After leaving Lee and his family I took a walk downtown to a liquor store and purchased two bottles of Canadian Maple Cream Rum. I carefully packaged both bottles with bubble wrap and stuffed them deep in the bow hatch. One would be for my friend David who’s kept my kayak bag for two months, and another for me to sip when I landed in Everett.
I consumed as much of the free hotel breakfast as I could gulp down as there would not be a chance at a second meal before crossing the Juan de Fuca Straits. I also told my bowels to work extra hard this morning, because there would also be no landing until the evening.
The first ten miles of the crossing consisted of backtracking to Race Rocks. I hugged my way along the coast, but I soon was caught in the rising tide bending northwards around the headland. It forced me to point towards Race Rocks and I did my best to keep the islands to my east but was soon overpowered. Although my compass heading was due south, my movement was roughly southeast. Fortunately, Port Angeles is far enough east of Victoria that I did not need to compensate for the drift, and the current weakened in the middle of the straits.
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It was not a particularly busy shipping day. I only saw two container ships during the crossing. They sailed close enough for an interesting photograph, but not so close to be a hazard. Once again, reality turned out to be less stressful than expectations. There were none of the many hazards I had been warned about. No standing waves or overfalls, no being tossed about like pencil sticks in a backpack; the waters were calm like a pond in the woods.
I arrived in Port Angeles late in the afternoon on a shingle beach at a park rimmed with vertical wind turbines.
“Well, back in America.” I thought. This was the strangest feeling of arrival in the United States I’ve ever had. Usually, I have to stand in a customs line for at least a good hour, before getting processed. And yet now, here I was, with no one to tell me what to do.
I unpacked the kayak, set up the dolly, tossed all the gear into the cockpit, and went to look for the customs office at the ferry terminal.
Sea Kayak Vancouver Island Circumnavigation