Day 21 - Monday - June 16 - Oona River to Kitson Island

Mike Lemon making breakfast.

After a great night sleep at the Lemon’s B&B, Mike made me a delicious breakfast using eggs laid yesterday by his chickens. Being a city boy all my life, I do not think I have ever had eggs that fresh before. Mike drove me down to the dock and after getting the kayak loaded and saying goodbye I was heading out of Oona River at 7:10am. The tide was out and the water around the dock was so shallow that only a kayak could have gotten in or out of the harbor. I even bottomed out a couple of times before reaching open water.

Heading out of Oona River with the entrance to Grenville Channel visible off in the distance.

I headed north up the coast of Porcher Island and into aptly named Kelp Passage to the west of Lewis and Elliot Islands. The weather today was luckily very calm, as I had to make a 7-mile open water crossing of Malacca and Marcus Passages. At 9:45am, I left the protection of Kelp Passage and headed toward the Genn Islands, which at 3½ miles out are about halfway across the channel.

Halfway across Chatham Sound and passing through the Genn Islands with Kitson Island visible in the distance through the opening.

I reached Genn Island at 10:40am and headed straight across without stopping. The winds remained calm and by 11:45am, I was passing the west tip of Smith Island. My destination for this evening, Kitson Island, was now only a short distance away and by 12:20pm, I was pulling up on its sandy shore.

A commercial fishing boat crosses my path in Chatham Sound.

Kitson Island is a great place to camp and should be on any Inside Passage paddler’s itinerary. The sandy beach is easy to land on at any tide level and there are beautiful, level campsites up in the trees and out of reach of even the highest tides. Trails lead around the island connecting with all the beaches and giving the stiff paddler the opportunity to get some leg exercise. Two eagles and a family of seals kept me company all afternoon while I was eating dinner and filling in my logbook.

Approaching the beach on Kitson Island.

I got my first experience with the Prince Rupert phone system while on Kitson Island. Apparently, cell phones do not work for anybody in Prince Rupert unless they are connected to the local telephone system. When I tried to use my cell phone, I got an automated phone message telling me that my phone would not work here. I wondered why if my signal was strong enough to go through and make a connection it could not just be connected to the cell phone grid as it is everywhere else. When I was in Oona River on remote Porcher Island just a few hours before, I was able not only to make contact with Mike Lemon but also to call my family back home. If you go to Prince Rupert, notice all the pay phones everywhere, like the ten in a row that you see down by the cruise ship terminal. The reason for this is that no cell phone will work here and people are forced to use the local phone company.

The campsite on Kitson Island is up in the trees above the highest tides.