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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!