It was another beautiful morning on the north coast of Vancouver Island, the sea was flat and the air was still. Ngaio had woken with a head ache and not feeling her best. I remember feeling the same when I was starting out on big expeditions, it’s like the body and mind need time to adjust. We took things slow and headed onto the sea at 10:30am.
We both had dried our paddling gear by the fire the previous night so we had nice dry clothes, a foreign thing on expeditions like these! As we made our way around the coast we were followed by a couple of sea lions, they are big and noisy but I think they are mostly curious and playful.
We came to a beautiful bay where I stopped to take some photos, I hear Ngaio swearing behind me. I turn and look and there are no less that 15 HUGE sea lions all with their head and necks bobbing out of the water, checking us out. They make a noisy sound when they breath, kind of like a dolphins blow hole, they were so noisy and excited, diving and jumping and following the boats. We kept paddling and they followed us, getting closer and ducking away, it was pretty awesome! It’s become a running joke now that sea lions stalk Ngaio, she’s not all that impressed.
We came across three men in kayaks heading the opposite way to us, they were hoping to see some bears. I think we made their day when we told them we had seen 9 bears over 3 days along the coast they were approaching.
We put in a good few hours in the afternoon to make it to camp in plenty of time. The fog rolled in and we couldn’t see a thing. It felt like a change in energy when the fog came. It was gone as quickly as it came and just in time for us to land. With sore hands and aching shoulders we pulled up into the beautiful Cape Scott. Ngaio tossed her paddle onto the sand then a wave promptly came and carried her and her boat back out into the water, now without a paddle. I had to take a moment to watch and laugh as she tried to paddle back in with her hands. Eventually I had mercy and threw her the paddle so we could see the beautiful camp spot for the night.
Cape Scott is a magical part of the island, there are wolf tracks in the sand and otters playing in the bay. A 400m walk will take you to a bay on the west coast, the only thing that separates the two is 400m of sand and dirt. We spent some time exploring and taking photos before we watched the sun go down.
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(first two images and blog via satellite phone)