Day 12 - Tuesday - June 19 - Grilse Point on Texada Island to Powell River
Setting off across Malaspina Strait toward Powell River from the NE tip of Texada Island.
I awoke around 4am to hear the wind in the trees sounding like a jet engine. If the wind did not die down my alternatives were to take the ferry across Malaspina Strait from Blubber Bay to Powell River or to just sit tight and wait for conditions to improve. At 5am, the wind had suddenly stopped, so I quickly packed up and launched at 6:20am. As soon as I got about a mile into the four-mile crossing, the wind started to pick back up. It was coming out of the southeast at around 20mph and it was hitting me on my right front quarter. Although it was slowing me down at least I could see the waves as they approached and easily brace when they reached me. I found this type of sea to be more comfortable paddling in than when waves were reaching me from the rear quarters and I couldn’t see them approaching and be ready with a bracing stroke. After ten days on the water, I felt surprisingly stable and confident even in these rough conditions, a feeling I no doubt would not have had going solo on my first day out. There was a ferry making the crossing at the same time but since it was going in the opposite direction, it was easy to keep an eye on its position and avoid its course. I did have to keep looking over my shoulder to make sure there was no ferry headed my way from the stern. Since my destination for the evening was close to the ferry terminal, it was inevitable that there would be ferry traffic in the area. The weather was clear and visibility was not a problem. I would not attempt this crossing in fog or at night however.
My campsite at the Willingdon Beach campground in Powell River.
My destination for this day was the Willingdon Beach Campground in Powell River. The evening before I had called the park office to find out their location in comparison to landmarks I could see from Grilse Point. The manager was very helpful and the directions she gave me got me right to the campgrounds beach. This kept me from wasting any time or effort trying to find the location along a crowded urban shoreline. It took me two hours to make the four-mile crossing, but since I had left so early, I was there by 8:30am. I was surprised to see my kayaking friend from four days ago already there with her campsite set up on the beach. We spent hours talking about our adventures over the last few days and how the winds seemed to conspire to keep us from leaving Texada Island.
The campsites here were convenient for an Inside Passage kayaker.
After unloading my boat and setting up camp, I took a hot shower and got into some clean clothes. I spent the rest of the day eating and shopping for supplies for the next leg of the trip. There are plenty of stores in Powell River within a one-mile walk of the campground. This makes it a perfect place for a kayaker to stop and re-supply. The next chance to get groceries at a full sized supermarket would not come until Port Hardy another twelve days paddle away. The campground had a Laundromat so I took the opportunity to clean all my clothes. This was the last campground I stayed at until reaching Alder Bay ten days later.