At the mercy of the wind

The moon is shining like a spotlight through my tent this evening and it’s not even full. It’s probably also the first night in a while when I’ve camped and it’s been too hot to wear my sleeping bag! I love these nights. It’s the kind of night that I wish I didn’t have a single walled tent!

Sunset at Pirate’s Cove – Day 3

It’s day four, and we’ve had some incredibly eventful days already. Today in particular was quite hairy. We were paddling against 30 knot headwinds (approx 55km) into 5-8 foot waves attempting to reach Nanaimo. If my boat wasn’t fully loaded I’m sure I would have flipped, but instead we were just pelted in the face by salt water as we did our best to stay together during the 4km crossing. I didn’t get any video or photos of the experience. I was hanging onto dear life to my paddle which was being blown out of my hands. It was that kind of exhilarating experience you wish would be over while you’re in it, but you know you’ll look back on and be proud you survived.

Dave’s wind umbrella (would not have been helpful today)
Paddling through a shallow channel – Day 3

There are severe wind warnings in affect tomorrow (like today believe it or not), so having reached our day 4 campsite by the hair of our teeth we’re contemplating what the next few days will look like. We’ve paddled over 80km already, and like Dave continues to remind me, sea kayaking is entirely weather dependant, so we’ll see what tomorrow and the next few days bring. The wind warning is in effect until Thursday afternoon, so it might stop us from crossing Georgia Straight entirely, but whatever, I’ve laughed so hard on this trip my ribs hurt, and the only reason I think any of us are out here is for a chance to escape reality and to have a bit of fun.

Ice cream on Newcastle Island (before a hilarious game of horseshoe)
Red = severe winds (we’re surrounded)

On this trip I’ve learned a lot about island life and boating life in general. Sea kayakers and sailboats/yachts move in similar circles location wise (beaches, marinas, island pubs), but certainly behave very differently when it comes to cooking and sleeping. It’s been fun getting a glimpse into their world and to realise that although their boat costs about a bajillion times more than mine, I’d much prefer to be paddling my boat with my soggy tortillas and hummus in the hatches, than be on their fancy crafts. It’s quite a liberating realisation I must say.

Coming out of our first marina having purchased fresh water and cinnamon buns
Tea on the beach (I cut all my hair off the day before the trip!)
Our boats docked at the Dinghy Dock Pub, Protection Island

We’ve seen some incredible scenery, stunning beaches, beautiful sandstones cliffs with amazing shapes carved into them from the sea. We’ve seen bald eagles swooping down to catch fish, gulls attempting to swallow star fish, racoons surrounding our tents at night, and hoards of spider crabs that brought out the arachnophobe in me.

Groovy patterns in the sandstone
Dave measuring distance on the map using a green bean
Dave and Amber pumping water at Pirates Cove

I could safely say if I left tomorrow I’d still be satisfied with the trip we’ve had, but we still have 5 more days to go, so undoubtedly there will be more adventures to come. Sometimes straying off course presents an entirely new possibility you never bargained for. We’ll see what happens tomorrow!

Sunset at Chivres Point, Wallace Island – Day 2
Sunset tonight under the haze of BC’s forest fires

4 thoughts on “At the mercy of the wind”

  1. How gorgeous it all looks. Fortunately we’re spared the wild side shots. How you folks get through seas of 5-8 feet in those craft beats me but do stay safe and careful while those conditions prevail. Love the science behind distance measuring with a green bean.

    When you’re all back you can truly say you’ve bean there, done that!

  2. Groovy Sand Sculptures…Check
    Awesome Sunrises ans Sunsets…Check
    Good Friends….Check
    New Short Hairdo…Check

    What will today bring….?
    ☕ Tea and 🍲 Oatmeal….mmmmm

    Keep On Keepin On Having Fun !

    Till next time,

  3. I learned early on – my husband and I used to offshore fish in the Gulf of Mexico every weekend. I would always ask how the seas were and he would say “it’s only 4-5 feet”. I learned to ask, but how many seconds apart? That’s the key.

    Love the green bean measuring tool!

    1. You couldn’t be more correct! At times it felt like the back of my boat was on top of one wave and the front of my boat was hitting the next!

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