Having crossed the Salish Sea

I’ve been unpacking, washing and drying out gear for the last 4 hours since I got home, but that’s sea kayaking for you, and all I can say is the effort is well worth the experience we had over the last 8 days.

Arriving into Secret Cove

We arrived in Secret Cove on Saturday afternoon, after paddling 26kms that day and a total of 166kms over the 8 days we were on the water. Despite the wind warnings we managed to stay on schedule, and decided to spend Saturday night at Dave’s sister’s house after our final campsite was full of people enjoying the long weekend on the Sunshine Coast.

Our final campsite (Friday night) in Boom Bay on Jedediah Island

Yesterday we completed our crossing of the Salish Sea, and even though we did it in stages, we still did it! The experience was a lot more enjoyable than doing it in one hit with no island hopping in-between, and even while it was broken up, some of the 8-10km stretches against waves and wind were still a hard slog!

The final reading on my GPS

I’m definitely one to enjoy my alone time, but I have to say I can’t imagine doing a trip like this without companions. Tyson had to leave after day 4, but even with the three of us left (Dave, Amber and myself), we had such a grand time together, respecting everyone’s highs and lows that we inevitably all experience, and functioning like a super star team. A well-oiled machine doesn’t even cut it, we seemed to function just on instinct.

Tyson, Amber, Dave & me at the Dingy Dock Pub opposite Nanaimo

My favourite memories from the trip were the moments of silent belly laughter or contemplation whilst watching the sun set over the horizon. The worst times were carrying our boats through low tide sludge where the mud would suck my shoes from my feet and force me to step on the sharp barnacles beneath. Or the mosquitos that forced me to abandon cowboy camping on Ballenas Island and set up my tent in the wind on a slant, only to wake up to it collapsing on me.

My tent the next day after being resurrected in the middle of the night

But the challenging times make the good ones even more magnificent, and I wouldn’t trade any of them for a second (except for finding Amber’s car broken into when we returned to Horseshoe Bay today 😦 ).

Sunset on Ballenas Island

I feel alive in a way I sometimes forget to feel when I’m deep in the grind. A week or sometimes even a few days away can press that reset button we should all switch on and off from time to time. Those moments when you watch over the ocean and think about how big the world is are just priceless. I never come to any grand conclusions about this insane world we live in, but at least I have time to think about it, and realise just how small I am in the big scheme of things.

Red moon from all the fires in BC

A small hit of nature can do wonders for the soul, and I feel recharged enough to put my head down for the remainder of August and most of September before I do anything like this again. Thanks for coming along for the adventure and for sharing in the experience. Reflecting on these moments allow me to appreciate them for just a little longer.

Dave and I enjoying ‘Good Times Outside’

7 thoughts on “Having crossed the Salish Sea”

  1. That looked like fun…hard work…but FUN! The waves sounded grueling, but so awesome. Glad you survived!
    Is that still your same tarptent from the PCT? That has served you well, and is still doing the job!. I have Anish’s old zpacks hexamid from her PCT rush same year..and it is as light as a wisp, but sadly no longer really weather worthy even with repairs.

  2. Hi Muk Muk,

    Just a quick note in an atempt to catch up with you and this post as you wrapped up yet another terrific outing. Like you mentioned, even a few days out of the daily grind can be enough to re-boot. Still, you seem to do it with more flare than the most of us.

    Again, you spoke honestly about the “meaning of it all” and the “smallness” of one’s own self you experienced. With no preasure or need to understand, but simply to observe and enjoy. What a treat ! More often than not we seem to expect more out of our observations. Closure, answers….

    It pleases me to know that you can enjoy yourself without needing to solve every riddle.

    Remember the movie Joe Verses the Valcono ? When Tom Hanks sees the full moon over the ocean ? Your trip and feelings of “smallness” reminded me of that scene. No words were neccesary. You could simply “feel” the truth of it.

    Your outlook is inspiring. Your bravery is a thing of wonder. And your willingness to share both with us makes me happy !

    As you hit the grindstone and work away the rest of the summer, I hope you remember your days on the water with a smile. And look forward, with anticipation, to whatever lies around the bend !

    Till next time
    With a smile,

    1. Thank you Lyndella! Your notes are like poetry. You read more into my words than I know I’m putting out there, and I appreciate your endless encouragement! I have thought back to those days on so many occasions this week. Thankfully I was able to bring some of that energy back with me to civilisation! Keep singing and smiling in your wonderfully unique way! Muk 🙂

  3. Welp, just got an error after typing out a long comment, so I’ll keep this one short. Thanks for taking us along on another one of your adventures! Love (and missed) your writing style. I was just in Canada as well (Banff to Jasper, then Victoria Island). Made me want to move there.

    Can’t wait for more Muk Muk travels!

    1. Thanks Ian, I’m sorry we lost your longer note but thanks so much for saying hi! Isn’t Canada amazing??!! 🙂

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