Second Leg - Days 9-23 - Shearwater, BC to Prince Rupert, BC
The main natural and man made features encountered along this stretch of the route include: Shearwater Resort, Seaforth Channel, Mathieson Channel, Finlayson Channel, Klemtu, Tolmie Channel, Princess Royal Channel, Butedale, McCay Reach, Wright Sound, Hartley Bay, Grenville Channel, the town of Oona River, Chatham Sound, and the city of Prince Rupert.
The Dryad Point Lighthouse comes into view as I enter Seaforth Channel.
After two nights of sleeping in a comfortable hotel bed, and a full day of resting up, I was anxious to get going again on my Inside Passage kayaking adventure. When the alarm went off at 5am, I was ready. My gear was already packed and ready to go so by 6am, my boat was in the water and Shearwater was disappearing behind me.
Looking up Troup Passage.
The sky today was cloudy and the temperature was in the mid 50’s. The tide was falling for the first two hours of paddling, so that helped push me along through Seaforth channel. By the time, I reached Idol Point at 9:20am the tide had started to rise and the current was now against me. I crossed Seaforth Channel where it meets Spiller Channel at the tip of the Don Peninsula. Sea swells were moving up the channel and combined with a headwind and current going against me, slowed me almost to a stop. I kept paddling, slowly making headway of no more than 2mph. Not until reaching Balagny Pass by Watch Island could I get out of the wind and take a break.
It was now 12 noon and I had paddled 18 miles in the past 6 hours, much of it in rough conditions. All I wanted to do now was find a good place to spend the night and stop paddling for a while.
Approaching Roar Islet in Blair Inlet.
Many of the beaches in this area would make great campsites. Most are composed of rounded gravel pebbles, and are elevated enough to ensure a dry campsite above even the highest tides. I spotted a small island off the southeast tip of Cecilia Island in Blair Inlet that seemed to offer the best place to camp in the area. This little island, named Roar Islet, turned out to be the best campsite yet on this leg of the trip. The crushed stone shoreline allowed easy landing and launching at any tide level and a tent site at the top of the beach offered protection from the strong winds blowing off Seaforth Channel. The views from here out across Blair Inlet and Seaforth Channel were beautiful. I spent much of the afternoon watching fishing boats, yachts and ferries as they pushed their way through the rough waters of the nearby channels.
The beach on Roar Islet.
It did not look like rain so, instead of setting up my tent or pyramid fly, I decided to depend on my bivy sack and a small tarp to stay dry. That turned out to be a big mistake, as it started drizzling overnight and continued into the next morning. This would be the last night on the trip that I did not have a rain shelter set up before going to sleep. The next morning as I tried to get dressed for paddling and pack up in the rain, my gear was getting wetter by the minute. All I could do was work as fast as possible to get everything packed before it became completely soaked.