usual, finishing the packing took all my evening hours and I had only
managed to get three hours of sleep. Unlike the previous year, this
time I had ended up with five check-in bags. The extra ten days of food
had pushed me above the weight limit per bag and I had no choice but to
add a small duffel bag to the usual set of four: two with the kayak and
kayak-related stuff, one with the camping and photo gear and
the remaining one
with various odds and the food.
arrived to Victoria bus
depot close to 6:30am, one hour before the departure. Then I had a by
familiar conversation with the ticket agent that I would end up filing
for a bankruptcy with so many check-in bags. At the end, the
extra bags cost me just above $100 – a
manageable amount as, after all, I had saved a lot on the round trip
ticket buying it well in advance.
waiting for the bus, I
got acquainted with a Polish couple, quite conspicuous because of their
huge shapeless check-in bag attached to a cart. I had soon learned that
was going to Courtney to join his son for a sail to Alaska, while the
wife was seeing him off. The bag was a dinghy to replace the old one on
the sailboat. We had chatted for a while.
The bus ride
was overall uneventful. At some point, a gentleman from Northern
Ireland had sat next to me. He was on a long British Columbia
trip. After staying for some time in Tofino, on island's west coast, he
was going to Port Hardy and then on to Prince Rupert on the mainland, a some 20 hour ferry
journey. I had learned that we were going to stay in the
same hostel, and we agreed to meet again in the evening for a walk and
bus had arrived to Port Hardy at 5:10pm, ahead of time. After the bus
station employees had graciously agreed to hold my bags in
their office until 6:00pm, I went shopping at the mall and got the
last-minute items. Portaging my bags to the C&N Hostel took
30 minutes. There I was welcomed by friendly staff. One of them,
Patrick, had shown me around. The hostel looked like a nice and
After settling down in my room, I went for
a walk along the shore. Located a couple of good launch points, on the
beach across the street from the hostel, just a short walk away. Took
pictures of the shore, the park and the Visitor Centre, already closed.
The flags on
the Visitor Centre were flying horizontally, blown by the wind, and
this was in
the protected bay. I did not pay attention to this fact, and I should
have, as this was a preview of what was yet to come tomorrow.
fish & chips & beer dinner at the local pub with the
gentleman from Northern Ireland I was back to the hostel preparing for my early
morning departure. The plan was to be on the shore as early as
possible, as it always takes a while on the first day to assemble and
pack up everything.
While at the hostel, I had talked to
Patrick -- a local photographer helping to run the place. He had recently published his first photo
book, about Port Hardy in all seasons and was now working on the second one. After a hot
shower, likely my last for a month, I retired at 10:00pm.