I could hear the rustle of little bodies moving when i woke up this morning. I crept out of the tent and peered down on the shoreline. There were a family of about ten river otters, rolling around in the dirt, having little fights with each other. As soon as they saw me they zipped down onto the rocks and into the shallows, rolling about, still play fighting and biting each other. We have seen many river otters on the east coast, they are cute but sea otters are still Ngaios absolute favourite. We aren’t sure about where river otters got their name as we have seen them only in the ocean. So much research to do on all the animals we have seen!
We had tea by the water watching the otters as the sun came up. It was a strange morning, we didn’t want to get on the water because that would mean our time with Jesse and Austin would be finished. We took our time packing up and paddling into departure bay, we only had a few kms but we stretched them out, taking in the cool rock formations of the surrounding islands and watching the Harper seals as they swam around near the kayaks.
Once we arrived in Nanaimo Ngaio and I had planned to stay with our friends John and Anastasia. Every time we come to a city it makes things very complicated. We have to arrange transport and accommodation and try to find somewhere to leave our kayaks, it’s just a mission. Today we had a ride organised to John and Anastasia’s apartment, all we had to do was find somewhere safe to leave our kayaks, that had easy access to the beach. I pulled up at the first dock I saw, the first two houses I went to had no one home, the third had a lovely woman who kindly agreed to let us leave our kayaks on her property while we were in Nanaimo. We have been so lucky with the generous people we have met in Canada. We emptied the kayaks, tied them up then met Jesse and Austin on the road. The time had come to say goodbye! They gave us sooo many goodies to take on the rest of our trip with us, Austin was worried about Ngaio being cold so she gave her her warm clothes, even though Austin is about the size of one of Ngaios legs. We feel so damn lucky that they joined us on our journey and we had such a fun time with them, it will always be a special part of the trip for us. John let us into the apartment when he finished work, we haven’t seen him since filming for Coextinction so we were looking forward to a catch up. Anastasia got home from work and we watched the hockey, ate home made pizza and enjoyed being surrounded by good people. If I’ve learnt anything over the last eight days it’s that positive human connection is so important in our lives. We are waterproofing the tent tomorrow in preparation for a wet two weeks ahead. It’s starting to get chilly and the rain will only make it colder!