Day 7 - Monday - June 2 - Namu to Shearwater
My kayak on the dock in Namu.
Since I did not have to worry about high tides reaching my campsite or bears stopping by for a mid-night visit, I was able to get a good night sleep in the bunkhouse at Namu. My alarm watch woke me up at 5am and I started packing up and getting organized. I carried my gear down to the dock and made some breakfast in the floating dining room. Rene, Peter, and Tony, a sailor from Alaska that I had talked with yesterday, came over to say good-by and wish me luck on the rest of my trip.
A lone kayaker on a trip like this invariably meets many very nice people who they will most likely never see again. Phrases such as “see-you-later” are inappropriate, as you both know perfectly well that will not happen. Good-By, good-luck, and happy-trails are some-how the only farewells that seem fitting.
Looking north up Fisher Channel.
By 6:40am, I had launched from Namu and was making my way across Burke Channel. The weather was cloudy and calm and paddling today was much easier than yesterday. The tide was rising, creating a current in Fitz Hugh Sound that was going north in the same direction I was paddling. On top of that, the little wind there was came out of the south helping me on my way. I was amazed to see how fast the shoreline was going by. It seemed sometimes like I was flying.
Looking south down Fitz Hugh Sound as I cross over to Hunter Island.
I crossed Fitz Hugh Sound on a diagonal course heading northwest from Humchitt Island, passing Fog Rocks on my right, and reaching the western shore about a mile south of Carpenter Point. By 11am, I had paddled 17 miles, and was rounding Kaiete Point and the entrance to Lama Passage. I had planned to camp somewhere in Lama Passage this evening but the campsites recommended by the guidebooks looked liked they would be underwater at high tide. The day was still early and I felt good so I decided to continue and try to make it in to Shearwater.
A small islet off Hunter Island in Fisher Channel.
By 4pm, I had been paddling 9 hours and 20 minutes and had covered the 32 miles to Shearwater. The weather now was cold, and it looked like it was about to rain. It was not immediately obvious where the best place to tie up would be because all the dock edges were high, so I paddled around the marina until I found the Harbormasters Office. The personnel there directed me to a small dock attached to the gangway where I could tie up. This spot turned out to be perfect, as I did not even have to unload the boat to get it up on the dock. The dock itself sloped into the water like a boat launch ramp so all I had to do was slide my kayak up the slippery wooden boards and tie it up. This turned out to be the easiest landing yet.
Bella Bella appears ahead in Lama Passage.
I grabbed a few things and walked up to the hotel that was located right next to the marina. I kept my fingers crossed as I inquired about a room for the night. My luck held out as they had one room available for the next two nights and it was only $85 a night. Not bad at all I thought, for a nice room in this remote location. Right after I got all the things I needed into the room, it started to rain. The rain continued with virtually no let up the entire time I was in Shearwater.
Shearwater finally comes into view.
Before long I had taken a shower, gotten into dry clothes, and was sitting down in the Shearwater restaurant ordering dinner. After dinner I used a pay phone in the hotel to contact home for the first time in seven days and let everyone know I was still alive and doing fine.