Day 19 - Tuesday - June 26 - Hardwicke Island to The Broken Islands

I don't have any photos from the water on this day because my Go-Pro waterproof camera would not work. These photos were taken with my Sony camera which I only used while on shore.

We woke up to a calm cloudy day at our campsite on Hardwicke Island. Low tide this morning was at 6:15am and the shoreline was far out over a field of barnacle-encrusted boulders. We decided that it would be best to wait for the tide to rise and bring the shoreline closer to us so that we would not have to carry the boats and gear over this dangerous obstacle. The first high tide today was at 12:45pm but by 12 noon, it was high enough to float our already loaded kayaks right off the gravel beach.
At launch time, the winds were calm and the seas smooth, so we headed straight across Sunderland Channel for two miles to the mainland side of Johnstone Strait. We followed the coastline contours westward staying about a quarter mile offshore, always on the lookout for interesting scenery and wildlife.
By around 3:00pm the wind had picked up out of the southeast and was hitting us from the left rear. The wind was blowing over a long distance of the strait so two foot waves were beginning to form. At one point, I paddled right over an area of what must have been shallow water and the waves started to rise up to compensate for the now shallower seabed. Where one minute I was paddling in two-foot seas I was now paddling in what I estimate were four-foot seas. Since I was going in the same direction as the waves I did not see the wave size changing until I was right on it. This was the first “___ ____” moment of the trip. I kept paddling and braced into each wave as it hit and in about a minute, I was out of the worst of it.

Two cruise ships head east on Johnstone Straight viewed from the Broken Islands.

Our destination for the evening was the Broken Islands at the entrance to Port Harvey. Although camping on a small island did not guarantee a bear free campsite, I tried to stay on one whenever possible to lessen chance encounters. I always seemed to sleep better when not worried about waking up in the middle of the night and finding Yogi had stopped by for a visit.

The campsite on Broken Island was very small and just barely above high tide.

There were not many campsites to pick from in the Broken Islands. After covering 17 miles in 5 hrs. 45 min. we were able to find a beach far enough above high tide to provide a dry spot for the night. If tonight’s high tide had been a spring tide, this site would have been unusable as it would have been underwater. Last nights high tide was just 0.3 feet lower that tonight’s, and we could see flotsam on the beach marking its high point, so we were sure we would be safe here for the night.