Day 10 - Thursday - June 5 - Roar Islet to Rescue Bay
Getting ready to launch from Roar Islet at low tide.
The rain, and a noisy sea lion splashing around just offshore, kept me up a good part of the night. I ended up getting off to a late start today, not launching until 9:30am. I headed up Reid Passage in calm water and out of the wind. There were about a dozen small boats anchored in the three coves that indent the shoreline of this narrow channel. These coves offer safe havens to boaters seeking refuge from the strong winds blowing in Milbanke Sound.
Lake Island looms ahead in Mathieson Channel.
The area I was heading into was very interesting. It lay to the north of Port Blackney and to the southeast of Lake Island. The shallow waters here contained hundreds of small rocky outcrops and islets that would make navigation by larger boats hazardous, but assured solitude for a lone kayaker. Seals and sea lions were sunning themselves on many of these rocks, their dark mottled skin keeping them camouflaged from my view, as they seemed to become a part of the rocks themselves. As I approached they would cautiously slip off their rocky perches into the water only to bravely surface nearby to get a better look at this strange creature in their midst.
Flocks of water birds like Murre's, Surf Scoter’s and Guillemot’s would slowly try to swim out of my path as I approached. Sometimes they succeeded but more often, they took flight and flew a short distance to get away from me.
Mathieson Channel widens near Susan Island.
I made my way around the east side of Lake Island and emerged into Mathieson Channel at 11:30am. A north wind was blowing down Mathieson Channel slowing my progress. By staying close to shore as much as possible, I was able to avoid the strongest wind. I crossed diagonally to the west at Jermaine Point and passed Arthur Island on its west side at 2:15pm. Oscar Passage was the last open water crossing of the day and my destination, Rescue Bay, was almost in sight.
The beach at the campsite in Rescue Bay.
After covering 19 miles, I paddled into Rescue Bay at 4:30pm and started looking for a place to camp. Rescue Bay is an anchorage popular with power boaters who use its protected waters for overnight stays. There are few spots where a kayaker can find a safe campsite. Most of the shoreline was solid rock backed up by thick forest and no site was immediately obvious. After paddling around for a few minutes I spotted a small opening in the trees with a shallow beach in front of it. The beach would obviously be underwater at high tide but if there were space in the trees, this site would do. The small gravel beach made landing easy, and a short trail led up into the woods with a flat spot carved out of the underbrush big enough for one tent. I was thankful to the enterprising kayaker that had visited this location before me, and had taken the time to carve this little site out of the thick forest vegetation.
My campsite in the woods at Rescue Bay.
One thing that made this campsite different from all the others at which I had stayed was the absolute quiet. There was none of the usual sounds of wind or surf hitting a beach or even any birds or other animals moving about in the forest. It was so quiet and the vegetation was so thick that any large animal approaching my camp should have been easy to detect. The only sound that occasionally broke the silence was raindrops falling through the trees and hitting the nylon fabric of my tent.