Day 24 - Sunday - July 1 - Peel Island to Port Hardy

Since I only had a short distance to paddle today, I slept until 8am and took my time getting ready. The tide was also very low around this time and an early launch would have required carrying my boat and all my gear over a barnacle-encrusted bed of rocks to reach the water. It seemed best to wait for the water level to rise before setting off.

Queen Charlotte Strait from Daedalus Passage.

This strategy turned out to have an unexpected benefit. As I was having breakfast, a Humpback Whale started cruising around just offshore. For a while, the only thing that gave away the whales presence was the small dorsal fin and the sound of breathing as it broke the surface. Then it started breaching, repeatedly hitting the waters surface creating loud slaps. I grabbed my digital camera, set it to video mode, and was able to capture the spectacle as it unfolded right in front of me. After a series of breaches that lasted a couple of minutes, the whale took a breath then showed me his tail as he disappeared for the last time. What a great show on my last day of paddling.

I could see clear across Queen Charlotte Strait as I rounded the headland east of Hardy Bay.

I launched at 11:30am as the tide rose and lifted me off the crushed shell beach. My route today took me through Daedalus Passage and the Masterman Islands group. The weather was perfect, with mild temperatures and light winds. The Coastal mountain range was clearly visible across Queen Charlotte Strait and the small islands along the route were some of the prettiest I had seen on the trip. Once I rounded the peninsula that makes up the eastern side of Port Hardy, I could see my final destination come into view. I stayed close to shore until I reached Daphne Point then headed across Hardy Bay to the Scotia Bay campground where this year’s trip would end.

My kayak and gear at the Scotia Bay campground.

Today’s paddle was only 7 miles and took less than two hours. It was a funny thing but I did not want it to end. I had been out for 24 days with 20 days of paddling and 4 for layover. I had paddled over 300 miles and had a great adventure. Next May, I plan to return to Port Hardy and continue up the Inside Passage to Skagway Alaska, another 950 miles.

My post trip photo was appropriately taken in a pouring rain.

This leg of the trip had gone pretty much as I had expected and planned. There are a few changes I plan to make to my equipment and provisions for next years trip. I plan to bring some of my favorite foods that I will have dehydrated in advance and sent ahead to post offices in towns along the route awaiting my arrival. I also will have a new tent that is waterproof and instead of a rainfly, a floorless pyramid shelter for cooking while it is raining.