of any real breeze, I raised the sails to allow the photo opportunity then put them to bed and spent the rest of the day rowing! I followed Diana out and around the point then we headed off for the tiny Breton Islands. Waters were calm and it was easy to talk across the few metres between us. It was wonderfully exciting to be back on the water, setting out on another adventure, but this time, I had someone to share it with and that makes it better yet!

We stopped for lunch on the first of the Bretons and met a few kayakers out for a day paddle.

Once we left that rocky shore, we passed a group of seals basking on some exposed rocks, then made the long crossing to the 'bottom' of Read Island, at Viner Point. There we stopped for a rest and a change of crew positions. Diana's wrists and shoulder were seizing up, so she moved to the stern of my boat and we tied her kayak to follow on behind! I was pleased that this extra weight and drag didn't seem to increase my load, but I didn't have the GPS on to give me any idea of the changed speed.

Along the coast of this island, we saw one of the whale-watching boats approach, pass us by, then stop further along for a few minutes. He motored, then paused a few times but it never dawned on me that they might be watching a whale. Not until the whale surfaced a short distance away from us! The orca was travelling solo and he was a big one! Giant dorsal fin and a great spray of breathing! By the time I was able to grab my camera, he was quite a distance, but I took a short video anyway. Watch for the tiny (very tiny) bit of spray in the center of the frame.

Hours later, we arrived at Evan's Bay. The campsite I used years ago looked pretty rustic and inaccessible. I rowed us back to the main beach where there seemed to be a large party of campers. Turns out they were locals and just using the beach to do some work on an aluminum skiff! They were very welcoming and showed us the tent site, where the fire circle was, how to find the out house etc. Told us to make ourselves at home and they would be on their way after an hour or so of noise making. True to their word, as we ate our supper on the beach, the generator stopped and all the gear was tossed onto the old truck while the skiff motored off too.

The first photo at the top of this entry shows our approach to the Breton Islands. The second shows the boats pulled up at our rest stop at Viner Point. The third photo is me, resting my tired arms after that long crossing.

This is the video I mentioned above.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

great blog, Gerry! I look forward to your updates.

9:29 AM  
Blogger Michael said...


You have a beautiful boat!

I'm in Comox and I intend to come up and see your boat some day.


11:04 AM  
Blogger Bill said...

Really spooky to find you and your boat. So much like me! I designed and rebuilt a canoe as a rowing/ sailing ( three masts, gotcha beat.) This summer I rowed around Saltspring in one go -80k from dawn to after dark. For an 'eldar' I thought that was pretty good but mighty stiff for a week after. Cheers, Bill Gardam.

6:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

2:10 AM  

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