Mikhail Belikov Photography (nature, adventures, travel)

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Kayaking Queen Charlotte Strait Solo

DAY 5: 

Woke up soon after 4:00am. After a breakfast of cold salmon soup with chunks of  fish, followed by the coffee from the thermos, I had packed my kayak. The surf was minimal and did not cause any problems. 

With everything ready ahead of schedule I had spent a bit of time munching on the berries and photographing the shore and the creek estuary, from my kayak.

Soon, we had departed. The north-west wind was not particularly strong, however the side waves (we were crossing in the north-north-east direction) were taking their toll. They had slowed my progress, as I had to push hard on one side to keep the kayak on its course, and forced single hardshell kayaks to tack at sharp angles to the waves, to minimize the chance of capsizing. We had first crossed to Duncan Island, in less than an hour, and then rested for a while under protection of Hurst Island, while the double kayak was checking out the nearby fish farm. Then we moved closer to Hurst Island. There was an interesting rock some distance away, covered with birds, and one kayak had left to see what was there. The second one had followed soon thereafter.


While waiting, we saw a large group of kayakers paddling in the direction of our intended campsite in Harlequine Bay. When our kayaks returned, we had followed the group. Fortunately, they were on a day trip, out of their camp on Bell Island. After chatting with them for a while, we had continued into the bay and soon located the campsite. It had a nice group site on a hill, large enough for up to six tents. I had paddled about 100m further and found a flat area in the tidal zone, just big enough for my tent and kayak.

The group had left for a half-a-day paddle to explore the park islands, while I decided to catch up on sleep and dedicate the rest of the day to photographing the island interior and hopefully its opposite shore, if I would manage to find a trail through the thick forest. By not going to Cape Sutil I had added a few extra days to my safety reserve. This allowed me to slow down, if desired. I had also decided to dedicate the whole next day to exploring and photographing the park islands from the kayak, and to replenishing my fresh water reserves.

I did not get much sleep, though: initially, the crows moved next to my tent and began resolving whatever issues they had had among themselves, or maybe discussing the latest news, something very exciting, considering the level of noise that they were making. Then three women had passed close to my tent, apparently hiking a trail from the God's Pocket Resort located on the opposite side of the island.

I had packed my photo gear in a backpack and went into the forest to take some pictures. This forest was logged 15-20 years ago, with young trees now growing dense among stumps and old fallen trunks.

I had called it a sad forest: it reminded me a crowd of teenagers packed up shoulder to shoulder and trying to find their way in the world without the guidance of the older generation. After several unsuccessful attempts, I had found a way to the bay on the other side of the island and took a number of pictures.

I had also found some curious designs of nature on the rocky shore, like this number 4.

When I got back to the camp, I had found that the group had returned, but two people went to for a hike to the resort. On the two-hour kayaking trip they had checked Bell Island and Head Island, and did not uncover anything particularly exciting. Head Island had some signs of logging (it was not part of the park). In my camp, I enjoyed a dinner of mashed potatoes with the salmon. Thereafter, I had joined the group for a delicious chocolate mousse pudding. Everyone also got a freshly baked cookie: compliments of God's Pocket Resort, not sure if it came from the kayakers staying there or from the staff, but in any case - thanks!
The group had decided to paddle north-west, if the weather permits, to Nigei Island. I bet my farewell at 9:00pm and returned back to my tent, only to be surprised by a deer foraging on seaweeds near my camp. After taking a few pictures of the deer, I went to bed.


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