Bella Bella to Prince Rupert

 

Leaving Shearwater for points north

 

Day 21: July 3--Shearwater to Don Peninsula--Don Penninsula--12 miles

Up to alarm at 6:15 AM.  Packed up camping stuff, went to laundry area and charged camera for last time.  And then had one more go at a real breakfast in the restaurant.  Chatted with waitress at breakfast: Jessi, a teenager who grew up in Shearwater, just back for the summer, but delighted to be living in Victoria now where she can go to malls.  Loading boat was next, which we weren't looking forward to with the big influx of food, but it went in more easily than anticipated.  The kayak is full, but nothing new on deck, just the usual spare paddle and sail rig on bow, and the bucket and SPOT on the aft deck.  Have started pressing OK button on SPOT at end of day, based on what several people told us during break at Shearwater.  After packing went back to store and spent almost an hour on Internet.  Viewed our "findmespot" page and did last-minute email.  Picked up some cookies and fruit and were then ready.  A sailor from neighboring boat came over and took picture of both of us in kayak and we were off by 10:45 AM.  It felt good to be back on the water.  Headed out to Seaforth Channel, NW breeze not too bad.  Were amused to see man sitting high on ledge of lighthouse at Dryad Point, reading book (where Lama Passage meets Seaforth Channel).  Breeze picked up a little out in Seaforth Channel, but still not bad.  Crossed to north side of Seaforth Channel at Raymond Channel.  Just as we were getting close to being across we saw the BC Ferry bearing down on us.  As it actually passed it was quite a distance away.  We figure the trio from Whitehorse should have been headed north on that ferry, so we waved even though chances are next to zero that they would have seen us.  Wind kicking up some whitecaps while crossing entrance to Spiller Channel.  Camped at gravel beach on Don Peninsula a short distance past Spiller.  Sunny all day, though somewhat hazy.  Hanging food quite a project.  David regrets not having gotten good pulley and rope at Marine Store in Shearwater.  Used a small pulley we had which helped some.  Figure we have about 70 pounds of food right now.  Using all 3 dry bags to hang it.  Walked out on point after dinner.  Lovely evening.

 

Dryad Point lighthouse in Seaforth Channel

 

BC ferry in Seaforth Channel

 

Day 22: July 4--Don Peninsula to Dallas Island--14 miles

Left about 7:30 AM.  Both feeling tired.  Bucked current in Seaforth Channel as we headed west, but then turned north into Balagey Channel and Reid Passage to Oliver Cove and going much easier with current.  Fog/low clouds burning off by late morning.  Stopped in Oliver Cove and had breakfast of granola and got fresh water.  On to Mathieson and Percevel Narrows just before slack.  Had current with us going through, but not extreme.  Stopped at Cockle Beach on Lady Douglas Island.  Saw 2 of same type of large bird we saw at Goose Island.  Definitely cranes, but can't remember well enough what Sandhill cranes look like to be sure if that's what they are:  tall, dark gray/black legs, body brown/tan/rusty, red cap on top of head distinctive.  Flew away with a great call.  Went to check out Heiltsuk cabin at north end of beach--nicely done.  Pleasant with wood stove, but lots of rodent droppings.  Looked like someone had been there not too long before.  Human tracks on beach, which was coarse reddish sand.  Had lunch on beach.  Sailed to Sloop Passage, then paddled against light headwind through Moss Channel to Dallas Island--beach on NE side.  Kayak Bill camp still present just inside forest--definitely rough.  Beach and views quite lovely, with rocky reefs all around.  Set up camp, then went out and circumnavigated neighboring islet and caught copper rock fish for dinner.  Weather warm, afternoon sunny.  Many boats passing by on eastern edge of Milbanke Sound--saw several tugs, ferry, cruise ship, fishing boats.

 

Cockle Bay on Lady Douglas Island

 

Kayak Bill camp on northeast side of Dallas Island

 

Day 23: July 5--Dallas Island to Higgins Passage--10 miles

Slept until 7:30 AM and took time for full breakfast, which means of course granola, powdered milk and tea.  Fog limited visibility to about a mile, so not in any hurry.  Took off about 10:15AM, with fog still present.  Headed through fog across shipping lane to Swindle Island on compass bearing.  No ships passed while crossing.  Breeze light, WSW.  Paddled along cliffy rock-bound coast to beach north of Pidwell Reef.  Nice beach--no upland camping.  Recent human visitor tracks, and many even more recent wolf tracks.  Got water at nice, clear stream (not so colored with tannin as most), ate lunch and decided to go on.  Sunny while at beach.  Soon put up sail, as wind slowly picked up from SE to about 15-20 knots.  Reefed sail eventually, but made good time for 3-4 miles.  Stopped at sand beach on islet in bay on north side of Higgins Passage.  Beach on NE corner of islet--several good upland tent spots.  Decided to stay.  Made camp and circumambulated the island.  Edges of bay grassy and we frequently scanned with binoculars for animals, but saw only birds.  Wind continues from SE 15-20 knots.  Many whitecaps on water.  Tried sea weed for dinner.  Fishy taste by itself, but blended OK with pasta dinner and bright green color enjoyed.  Food hanging continues to be challenging because of weight.  Have to use 3 dry bags.  Looking forward to eating it down.  Tomorrow will be a short day spent exploring the Higgins Passage area.

 

Sailing from Milbanke Sound into Higgins Passage

 

Day 24: July 6--Higgins Passage--11 miles

Woke up about 9 AM--neither could believe it.  The bay we camped in (on islet) mostly dries at law tide, so still mostly dry at that hour--so wouldn't have been able to leave early anyway.  Ate breakfast and got off shortly after 11 AM by west entrance to bay.  Saw a sailboat tacking eastward out of Higgins Passage into still present SSE wind.  We also put up sail and passed closely enough that a woman aboard the sailboat called out to watch for wolves and Sandhill cranes (so now we know that what we've seen are in fact Sandhill cranes.).  First we crossed over and checked out unnamed lagoon on south side of channel, then sailed across to Higgins Lagoon.  Just about at entrance spotted wolf--tawny gray, muscular, simply beautiful.  Stopped and looked at us, proceeded on its way, disappeared briefly, then reappeared, defecated and went on out of sight.  We decided against going into Higgins Lagoon because of strong tidal rapids at the entrance.  Stopped for lunch a short ways inside Higgins Passage and there saw pair of Sandhill cranes who were making quite a bit of noise.  Misting/drizzling had begun sometime before, so found tree to sit beneath for lunch.  Just east of Lohbrunner Island came on another sailboat anchored and man had gone out on dinghy to check crab pot.  He was still out on deck and called out as we approached,  "It's been a long time since I saw a black square-rigger coming over the horizon!"  We stopped and chatted and he invited us aboard.  Tycho and Kathy Horning.  We had mugs of tea under their dodger and chatted about travels in the area and looked at charts for at least an hour, which was very enjoyable and a nice break from rain.  Then off in sporadic showers to explore Grant Anchorage.  By the time we looked for camp at west end of Higgins Passage it was quite a bit later than usual, about 6 PM.  Found place as near as we could determine that Kimantas mentions and set up camp.  Later when David was searching for bear branch found the "real" camp--beautiful level, mossy spots beneath huge old trees.  Very open.  Reported to be a record of human habitation here going back 3500 years. Amazing. 

 

Higgins Passage

 

Under sail in Higgins Passage (taken by Tycho Horning)

 

Day 25: July 7--Higgins Passage to Monk Bay--15 miles

Up around 6:15 AM and off about 8:30AM.  Fog/mist/ drizzle/scattered showers during day.  Started with light fog and light SE breeze.  Paddled out into swell and boomers of Laredo Sound, then put sail up for awhile.  Though breeze light, were able to move along slowly under sail.  Soon saw an aluminum power boat coming directly toward us.  It slowed and pulled up alongside.  2 burley native guys and young Anglo woman aboard.  Guy in front, looking officious and serious, says, "May I see your  kayaking permit?"  We were momentarily taken aback, as we had no such permit.  When we acknowledged that we didn't, they all burst out laughing.  They were with the Fisheries Dept. out of Klemtu, diving to check abalone stocks.  Chatted a few minutes, all in good spirits and joking.  Said pod of orcas had been seen in nearby bay the evening before.  We parted, then stopped in late morning for lunch break at Wilby Point, but landing difficult because of rocks on coarse sand.  One person had to hold boat while other ate.  Underway again, were able to sail along at moderate clip, so decided to cross Laredo Sound to Monk Bay on Princess Royal Island instead of Milne Island, which we had originally planned.  Got there about 3 PM, with intermittent paddling, mostly to warm up.  Not an established camp, but small area of sand beach and adequate space for tent in cove of west side of bay.  No fresh water.  Set up camp and paddled to next lobe of bay north to see if water available for bathing--but barrier of rock across entrance and falling tide prevented entry.  Bugs fairly intense.  Mix of mosquitoes, white sox, gnats, and no-see-ums.   Pearl used small amount of repellent for sanity while David just swats them. 
 

Leaving Higgins Passage, heading out to Laredo Sound

 

Day 26: July 8--Monk Bay to Baker Point--18 miles

Up to alarm at 5:30 AM and ready to go by about 7:30AM--can't seem to do it quicker than 2 hrs. if we eat breakfast.  Paddled out around Dallain Point and even before we got there one could feel the brisk NW breeze.  David thinking we should have gone further yesterday when we had a southerly breeze.  Started up the east side of Laredo Channel and breeze picked up.  White caps started forming, and we decided to cross over to Fernie Point area on west side of channel to see if some protection on that side.  All the way across quite lumpy with wind waves and white caps.  Finally reached other side and started north and David commented that it seemed like we had a current with us because we were actually making fairly good time into the wind.  At some points waves smoothed out a bit, but David actually sought out rougher areas because bumpiness was usually an indication of where current was strongest running against wind.  Passed Rothsbotham Island and stopped briefly for pee break, then continued on.  By noon wind had abated and at times almost completely calm, but current still helping us northward.  Watched a large seal surfacing with a fish in its mouth which it violently slapped around, apparently hoping to break it into bite-sized pieces.  Stopped briefly at beach with extensive tidal meadows, and considered camping there, but decided to press on a couple more miles to Baker Point.  Arrived about 2:30 PM.  Extensive sand beach, wolf tracks.  Unloaded and ate lunch.  Set up camp in forest just back from sand spit right at point.  David developed the site.  Very nice.  Then walked south down beach to a stream for a bath.  David also shaved head with help from Pearl.  Both tired, but very happy that we made 16 miles on a day when we were afraid we'd be paddling against wind all day.  Also enjoying this spot a lot, one of our nicest camps so far.

 

Baker Point, Aristazabal Island

 

Day 27: July 9--Baker Point to Campania Island--21 miles

Up to alarm at 6:30 AM.  Forecast of light wind and fog today, building NW wind tomorrow.  Despite lovely camping spot and feeling like we're ready for a day off, decided to head on ahead of tomorrow's winds.  No breakfast and off by 8 AM.  Overcast skies and fog to north, making our destination, Campania Island,  invisible.  Light SSE breeze and put up sail.  Rode wind and current to Ulrich Point on Aristazabal Island where we encountered series of florescent green fishing boats from nearby lodge.  Breeze dropped.  Paddled on to islets off NE corner of Rennison Island, observing orcas spyhopping and splashing in distance.  Then closer views of humpback whale blowing and fin slapping.  Took compass bearing, allowing about 10 extra degrees for anticipated NE setting current and headed into the void.  Soon enveloped in fog.  Paddled onward into light NNW breeze.  2 hours later, stopped and heard surf to port and behind us.  Paddled that direction for about half mile and confirmed DuPont Island, so current apparently non-existent or lighter than anticipated.  Could also momentarily see Glide Island and sailboat heading south.  Took new bearing and headed directly to Campania, with large seal following much of the way--would surface every few minutes and look at us.  Looked and felt like a dog faithfully following us and Pearl found herself singing Tige you were faithful...   Landed on sand beach after 6 1/2 hours in the boat.  Toilet break and lunch long overdue, though David had previously peed into bucket.  Continued paddling up coast, eventually coming to small sand beach--looked it over and went on.  Soon very long sand beach with stream in middle.  David did thorough survey, but found only 1 marginal tent spot, though plenty of human tracks.  Meanwhile, Pearl tended boat--did not realize potential for being left high and dry on very shallow beach on ebb tide.  Process was almost beyond remedy by the time she went for David, but finally were able to scoot boat to deeper water to depart.  Headed on up coast, passing several small beaches and eventually came to pretty beach that looked like it had more camping potential.  Landed and found nice tent site already formed in forest.  Set up camp, bone-tired and thirsty, as had left without much filtered water.  Filtering a major hassle because filter clogs with every liter.  So now filtered water and got dinner.  Food hanging the usual hassle.  Beach beautiful, but visibility still limited to 100-200 yards at best.  Sand very fine and into everything.  Mileage 21 miles for day, our longest so far and felt especially long because it was our 7th day of paddling without a break.

 

Campania Island in fog

 

Day 28: July 10--Campania Island--rest day

Woke about 7 AM, listed to weather, then turned over and went back to sleep until nearly noon--13 hours!   Had breakfast around noon and reveled in day off.  Walked beach, enjoyed view out to Dewdney Island, walked over to neighboring cove for water and rinsed out clothing, repaired rudder cables and other odds and ends on boat.  Mid afternoon a power boat arrived with kayaks and canoe on board, towing outboard skiff.  Didn't talk with them and they appeared to move on to beach just north of here.  Then later in afternoon 3 kayakers paddled in--Ron, Bernhard, and Dave.  We made them welcome to share beach, which they did.  Gorgeous day.  Fog burned off by early afternoon.  Sunny, warm and calm in afternoon.  Went out after doing repairs and caught fish for dinner.  Then walked over and chatted with neighbors.  Ron is from Ireland, Bernhard from Germany, both now living in Vancouver and working for the same company, and Dave is Ron's friend from England.  They're out on a 3-week trip circumnavigating Princess Royal Island.  Evening warmest yet on trip and completely clear.  This evening and recent evenings buggy--mostly biting gnats.  A few biting flies during day.  Tomorrow hope to climb Mt. Pender.

 

White sand beach at Campania Island.  Mt. Pender is peak on right

 

Day 29: July 11--Campania Island--rest day--3 miles

Woke to low clouds.  Had breakfast and spoke with Ron, Bernhard and Dave.  We decided to paddle over to south beach where we had previously scouted out rough trail going up to bluff above tree band.  Bernhard meanwhile took off walking with idea that Ron and Dave might catch up.  We landed at beach, headed up trail to moor-like area.  Clouds lifting, then sunny, calm.  Considered direct route to summit, then decided to go around to south side of Mt. Pender.  Contoured around mountain then up through forest where travel not bad, moss-covered rocks and logs, brush not too thick.  Then got into steeper, rockier area with denser underbrush--a real thrash.  Eventually broke out onto rock and reached summit shortly after--arrived 2 PM after 3-1/2 hour climb.  Pearl totally exhausted.  Bernhard already at summit having taken a roughly similar route.  Clear, sunny, calm, though a bit hazy, but incredible views.  Snowy peaks of Coast Range showing inland, waterways and islands surrounding Campania, and out beyond Estevan Group a cloud bank over Hecate Strait.  Spent 1 1/4 hours on summit enjoying views, lunch, talking with Bernhard.  Then he took off down SE ridge toward lakes, which he later reported was a very rough route and not worth it.  We headed more or less directly back toward camp from summit, first down SW ridge to very cliffy area, then directly down very steep gully through wooded area, often wondering if it would play through or end in cliffs, but it did.  Pearl's legs trembling from rigorous climb and descent.  Insects, especially black flies and other biting insects in humming swarms around our heads.  David found bug net quite helpful, but Pearl hadn't thought to bring hers, so kept applying repellent to little avail.  Reached bottom and arrived at beach just as group from power boat landed at beach.  Turns out to be group from Terrace, BC fighting plan to move tar sand oil from Alberta to SE Asia via Kitimat and the channel just south of Campania Island.  It would be an outrage if it ever came to be.  Paddled back to camp.  Made dinner, then paddled up McMicking Inlet to where Terrace group camped.  No one around, so just enjoyed glorious evening, though white sox still out in plentiful numbers.  Weather remained calm and perfectly clear and warm.  Watched gulls and smaller water birds and stayed up until sunset at 9:45 PM.  Bed never felt so good.

 

Summit of Mt. Pender, Campania Island, looking northwest

 

Day 30: July 12--Campania Island--rest day--5 miles

Up in time to see trio off about 8:30 AM.  Foggy, breeze NW at about 10 knots, cool.  After breakfast went out for day-paddle in McMicking Inlet.  Stopped to say farewell to Terrace group.  Saw numbers of large jellyfish, peach-colored.  Power boat from Bernard Harbor resort came in with customers on a day trip--kayaks on top--about 6 passengers.  Guide somewhat apologetic for disturbance and eager to tell us about his kayak trip from Alert Bay to Kitimat earlier in spring.  Poked around bays, but never found warm pool described by Terrace folks.  Back to camp for lunch, bath and laundry in stream at next beach south.  Listened to CBC news on our little AM/FM/SW receiver--we both felt weird listening to inane news out here--distracting somehow.  Went out fishing and caught big one that got away, then little one that we threw back, and then lost silver Buzz Bomb to kelp.  Finally caught a nice one with white Buzz Bomb.  Very good delicate flavor.  Sun setting and white sox in quantities.  Fog broke up later than yesterday and blew in anew periodically through afternoon.  So glad we went up mountain yesterday.  Major flyway here--often see airliners overhead going to and from Alaska.  Late in evening 2 power boats came into the inlet.
 

Sunset at Campania Island

 

Day 31: July 13--Campania Island to Cherry Islets--16 miles

Overcast morning, light breeze from north.  Bit of drizzle.  Up at 7 AM, off by 9 AM.  Slowly paddled up the coast against light breeze and current.  Very little boat traffic until Otter Channel, where number of boats, especially sport fishing boats from resorts on Fin Island increased dramatically.  Watched humpback breach, fin-slap, etc for about 20 minutes--occasional tremendous leap and splash.  Sailed across much of Otter Channel on up to Cherry Islets, arriving about 6 PM.  Current opposing until about last 1/2 mile by Pearl's opinion.  David not sure about Otter Channel because it was difficult to determine due to wind, though agrees kelp direction suggested it was opposing.  Lovely campsite at Cherry Islets.  Shell bar between islets, with nice upland tent site and lovely place to eat with overview of Squally Channel.  It is now 10 PM and still light out, sport fishing boats still buzzing about.  2 cruise ships passed in Lewis Passage.  No drizzle in PM, but day remained overcast.
 

Cherry Islets in Squally Channel

 

Day 32: July 14--Cherry Islets to Red Bluff Creek--18 miles

Up at 7:30 AM, no alarm.  Overcast sky, no precipt overnight.  Granola and tea, load boat, off about 10:00AM.  Sailed most of way to Mollison Point in nice 10-knot southerly.  Paddled to cove just inside Peters Narrows.  Neap tide, so current about 4-5 knots through Narrows.   Lunch at potential campsite in Union Passage, which we found too closed in for our preference.  Continued on through Union Passage, passing potential nice camping area just west of Hawkins Narrows.  Paddled against flood tide through Hawkins Narrows.  Had to paddle hard through last couple hundred feet.  Then picked up nice SE breeze in Grenville Channel and rode it and flood current to Red Bluff Creek.  Saw only northbound fishing boast and northbound power cruiser.  Did see impressive glacier-rounded granite mountain east of Moseley point and maybe 5-10 miles inland.  Red Bluff Creek camp:  beach adequate, upland tent sites nice.  Arrived about 6 PM.  Swarms of insects and both wore head nets, a great help though Pearl killed probably a couple dozen inside net.  Back of Pearl's neck looks like red sandpaper from bites.  Red Bluff Creek quite roaring, falls at end.  Overcast all day, but no precip.

Hawkins Narrows, looking out to Grenville Channel

Heading north under full sail, Grenville Channel

 

Day 33: July 15--Red Bluff Creek to Evening Point (Grenville Channel)--21 miles

Woke without alarm about 7:15 AM to dappled sunshine on tent wall.  Got fresh water from the creek.  Had breakfast and headed out, catching 10-15 knot SE wind and south-setting current.  Left camp about 9:30AM and got to Lowe Inlet 2 hours later, sailing all the way.  Partly sunny, mild temps.  Notable tide rip in Grenville Channel opposite Lowe Inlet.  Sailed into Lowe Inlet.  At Nettle Basin met senior couple from Victoria aboard their ex-commercial fishing boat Tropic Isle.  They took pictures of us under sail--said they were going to put them on their website.  Had many questions about our trip.  Seemed impressed that we had come from Port Hardy, carrying everything on our little boat.  Paddled over to Verney Falls, where many sockeye salmon were leaping out of the pool at the base of the falls.  Landed at beach just north of falls and had lunch and David hiked to edge of lake just north of falls.  Many blueberries, but not ripe yet.  No sign of bears.  Indian fish trap made of stones still mostly intact near falls.  BC fisheries boat showed up while we were there.  Many pilings on north side of Nettle Basin marking site of old cannery.  Hard paddle back out to Grenville Channel bucking gusty inflow winds.  Back out at Grenville current was now north setting, plus SE wind so made fast time sailing.  After several miles put on fleece jackets under rain gear as rain approached from south, then skies opened up.  A couple of passing power boats waved, probably looked on us with pity, but we were warm, dry and happy except for sore butts--glad to be out of reach of marauding insects.  We've concluded that the Natives probably spent all their time out in dugout canoes to stay clear of insects--probably the reason they built the canoes in the first place!  Got to Evening Point about 5 PM, but couldn't find Kimantas's recommended campsite.  Backtracked down Grenville Channel about 150 yards south of Evening Point and camped at NW-facing stone beach with nice undeveloped tent site overlooking Grenville Channel.  Insects even more intense than last night--gnat-like bloodsuckers.  BC ferry passed as we ate dinner.  Saw roughly a dozen pleasure and fishing craft throughout the day

Verny Falls at head of  Lowe Inlet off Grenville Channel

 

Native fish trap made of rocks in Lowe Inlet off Grenville Channel

 

Day 34: July 16--Evening Point to Kumealon Inlet (Grenville Channel)--20 miles

Left Evening Point about 9:45 AM.  Few sprinkles in the night.  Pearl disturbed by number of vessels passing in the night, but otherwise very nice camp.  Light SE breezes to Kxngeal Inlet. Then breeze picked up and we made better time on 10-15 knot breeze.  We sailed most of that time, paddling perhaps 30 minutes only.  Decided on a whim to go into Baker Inlet, as looked intriguing through narrow passage of Watts Narrows.  Pretty setting with mountains in background with many patches of snow.  Main wildlife sighted was kingfisher at Watts Narrows.  Strong gusty headwinds and hard opposing current as we exited.  Took short pee breaks 2 times, but beaches rough and barnacled and ate bars and dried fruit in boat for lunch.  Continued sailing north once back in Grenville Channel.  Checked out potential campsite at south entrance to Kumealon Inlet, then went on and found good site at north side--just east of Kumealon Island.  Rain became fairly hard as we were reaching camp, but good shelter in forest.  Had dinner under shelter of cedar and spruce trees.  Sailboat anchored in bay just to the north.  Much more traffic on Channel today--lots of motor yachts and a BC ferry and a couple tugs, a few commercial fishing boats.  Counted about 6 different types of moss here.   David noticed large cedar tree, still living but hollow on inside and burned up to 20-30 feet on inside with ax marks on inside as well.  Has noticed a number of others on this trip.

 

Pearl cooking dinner near Evening Point, BC ferry in Grenville Channel

 

Rain coming in Grenville Channel

 

Day 35: July 17--Kumealon Inlet (Grenville Channel)--7 miles

Rained virtually all night, often hard.  Woke about 7 AM, got up, dressed and launched in hard rain.  Left camp in place.  Paddled to Kumealon Passage.  Got nearly all the way through until stopped by tidal rapid.  David walked over and checked out rapid, and we waited about 45 minutes until current lessened near slack tide.  Meanwhile 4 people in inflatable dinghy from sailboat in Kumealon Inlet managed to get through another channel.  Shortly after that we were able to safely pass through.  Rain also stopped, after having absolutely poured from camp to passage.  Paddled through lagoon to estuary on south end and up estuary short distance to where it became too shallow.  Other than birds and seal, no sign of wildlife.  Kingfishers seem to particularly like the inlets.  Stopped and chatted with folks in inflatable--British, 2 couples.  Younger couple and skipper had sailed boat from England through Patagonia over course of last year.  She said this coast reminiscent of Patagonia, but there wilder, no services, no people "except marine nomads."  Paddled back through tidal rapid now on ebb, a bit of exciting ride, but got through easily.  Area around inlet and lagoon heavily logged, some recently.  Gravel operation (quarry) on north side of inlet from years past.  Hard paddle out of inlet due to strong inflow wind.  Raining again.  After lunch, listening to forecast for high winds, decided to stay put.  Napped.  When got up later in afternoon started raining again.  Strong SE winds and frequent heavy rain.  Got water from nearby creek, made dinner and getting ready to enjoy a chapter of The Golden Spruce while listening to wind in trees and raindrops on tarp.  Grateful for dry space.

 

Kumealon Passage in Kumealon Inlet

 

Day 36: July 18--Kumealon Inlet to Kitson Island--24 miles

Up about 7:30 AM to first raindrops all night, but didn't last long.  Still SE breeze.  Had breakfast and launched about 10 AM.  Passed what appeared to have been good camping area on NW side of Kumealon Island with sand/stone beach.  Sailed up remainder of Grenville Channel in 10-15 knot wind and occasional showers.  Many fishing boats, especially seiners, all heading south.  Crossed channel and considered stopping at beach on McMicking Island, but with favorable current and freshening southerly wind, decided to push on.  Went past Genn Island, but no beach there.  Continued to sail north, passing a number of gillnetters before arriving at Kitson Island about 6 PM.  2 kayakers on south beach.  We landed on east beach.  Met Inside Passage kayakers Phil and April.  Enjoyed chatting with them after dinner.  They started in Gig Harbor May 2, with goal of Glacier Bay.  Compared notes and they seemed to enjoy that too.  Rain showers ended by late afternoon.  Never got out of boat from 10 AM to 6 PM, our longest stretch yet.

 

Crab boat leaving Prince Rupert Harbour

 

Day 37: July 19--Kitson Island to Prince Rupert--11 miles

Hard for Pearl to get to sleep because she had gotten quite cold the evening before, so slept late, until 8 AM.  Left around 10:40AM.  Current contrary most of the way, but did have SW breeze and sailed about 1/3 of the distance to Prince Rupert.  Stiff breeze by the time we got to Atlin Terminal and water choppy with numerous wakes.  Tied up at Prince Rupert Rowing and Yacht Club and went over to info centre where we were served by very helpful young native woman.  Walked to Safeway and became overwhelmed by hunger.  Got deli pizza and quiche and 4 sweet rolls and quart of milk, 2 apples, and stepped out of store to table with thought of just eating a little to keep us going, but sat down and consumed everything immediately.  Back to Yacht Club and showered--oh, so good!  Then used public phone there.  David talked with his Mom and John H. and Pearl spoke with Ellen and Dale.  Then paddled across channel and found camping spot straight across from Atlin building.  Fairly rough beach, and have to be careful of wakes, but tent site not bad.  Rain falling softly on tarp now.  Had to put kayak up on logs because high tide expected and not sure of previous level.  Could see mountains in Alaska to the north before entering Prince Rupert harbor. 
 

Kayak at Prince Rupert Yacht Club

 

Totem pole, Prince Rupert

 

Day 38: July 20--Prince Rupert--2 miles

Pearl had poor night, not sure why.  Woke about 7 AM.  Got laundry and trash together to take across to Prince Rupert.  Left camp intact.  Paddled across placid channel to Prince Rupert and tied up at Yacht Club.  Breakfast at Coast Hotel--omelot and scrambled eggs.  Good food, desultory service.  Went to library amid heavy showers.  Friendly, helpful staff.  Got 2-3 hours on internet and sent email to friends and family, downloaded lyrics to a number of songs, and researched next leg of trip.  Laundry next, then shopping, and lunch/dinner at Herby's.  Again, good food, even more desultory service.  On to Safeway for provisions and back to Visitor Centre for last check of email.  Then more phone calls--Stuart, Steve, and Wanita.  Charge camera battery.  Never have met Yacht Club caretaker, but got word that we can tie up during the day without charge.  They have showers, Internet access, phone booth, so it's all very handy.  Paddled back to camp and put kayak up for high tide, used new bear line with pulley, which worked well.  About then city lit up by evening sun across channel--quite impressive.  Forecast for NW wind.

 

Prince Rupert, looking south from our camp across Prince Rupert Harbour