July 11 3rd Beach to Yuquot and Friendly Cove.
We were up early as it was a long trip to Yuquot and we wanted to beat any winds on our trip down Nootka Island. It was a foggy morning and the swells were down from our trip in yesterday. We passed Calvin Falls well off shore but could now see them as the fog was lifting in light winds. We headed around Bajo Point and on to Maquinna Point. It seemed to take forever to get there as there is a good view of the point from a long way off. There were grey whales in the bay as we passed by approaching the point. We passed though the rocky point and into Yuquot and the wind. This side is a huge beach and the church dominates the shore with the lighthouse well behind.
July 12 Friendly Cove to Hot Springs Cove
We woke to a cool damp day. After a quick breakfast we explored the lighthouse in hope of getting a good weather forecast. The two lighthouse keepers were a married couple and provided a forecast that was not in our favor. It looked like strong southeast winds.
We were contemplating a short paddle and three days to the Hot Springs. We met Ned Backus walking his dog out to the beach. He was captain of the Franny B. This wife Carol was in charge. As we complained about our predicament he suggested we put our kayaks on his sailboat and sail to the Hot Springs. To say we jumped at the offer would be an understatement.
July 13 Hot Springs Cove to Blunden IslandWe headed out for Whale Islets but I headed into the lagoons around Bartlett Island. These were beautiful coves with great beaches but it was reserve land and we continued out to Blunden Island. It is north of Vargas Island about 10 k from Tofino. On the way we met a couple of kayakers from Washington State on a clam shell beach. They had met Sean in Tofino and we wondered how he had gotten there so quickly. We were very impressed with the distances he had been doing since we left him in Kyuquot.
July 13 Hot Springs Cove to Blunden IslandBlunden Island is the site of many ancient villages and we met a women there with her niece who was undergoing a heading session.
We stopped and set up camp. Dinner was fresh fish. We build a large fire again. We are ready for bed. Our plans for tomorrow are to head for Tofino see Hayden Gabel and eat at the Chinese restaurant. I call Hayden. He is leaving early tomorrow for two days. A Tofino stop does not buy us much. It requires going in and out with the tides and adds at least a day to the trip but it does mean the next stop at Florencia Islets is 10 k closer. We discuss our options and decide to skip Tofino and head directly to Florencia Islets. It will be a long paddle for tomorrow.
July 13 Hot Springs Cove to Blunden Island
We had a misty and rainy night at the Hot Springs Cove campsite but by morning it was drying. We had coffee and tea with our breakfast in the shelter and ten packed the kayaks at the dock. It was a calm morning the boat opposite our kayaks was from Nanimo and he had met Sean. The captain had planned to go north around the Brooks but the weather had been so bad he decided to stay south of the Brooks and return to Nanimo by a route similar to the one he took getting here.
We headed out past the Hot Springs and to Floras Island stopping to fish at Dagger point. Art catch 3 very rock bass quickly but lost one. We hooked them on our decks and headed out for Cow Bay, a huge 4 k beach. There be whales there. We got water and cleaned the fish and had a quick lunch.
July 14 Blunden Island to Florencia IsleAfter an excellent diner we drink another scotch. We have lots as we are finishing our trip early. It has been a warm afternoon but it is cooling this evening. We have only 15 k to go to our finish in Ucluelet.
We end the day watching the sea otters and the mountains in the background. The wind is stronger than we would like. Hopefully it will go down soon.
July 14 Blunden Island to Florencia IsleThe winds do pick up late in the morning and we get to the islet about 1:30 pm. It is a tricky landing at lower tides.
We get out of the water on a clam shell beach. Much better than the fine sand of yesterday’s beach that still clings to everything. We enjoy a extra scotch early as this is our last camp of the trip. We have the smoked salmon I had for lunches for dinner. We watched the seagull try to steal food from the sea otters just off shore in the kelp beds. Art took many pictures. I am not sure who got the most of what the otter bring to the surface – the otter or the gull.
July 14 Blunden Island to Florencia Isle
It was a quiet night on our beach. We had noticed after setting up camp in the sand that there were sites in the trees and I had marked one. The aboriginal group had set up at another. They had been visited by a support person with a motor boat.
We ate a quick breakfast and packed up for a long 32 k paddle. It was calm and misty but some of the swells are larger as we head out past Tofino and by the Radar beaches. Schooner Beach is next and then Long Beach. We are well off shore and conditions remain good but the paddle to the islet seems to take a great deal of time as you can see it from a long way off.
July 15 Florencia Islet to Ucluelet
The Cassin’s Auklets woke us at night with their laughing call for their young and the young squawking for food. They make quite a racket until all are fed.
Morning was punctuated by screaming gulls. It is quite a bird fest on this island. We were up early but had to wait for a tide high enough to get off the beach. We had breakfast packed and left before the winds came up. It was a quiet trip into the harbour. A large ship left the inlet as we passed the lighthouse.