Updated: Jun 13
The west wind was strong the entire day, but the forecast called for calmer conditions to begin developing in the afternoon and last for at least the next three days, and I decided to take a rest day and wait out the conditions.
From here onwards there is very little to no phone reception. My weather forecasts came by VHS radio and most importantly my mom who sent me the updates through the Inreach GPS messenger. However, we should have trained how we would communicate before I left Port Hardy.
“Things will look better tomorrow.” She wrote.
“Mom, that doesn’t mean much to me. Tomorrow what time? From which direction is the wind coming, and how strong? Give me the wind forecast strength and direction for the next day from 5am to 8pm every three hours. That way I can decide if I go out on the water or not.”
“Ok.” She texted back followed by, “No Problem”
“Mom, please try to keep it all in one message as much as possible. I’m paying fifty cents per message on this thing. It adds up. Telling you this just cost me that much.”
“OK. No Problem, but don’t be so cheap, I just want to check up on you to make sure you’re ok.”
The falling tide exposed a wide halfmoon beach. At the far end I noticed the shape of two people moving near the water’s edge. I walked over to meet and struck up some conversation to pass the time.
Larry and John were two friends from Nanaimo taking a weeklong trip to hike the Cape Scott trail. They had started in St. Josef Bay and were on their second day. Larry worked as a freelance software engineer, and John worked for the BC Forestry Service before he retired.
“Those are very different professions.” I noted. “How did you two come to meet each other?”
“That is indeed a strange mix.” Said Larry with a chuckle. “Both of our wives work as nurses in the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. This is how we can take a break from them.”
“Yes, camping and fishing.” Said John. “In fact, you won’t believe what happened yesterday afternoon. We were fishing by the headland, and I caught three good sized lingcods we were going to to roast for dinner. While I cleaned the fish, I noticed a raven on the tree watching me. I put the filets in a zip lock bag and hid it under a rock in a tidal pool so the smell wouldn’t attract bears. Didn’t think much of the raven and I went to take care of other business, and when I came back for the fish, I could not believe it. The bag was out of the water, and the fish were gone.”
“Looks like you were working for the raven. You caught the fish, you cleaned the fish, and he ate the fish. You’re not the first and won’t be the last person to get outwitted by a clever raven.” I joked.
“Have you guys seen any bears on the trail?”
“Not on this trip, but I can tell you a story about bears from my years with the Forestry Service. I was working on a trail when a female black bear came out of the bush onto the trail. Usually if you are loud and talk directly to the bear, they get the point and go away. But something was upsetting this female. She started walking toward me with her head low and the ears pointed back. Right there I knew she meant business, and I made a run for it up the closest tree. She had me pinned up there for a good ten minutes, before I noticed the cub waking about. I didn’t come down till I was sure they were both gone. It's the kind of experience you don’t forget.”
Sea Kayak Vancouver Island Circumnavigation Shuttleworth Bight