It felt like the alarm went off as soon as I closed my eyes to sleep. It was 3am and the moon was shining brightly into the tent. We had had a last minute change of plan. Originally we were going to paddle around the coast of Nootka Island. It is an exposed area and requires good conditions to kayak safely. Our latest weather report told us the winds were going to be getting up to 25 knots, too windy for us. We had to go behind Nootka island instead, it meant a longer day on the water but it would be safe, sheltered conditions.
The tides were looking good, we would be paddling on the incoming tide then at midday, when we were due to reach half way, we would be paddling on the outgoing. The only wind we would get would be a tail wind as we head behind the island.
We got in our kayaks and paddled into the bay. We had beautiful phosphorescence again, lighting up every splish and splash. It took longer than expected for us to navigate our way out of the rocks and into the channel. We were treated to an amazing blood red sunrise, I was taking photos of the sky when I looked behind me. There, on the rocks behind my kayak, was a lone wolf. He was strangely unafraid, I took photos and videos of him while he snooped around on the rocks. We’ve been told that we would be lucky to see a wolf so every time we do it feels pretty special. We headed down the channel where we were greeted by two grey whales, it looked as though they were feeding, coming up and going down, giving huge spouts from their blow holes as they went. What an amazing morning we had had already. Paddling up the channel was harder than we were expecting, the tide didn’t seem to be going in at all and we had a head wind, strange. After 5 hours we had moved less than 20 kms, we were gutted, everything felt so hard. We carried on through narrows and made it to Nootka sound just on high tide. By this point we were pretty low on energy and ready for the tide to help us get out of here. Much to our disappointment we saw that the sound was run by the currents, not the tides! We had already paddled 30km against the current with a head wind and we were about to do it again. As much as it sucked, there was nothing we could do except keep paddling. We put on some hard yard paddling the Nootka sounds, and we were rewarded. We were treated to a show of two whales feeding, it was so amazing to watch, I could have stayed there all day.
We had to keep paddling as the sun was going down. By 9pm we were landing on a beach in the dark, 3am felt like a long time ago. We paddled 72kms today, our biggest day yet.. time for bed!
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(first image and blog via satellite phone)