Day 13: Pruth Bay to Lewall Inlet, Stirling Island

Day 13: Pruth Bay to Lewall Inlet, Stirling Island

Wednesday, June 26

The weather is changing so fast here right now — one minute it’s pouring, the next minute the sky is clear and blue; we think the wind has diminished, then a huge gust hits, threatening to blow away our cockpit canopy. We are keeping our screen door in place when we’re at anchor since we’ve both been bitten by some nasty little creature. Haven’t been bothered by mosquitoes but we’ve seen small black flies and the occasional bull dog.
There was more hiking to be done from Pruth Bay and other anchorages along Kwakshua Channel, but the weather seemed reasonably settled this morning so we decided to head up to Adams Harbour at the north end of Calvert Island to paddle among a group of small islands in Choke Passage on the edge of Hakai Pass. To get there, we travelled up the north-south arm of Kwakshua Channel and passed an archeological study site. We had noticed the workers commuting in kayaks, canoes and aluminum skiffs between the site and the Hakai Beach Institute. Scientists believe this village site dates back 10,000 years.
True to form, although the sky was clear when we launched the kayaks, it poured and cleared several times while we were paddling. We had the forethought to wear our rain proof jackets, so only our hands got wet. It is quite cool to be in a kayak when the rain is bouncing off the water all around! When we poked our bows out into Hakai, we were riding long, slow swells which crashed into the rocky shores of the islands on either side. Huge mussels and sea stars hung on in the crevasses. We saw urchins below in the more sheltered waters.
At the top of Calvert Island is Sandspit Point where a home (called a private resort in one of the guide books) is hidden among the trees above the sandspit. What is visible is a long boardwalk with driftwood railings that skirts the shoreline and leads to deeper water where, presumably, boats could be tied to a floating dock. Neither a dock nor floorboards on the boardwalk were in place, so either it is no longer in use or the owners do a lot of work when they come in the summer.
There is no sign of sports fishing activity here – too early in the season ? no fish left? the recession has made the sports fishing enterprises unprofitable?
When we returned to Snug, the current was holding us broadside to the swells, and a few gusts of wind that shook the boat left us feeling vulnerable, so we upped anchor and crossed Hakai, looking for a more sheltered anchorage. Rolling swells but no surface chop made our transit of the infamous Hakai Pass uneventful. Just inside the Breaker Group of islets we spied a sea otter spying us! We’re hoping to see more of those guys (and get photos) in the days to come. We settled down again in Lewall Inlet on Stirling Island — a completely calm and protected inlet, so still that the trees on the shore were perfectly reflected in the water. Everywhere we go there are chattering kingfishers swooping low from branch to overhanging branch and eagles perched high in the trees imperiously surveying their kingdoms.

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