The sound of crashing waves roused us from our sleep. Waking up to the sound of waves is the best ... unless you are kayaking! Today was the first day of paddling on the west coast. Vancouver Islands west coast has a reputation similar to NZs west coast, wild, rugged and unpredictable. We jumped up to check the swell, it didn’t look as bad as it had sounded.
We decided to do a portage across to the bay opposite us, this meant we were dragging our kayaks, full of all our gear, 400m to the bay behind us. I made harnesses out of our PFDs by threading rope through the back and tying them to the front of the kayaks. Then, like horses ploughing a field, we dragged the kayaks across to the bay. Now we were officially on the west coast! The bay was beautiful and calm and we launched around midday.
We paddled out of the big calm bay and straight into big swell and choppy seas. It was such a contrast to the waters we had been in prior, I could see fear in Ngaios face and body language. The wind was strong and coming at us head on. We slowly made our way around the coast, navigating the swell, rocks, coast line and sea lions.
The wind was getting stronger as each hour went by, I was about to call it done for the day when I saw an opening to a bay to our left. We made our way in and checked where we were on our map. It was called sea otter cover, 2km from where we were headed , San Joseph Bay. Ngaio was laying on her kayak, I could tell she had used all her energy, as well as being pretty tired as well the wind had really picked up. The cove was so sheltered and the scenery was amazing, with a name like sea otter cove we couldn’t really not camp there! We made a plan to camp in the cove and make our way to San Josef Bay tomorrow, hopefully before the wind worsens so we can hunker down and wait for some better paddling conditions.
GPS Tracker Tips - If you are following Brando & Ngaio on their TRACKME GPS tracker, here's a tip; Once you follow the link, click on the 'Brando & Ngaio' location icon and select 'path'
(If the Brando and Ngaio Icon does not show up on the map click the menu then participant list then 'show all')
(first two images and blog via satellite phone)