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wp0714 N49* 59.863' W124* 48.305' Copeland Islands, locals call them
ragged islands. Wherever I see driftwood, that's a place to camp. Means
cove with beach or gravel or slope. Many loud but wimpy mosquitoes here.
Large pretty rocks. Water, rocks, and trees. Came 26.6miles today, it didn't
even hurt. I slept through a lot of it. 5:15pm pulled into Lund.
At the dock in Lund. Very nice friendly people in Lund. First beating into 8-9 mph, then pinching then reaching 6-5-4. Some rowing at end. Many oysters here. PSP? Water temp 60*. This am took a crap in the water like the book said. Away from shore in deep water or current, not in "zero discharge area". Best way to crap yet. Hung my butt over the outrigger side of canoe. Washed butt afterward. No need for toilet paper. A day-sailer or a bidet-sailer? Then brushed my teeth with saltwater. All while sailing. Very convenient. Where and how to crap is a serious problem for campers as well as civilizations. Some beaches in BC popular with kayakers have been closed for shellfish gathering due to fecal coliform bacteria in the clams. If you crap on land it has to be far inland and in the right kind of dirt or it will all get washed down onto the shore, where the bivalve filter-feeders will concentrate it.
The kayak book says crap out in deep water or current. You can do this from a kayak by tying your lifejacket to the end of your paddle, jamming the near blade through your deck lines to make an outrigger, or using a paddle-float outrigger. If you're not shy you could have another kayaker stabilize and spot you. "Kayak routes of the northwest coast." recommends the "shit-put", crapping on something and throwing it as far out into the current as you can. One thing to be aware of is the danger of urinating off a bigger boat. It's actually a major cause of death. Men fall off their boats while pissing and the boat is found washed up somewhere without them. You're supposed to piss in a cup and toss it over the side.
Ate my usual oats+honey+olive oil+peanut butter mix that Nina invented,
it was soo good I just at it without oats after a while. Then read "peoples
of the earth volume 1, australia and melanesia." Vanishing ways of life
in '72 when published.
Anchored in little bay of little island and slept on deck. Some mosquitoes, then wind, then rain. Took down sail, put sail over me. Woke grounding at low tide, stowed bag wet, put on poncho, rowed in rain to town. Rain stopped. Seals followed me. Store closed. No plastic tarp. After just three days I'm done with my two actual charts. Afraid they'll get wet. I seem to be carrying a lot of paper objects. Gave charts and book to harbormaster girl, now working in bakery. She gave me bag of rolls, wished me luck and return.
Sun 7-15-01 wp0715 N50* 09.592' W125*03.574' 9:11pm Water 56* air 54*F
comfortable in bare feet, soggy fleece and polypro longies only. On Hill
Island between Read and Cortes I. West+past Desolation Sound.
At this moment I can't hear a motor or see a house. I don't know that there's anyone else on this island. It's a good feeling, apparently one I've been looking for. Water, rocks and trees. No one looking at me. Came 15.9 miles today, 198 total so far.
That's straight line distance, probably more like 20 around the islands. It's nice here. Underway 8:30 am. Traveled til 8:30pm. There was wind most of the day. Had my sheet attached to the boom at two widely-spaced points. Changed it so attached only to hind quarter point of boom. Suddenly the canoe went to windward a whole lot better.
New sheet arrangement. Attached to boom at hind quarter point.
Before, the spars bent in the wind so the [diagram] center section was a [diagram] curve instead of [diagram] like this one. Next sail should have [diagram] sharp corners here instead of truncated and zigzag stitching [diagram] here so this hem edge doesn't flap up.
I should look at portsmouth ratings, maybe use tornado or A-cat hull shape with [diagram] manu at bow for next hull. Russ sold me on the idea of these clean little race cats. Hulls anyway. Make a single-outrigger from half of one or a derivative hull.
Just discovered a new hazard. Driftwood logs look solid but I stepped on one and it started rolling. I guess they get left at random and no one comes to make sure they're safely settled.
Sunfish, snark etc have boomed lateen triangular sail that's most like mine in anglo/euro countries. They race these, must have sail tuning and tricks worked out. Must be skill+knowledge there I can learn from.
Whenever I get to land my balance is awful. I'm used to the waves and
fall all over the place.
Today navigated with little "not for navigation" maps in copy of Waggoner's cruising guide bought $24 in Lund. Works great. Should get me to Prince Rupert.
Seals follow me very often and very close. Especially when rowing. They swim with their doggy heads up 30 ft behind me, staring. Once a wole family with little ones, sometimes 5 or six all fanned out, following behind me. Then suddenly they'll slap their tails and dive.
Mon 7-16-01 6:45pm Got underway 10:45am after sleeping well, drying
things out, emptying and cleaning the boat, making a couple of little oak
blocks and rigging the mast heeling lines. Which I didn't need cuz of light
tail winds. Now about to enter Yuculta rapids. Everything stowed and tied
down. Waggoner and tides+currents say I'm hitting this series at just the
right time if I read them right. Which I'm probably not. Into the last
of the current in this one, which will turn and push me out the other end.
Bernard recommended this route and method. Fluky 4-5mph tailwind, leeboard
up, sailing no hands most of the day. Dozed and read "peoples of the earth".
Dani Kurelu in NewGuinea call the soul the "seed of singing". They have
a good way of carrying their wounded. P.61 a Tiwi from Melville and Bathurst
Islands is putting on makeup, looking very much like Sprax. "Peoples of
the earth" vol 1 australia and Melanesia including New Guinea Danbury Press
C. 1972 CC#7285614 I guess I'll give the book away tomorrow.
Here come the rapids!
Tues 7-17-01 6am Rapids went by like a big river. Maybe worse at other times. Many powerboats full of sportsmen speed by and congregate at the point. Must be a fishing spot. 11pm I parked canoe here on a kelp bed and slept inside. Very cozy. Came 22.1 mi yesterday wp0716 N50* 26.696' W125* 16.999' Minnows jump at the edge of the kelp. Very beautiful spot. Steep islands, hazy fjords, snowcapped peaks. Need a panoramic camera. Might I take too many pictures of scenery? Water temp 49.5*F now flooding from the north. Air temp 51*, not bad. Nori or sea lettuce seaweed on rocks. Yesterday I started seeing kelp again.
9:15pm air 59* water 50* A couple of miles past whirlpool rapids at
N50* 28.424' W125* 47.779' wp0717 239 miles from John's house. 22.7 miles
from last night. Mostly rowed today, sailed a couple of times, napped a
bit. In narrow channels between mountainous islands. No place much for
crosswinds to go. Winds fluky, mostly either with or against. Still not
wilderness. Clearcuts on hillsides. Some resorts and houses. Thinned out
Views of clearcuts. These are fairly small. Notice where the hillsides have washed down into the water. In BC they have to leave a small margin around certain named salmon streams. Most of the salmon streams aren't on the list, and they log right across the stream, which fills it with silt and destroys the spawning beds the salmon have made. Then there is no salmon run in that stream. Where you see a notch between two hills, there is a valley. In the valley is a stream. Where the clearcut runs right across, it is a dead stream. For this reason there aren't as many salmon as before and the fishermen are going to S.E Alaska to fish, where there is less logging and wider margins around streams. Apparently loggers have more power in BC than fishermen. It's crown land, but the timber leases are apparently a lot like deeds. They call it "forestry" here. If you want pay to increase the logging, buy lumber and paper. Start direct-mail advertising campaigns to increase the amount of junkmail.
At first these clearcuts bothered me. Then I realized I preferred them to the houses and "no trespassing" signs further south. A field of stumps bothers me. It's not fully rational. I don't feel the same way about a cornfield full of stubble, although it used to be a forest also. Maybe the clearcuts are close enough to natural to remind me how they used to be. If they could log without leaving stumps or clearing the land I might not care as much. It's supposed to be "multiple use" public land. I've only heard of one other use for a clearcut. Some people grow Marijuana in them. Now that the big trees are mostly gone that's becoming a growing part of the economy.
A house floating on a log raft at a salmon farm. Every aspect of these is controversial. With the wild salmon decreasing, fishermen are growing them in floating pens. They choose Atlantic salmon because they grow faster. Seals and sea lions are hungrier than before, again due to the decreased wild salmon. Sometimes they break in to the net pens to eat the salmon. The fish farmers are allowed to shoot them. I just heard on the radio that hundreds of endangered Steller's sea lions have been killed this way. Then salmon escape from the pens. They spawn later than the native salmon and are more agressive. They are starting to run wild up the rivers here. They dig up the other salmon's nests and eat the eggs, spawn over the top. They carry diseases that can infect the wild salmon. The antibiotics they're fed go into the water, along with large quantities of waste. The food comes from the sea, is various types of small fish and krill that some say should be left alone. If you want to pay to increase the amount of fish farming, buy fresh salmon in the winter. Wild salmon is only caught in the summer. Other times they're somewhere else, no one really knows where.
Sounds of motors. Here goes a boat now. But when that's gone there won't
be anyone within a few miles of me. A couple, anyway. Cruising guide shows
no stops this side of the map. Today's rapids hardly quickened the current.
Lucky I guess. Trying to predict what the water's going to do with tides+currents
book I've been nowhere close. Forinstance I think the current will be with
me til 10am and after 5pm tomorrow. I like anchoring and sleeping in the
canoe. It saves the trouble of unloading, getting sticks, dragging up,
hanging the food, dragging down, loading. I've travelled pretty hard for
a while, maybe should take a bath or a day off or cook. Still not sick
of quick oats, honey, olive oil, cocoa. Dragged a line for a while today,
probably wrong lure and not deep enough.
A log boom waiting to travel south to the mill. Sometimes these break up in storms and become driftwood. When the tides are high you often see logs floating out in the current. I've run into a couple when not paying attention.
7:15am water 50*F air 51*F Now will get colder water north. Yesterday
actually every day it gets into the 70's or higher. I'm constantly changing
clothes. Sometimes too hot. Today it's overcast and cloudy. Usually there's
a lot of dew in the evening that makes things wet. I hear seals puffing
and splashing. A crow echoes, then answer from another. Seagulls. songbirds.
Lapping of the waves. Little fish are constatly jumping out of the water.
It's low tide. In one direction I hear a sound that is probably clams and
oysters doing their business. Going to get some nori for breakfast.
Funny looking roots somewhere in this picture.
Thurs 7-19-01 9am Port Neville. N50* 29.642' W126* 05.168' The sound
of machinery and falling trees. Slept in the lady's back yard. A rooster.
Some rain. 249 miles total 12.9 miles yesterday. Felt like a lot less.
Back in the islands seems like less wind, I cna row 20 miles pretty easily.
Sailed in strong headwinds yesterdy, seemed like not much progress. Stowed
the sail+rowed, made much less. With paddle I couldn't have gone anywhere
in that wind. Am heeling the sail when I tack, can't tell if or how much
it helps. I tack in lulls cuz that usually means a wind shift. I have to
pay attention, can't self-steer cuz wind shifts so much here. If I keep
sailing relative to wind, I can end up sailing the wrong way. Thermometer
dragged in the water, alcohol is broken up. must somehow shake it back
The old log postoffice and former general store at Port Neville. Open by arrangement.
Boat with camper at government dock.
David Thomson across the bay. Laying out pipes for a tiny hydroelectric plant for his house. Volunteer naturalist on Mitlnach island, salmon farmer,("I know it's supposed to be bad") wind+solar power. David Towers Alert bay seasmoke whale watching Maureen, Robson Bight whale watchers are on VHF channel 77.
David Briggs whale watcher at Robson Bight. Dr. Paul Spong Hansen Island hydrophones Orcalabs facing blackfish sound. Many Davids around here. David Thomson took my picture rowing.
He said "this might be the last image of you ever made." He also said "you'll see orcas." Gave me a book on edible plants. showed me glasswort and goose tongue. "If you see a black line to the west, that's a westerly. Knock you right over. Get off the water as fast as you can." Writing and sailing on cheers tack. Going to windward well in 6-7mph wind. Celebrity cruises "mercury" just passed, leaving gentle eye-level wake. Mast is heeled to windward on each tack. This does Marshallese magic, also bends the mast putting nice shape halfway up the sail. Pulls well sheeted hard. Rowed a bit out of the bay with mast up, sail furled. Against current+wind slow and hard work. But in the bay wind was too fluky to sail. Tried that last night, got nowhere, gave up and slept in nicy post lady's back yard. Her 14yr old daugher Erica had on a t-shirt that said "Jesus Freak" in magic marker.
Me: "where do you go to school?"
she: "righ here. homeschooling."
Me: "how's that?"
She: "great, if you get the right program."
me: "well, regular schools can be a nightmare. What are your plans?"
she:" go to college. I want to be either a secretary or a card designer."
Me: " card designer?"
she: "good! most people think I say car designer."
me: "you could do that right now."
she:" I do. I design cards on the computer. Do you need a place to put food? we have a refrigerator."
me: "it's in the boat. do you think bears will get it?"
she: laughs. "Bears have never been out to the government dock."
me: "well, I better go sleep off the day."
The wet, the new cold, the slow going, and the fear that I'd be wet
and uncomfortable unprepared for rain the rest of the trip made me feel
clumsy. I needed sleep. It rained. No big deal but the next day it was
dry under the evergreens next to me. make a note of that.
An outboard motor cover made from a plastic oil drum.
Was tacking back and forth across Johnstone strait when I heard strange
music from a cove. Like Tibetan monks. "Medicine Buddha Puja" CD. But big
like motors. What was it? I made up all kinds of fantasies. I headed for
it. It turned out to be guys with huge machines putting logs into a boom.
A front end loader grabbing and stacking logs onto a rack. Then tiny invisible
people must have wrapped and tightened cables around it, because after
a bit the front-ender rammed into the stack and pushed it off the bank
down a ramp into the water. Splash! Huge like a glacier calving. Then a
guy in a big boat rammed the bundled logs and pushed them around to boom
them up with others. I tacked off when a big red softside powerboat full
of people in red jumpsuits roared up and stopped. The I saw the whales.
Two groups of orcas, close. I hadn't reloaded my camera and thought, "I'll
just experience this." One group passed right by me, surfacing and blowing.
One lay on the surface and looked at me. The other pod came right at me
and dove under the canoe. Amazing! Then they hung around long enough that
I changed my mind, reloaded and took pictures. I guess I really am here.
Thanks to wide-angle lense they appear very far away. One almost touched the canoe earlier.
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