I was sitting in the cockpit with my coffee this morning enjoying the peaceful scene, listening to the forest birds and watching a Steller’s jay pecking at rock weed at the end of a log when I realized that Ron was patiently waiting for me to finish my quiet moment so he could get Snug underway. My cup was empty, so off we went, passing the watchful eagle and the otters splashing and snorting and jumping up the bank when we got too close for their comfort. We left Kitkatla Inlet through Kitkatla Channel and passed by Kitkatla village on Dolphin Island.
Kitkatla is an active community of about 400 people according to our sources, and one of the few village sites that have been continually occupied since before Europeans arrived on this coast. The dock is small and close up against a rock breakwater with little room to manuever and we had no reason to stop, so we carried on to our day’s destination in the Spicer Islands to the south.
No wind and no rain made a paddle around South Spicer Island a good goal—a distance of 4 nautical miles. A group of harlequin ducks was outside our anchorage and there were two pairs of eagles looking down on us at different points, one pair at least minding their nest. Hecate Strait was dead calm as we paddled the outside shore of the island. We looked across at Banks Island and wondered if we would ever make the jump from there to Haida Gwaii. Not this year. Back inside the channel that separates the bigger Spicer Island from South Spicer, four Pacific loons were swimming together. A mink swam across the bow of my kayak and disappeared into the forest. A sailboat came into the anchorage as we were paddling back to Snug and continued around the point, finding its own little nook. This is the first pleasure boat we’ve seen for about a week.