This is a beautiful area and staying here for a week probably would not be enough time to explore this area. We still have quite a few miles to make and realize that this is a journey of travel. In our minds we can easily see returning to some locations and make this area one of a destination. The fog had settled in this morning and we decide to have a leisurely breakfast of pancakes and fruit. When we were setting up our tent in the forest last night we got excited about seeing some berries along the forest edge, however after looking them up in our plant book discovered they were not edible. The berries are still lacking, hope that this improves before too long.
After breakfast the fog has started to lift and the skies are a beautiful blue, time to be on the water. As we make our way out of the islands we are awed by a flock of Harlequin ducks sitting on the rocks.
It is mostly a mellow day of paddling. Until later in the day when the wind and waves pick up. In the morning though we are able to enjoy the day and take in the views. Don decided to try out his camera for an under water shot of green anemones. Thought it turned out pretty well.
Lunch was a fun spot. It was another white beach with bright blue water. As we enjoyed our food the tide rose and soon our spot was going to be underwater, the pro was that we were able to pull our boats over a small sand bridge and not have to paddle around the now island.
After lunch, our mellow morning of paddling changed. The wind came up and as were making our way to a place we could camp, my mascot Esri got washed off my boat when it was hit by a big wave. Did not see it happen as I was focusing on good paddling technique. The current also became a factor and the seas were confused as the waves were hitting us in all directions. Not a fun time of paddling. We were glad to see the river valley that we were aiming for come into view. Where the river is located was a protected bay. This had been a settlement of the Helsuk first nations people for thousands of years. It was an ideal location with the river and a high bluff where the village was located. Now there are are beautiful buildings that are used as a retreat for First Nations groups. Adults and children come here to learn about their heritage. We beached our boats and walked up the hill to where we could see a man working. On the way we passed a large Salmon berry patch that was full of berries. A good reason to pause and add vitamin C to our bodies. Chris, the caretaker was filleting a chum salmon that he had netted. He told us about this place, filled our water droms and gave us permission to camp near the river's mouth across from the buildings. There was a large dining, meeting area and smaller building surrounding it. Beautiful paintings on the building represented drawing of the clan's emblems. the buildings were made mostly out of larger cedar planks.
Near where we beached our kayaks was a large long house, built in the style of the earlier Clans. Chris again gave us permission to stop and check it our. This type of structure is where many families of the clans would live in the winter after they had returned from their summer fishing grounds. The large cedar planks were impressive as well as the interior.
We paddled over near the river's mouth to set up our tent. In a month the salmon would be returning to the Kelowe river and the bears would be here in large numbers. Now, however, there were no signs of the mammal and we slept soundly.
Nautical miles paddled 20.0