Inland Passage 2016

May 30, 2016

This morning was quite the contrast from yesterday. As we awoke the tent was no longer shaking and the waves were no longer lapping the shore. The sea was calm, the sky beautiful. On one hand it would have been easy to stay for several more days at this site, but we had miles to make and places to see. As we started out the tide was against us, but we wanted to be close to crossing Johnson strait at slack so we paddled on. We passed several commercial fish farms and logging was evident on the hillsides.

 Fish farm facility

Fish farm facility

 Paddling against the tide towards Johnson Strait

Paddling against the tide towards Johnson Strait

One of our guidebooks commented on the currents of Johnson Strait in this area. We were trying to time the crossing with it being close to slack. The charts even warned about tidal rips. As we left the channel, we noticed the flow of the current. Even close to slack tide we had to ferry across and work to keep from being pushed downstream.  We took a break at the shore and were impressed with the large diameter trees. A tree with its roots exposed had a Salal plant growing between it.

 Salal Plant

Salal Plant

In the distance we see the small village of Sayward.  

 Sayward

Sayward

The first attempt to finding the campground where our food was sent was a failure. They, however, pointed us in the right direction and we were soon at the correct landing. I approached one of the campers(all were in trailers) and he said sorry, but they do not have tent sites here. He then saw that we were kayakers and he said that they were expecting us.  The owners had gone to Campbell River shopping since there are no stores in this town. He showed us where to put our tents and where to take hot showers.  Soon Don and Linda, the owners returned and we felt quite welcome. They were also kayakers and always welcomed inside passage travelers. We were the first one of the season to stop. We talked awhile and then Linda offered to do our laundry as the closest one was 8 miles away. One of the campers had offered Don his truck if we had wanted to go there. Dan retrieved our packages from his house and we were soon heavily involved in repacking. We had a bit of a dilemma as we were ahead of schedule and this food drop was for 18 days. It would be a stretch to carry all our food so we thought that we might be able to send some to Prince Rupert. As we quickly sorted the food, Dan offered to take Don to the post office and another man found some packaging tape to retape one of the boxes. I finished the food packing while Dan takes Don to town to show him around and mail the packages.

 Lots of sorting to do

Lots of sorting to do

 Breakfast and lunch gets ready to be packed in our bear proof containers

Breakfast and lunch gets ready to be packed in our bear proof containers

Several things that Don learned was that Canada no longer makes pennies. Dan who was a logger explained that the barges pulling logs trains behind them can be close to 5 stories deep under the water. Sayward is a collecting center for the logs so when Don returned we walked over to the logging operation and took a look. 

 Lots of logs in these piles.

Lots of logs in these piles.

We are tired, but feel so fortunate to be surrounded by really nice folks. Most of the people in the trailers have been coming here for years and are like family. They invite us to their daily happy hour  which is a time of sharing stories. One man who is from Scotland asks us what we do for dealing with insects. He tells of his success using vitamin B1 and then his wife returns with enough tablets for us to try it out till we get to a larger town that might sell the vitamins. Another couple in their 80's immigrated  here from England over 60 years ago. When they first arrived to Canada the immigration officer recommended Nanaimo. They have never been been back to England. Another couple from Canada were getting ready to do a road trip in the US. He had been employed by the RCMP and told us some interesting stories as well.   

 Fun conversations

Fun conversations

It is time for bed! We have checked the weather report and tomorrow looks like a good day to paddle.

Nautical miles traveled 15.9