woke up before 7:00am to avoid missing up on the
action. After a quick breakfast, I had taken a position on shore with a
view of the sea, with my camera ready. I had observed some marine wildlife
several times, too far to take good photographs. I was also
treated to a view of the shore with
Soon, fishing boats had congregated in the area, moving
back and forth, some close to the shore, making further wildlife events
unlikely. A lonely seal had passed very close to the shore, and that was it.
had taken a break and cooked a lunch of mashed
potatoes with luncheon meat. The day was mainly cloudy and misty,
enhancing an interesting pattern of a repeated shoreline disappearing
I had decided
to explore the island, picked up my camera
and went along its northern side. Suddenly, I saw some movement on the
shore across the strait. It was a black bear, foraging in the tidal
zone, a long distance away from me.
photographing the bear, I had continued moving along the shore,
but did not get far. The rocky outcrops had made the shore ahead
impassable and I had to return.
had settled again on shore for action. Nothing was happening for a
while, so I had used the idle time to upload my pictures from compact
flash cards to backup hard drives. Then, I had planed my next day
checking the tides and writing down compass headings. My next stop was
a campsite on Vancouver Island, near Blinkhorn Peninsula – a jump point
for reaching Port McNeill, my final destination. To get there, I needed
to round Hanson Island passing through Blackney Passage. As usual,
timing was critical to take advantage of slack tides, as the passage
was well known for five-knot tides combined with heavy boat traffic,
including large cruise and container ships.
whale had visited me that afternoon. By that time, I had learned to be
alerted of their coming. Their breaths could be heard far distance
away, if unobstructed by other noises. Even if I were away from the
shore, I usually had enough time to grab the camera and run to water.
Overall, I was satisfied that staying on the island for
another day had its rewards. It was the right decision, but the downside was
that I only had two days left to complete my trip, and I had to paddle both
days, rain or shine. I had consoled myself that, upon reaching Vancouver Island, I should be a short paddle away from
Telegraph Cove where I could always get a taxi ride to Port McNeill, if necessary. Plus, even
if I got stack somewhere and could not reach Vancouver Island on
time on my own, there was always an option of calling a water taxi, albeit at a several
hundred dollars price tag.
Copyright © 2010 Mikhail Belikov. All rights reserved.