Inland Passage 2016

June 7, 2016

It was a beautiful morning as we bid our good byes to a land filled with memories of the people who once lived here in large numbers. A design in the sand created a unique pattern.

 Patterns in nature are so impressive

Patterns in nature are so impressive

After the wind and waves of yesterday, we were enjoying the calmness of the sea state today. We were heading to an abandoned cannery called Namu. There were indications in discovered ruins that people had populated this area for over 10,000 years. Today, however, signs of habituation were quite recent. Before arriving to the bay where Namu is located, we looked across to the other side and thought that we were seeing an unusual colored small mountain. It soon became obvious that this mountain was moving. It was a very large mound of logs with a crane on a barge. Picture is a bit blurred, but you can get the picture. There is a lot of logging going on in this part of British Columbia.

 Most of these logs are going to a pulp mill.

Most of these logs are going to a pulp mill.

As we paddled into the bay of Namu, the first building that we saw looked like housing quarters.

 Some parts of the building did not look too bad.

Some parts of the building did not look too bad.

The next building though had large signs saying Danger! and we agreed!

 Would not want to go near here.

Would not want to go near here.

Several years ago a caretaker had lived here and would actually give tours of the town to visitors passing thru. Today no one lives here and most of the buildings unfortunately have been vandalized. We were able to beach our boats in several locations and walk thru some of the buildings.

 We liked the paint colors.

We liked the paint colors.

A store was located here and when we went inside there were still a lot of items left on the shelves. We had heard that when there was someone actually living here, it was quite organized and looked as if they were open for business.

 Don heading up to the store

Don heading up to the store

 At one time these shelves were loaded

At one time these shelves were loaded

 Hard to know how long these items have been sitting here

Hard to know how long these items have been sitting here

There were lots of cases of bottled water from California. There were also a lot of boxes of alcohol. These bottles all were empty. In a office building we saw the ledger for recording fish that had been brought in to sell.

 Fish for sale

Fish for sale

The story is told that one day the owners came and closed the operation. Everyone just loaded up on the boat and departed.  Dishes were just left on the table. Clothing left in closets and the stores shelves were full. After a little exploration it was time to move on. We had another crossing to do and all conditions were in our favor.

 No complaints when the sea state is calm.

No complaints when the sea state is calm.

Considering we had taken a long break at Namu, we were making good time. One option to camp was to set our tent up on a helicopter pad. One of our books talked about making a camp there. It looked like an interesting place, but with good conditions we thought we would move on

 Helicopter pad, would be quite the flat surface for camping

Helicopter pad, would be quite the flat surface for camping

By late afternoon, the wind had shifted and it was against us. We looked for several sites, but did not find one that would work. If we could go another 5 nautical miles, one was marked that was on an island and good for all tide levels. To get to that site we would be changing directions and the wind would not be such a factor. We paddled past the mostly First Nations town of Bella Bella. A nearby island held a burial ground. A headstone and totem marked a grave.

 In olden days the ashes of the deceased person would be place in a small box inside the totem.

In olden days the ashes of the deceased person would be place in a small box inside the totem.

A town that we would visit tomorrow and get some fresh food is called Shearwater. We could see it in the distance, but needed to go to our island campsite. It was a 5 star! Not a long carry and the view from the tent was explicit!

 Does not get much better than this.

Does not get much better than this.

This location even had cell service so we were able to check our emails. This is new to us being connected. Fortunately we do not have cell service that often so don't feel that connected to the world of surfing. This was one of those good days of paddling with lots of varied sights.

Nautical miles paddled 30