This turned out to be a good day to take a break. It had started raining overnight and would continue all day. The wind was blowing hard out of the east directly down Johnstone Strait creating two to three foot waves with breaking whitecaps. Paddling today would have been not only uncomfortable but also probably dangerous so I was happy to kick back and relax for the first time in six days.
A cruise ship heads east through Johnstone Strait.
I set up my tarp so I could sit comfortably out of the rain and keep watch for Orcas. Since I was not going anywhere I decided to see how much I could eat. The somewhat hectic pace of the last few days had not left much time to have a peaceful meal so today was the day to catch up. I started up my alcohol stove, collected water pouring off my tarp, and proceeded to lighten up my food cache. I filled all my water bottles with rainwater and spent the afternoon re-reading the sections covering this area in the two guidebooks I had with me.
Looking east down Johnstone Strait and across the Robson Bight Ecological Reserve.
This beach is usually great for spotting Orcas but either none were in the area, or large waves obscured their dorsal fins. Either way, by the end of the second evening at this spot, I had not spotted even one.
Normally one of the easiest ways to see Orcas is to look for the tourist whale watching boats out of Telegraph Cove. These boats receive the location of Orca pods from spotter planes that fly around the area and radio back the coordinates to the captains. Since the tour boat operators guarantee their guests an Orca sighting, they will not leave port unless they know right where to go to find Orcas. If a tourist boat is spotted drifting by slowly, you can be sure there are Orcas nearby.
Last night before the rain started, I collected a pile of firewood and covered it with a blue tarp to keep it dry. When the rain finally ended around 5pm, I uncovered the pile and got a fire going. After it was established, I started adding wet wood that had been out in the rain for the last 18 hours. If not for this dry stash of wood, I doubt if I would have been able to get a fire going this evening.
Unbelievably my cell phone was still picking up a signal and I was able to call home with my location and plans for the next few days.