Thursday, April 06, 2017

Around the Redondas: kayaking near Desolation Sound, Aug 1-6 2016 Day 3

Discretion being the better part of valour, we decided to stay a second night at Gastineau Bay. We were a little too lazy to take advantage of early morning's calm conditions (a persistent weakness of ours as a kayaking duo); the weather, though mild enough, looked a little unsettled; and staying would mean one fewer times striking camp. So, then: we hung out watching a grizzly at the next beach south of us turning over rocks and munching on - crabs, I guess - then set out on a day-paddle toward Brem Bay. but not before emptying hundreds of sand-fleas (not real fleas, some kind of crustacean) out of our boats where they'd taken up residence overnight.

And ye shall know Gastineau Bay by the big freakin' iron float in it.
I was determined to see the giant-ass waterfall that I've seen videos of. We passed a couple of tricklers, but the promised gusher was elusive. Maybe the waterfall marked in Kimantas was up in the woods? hard to say without more exact maps. (Turns out the time of year had a lot to do with it - the majestic roaring falls I've seen on YouTube was, on second inspection, definitely the wimpy shower that we passed on the way to Brem Bay.)

Toba is amazing: green water (more brackish than salty), impressive cliffs, varying landscape, majestic mountain scenery - pretty much everything you could ask for in a wilderness kayaking adventure.
Jonathon had a lot of fun pretending to speak Loon. The loons spoke back.

We had an amusing - and slightly alarming - episode when we deked into a little notch in the cliff wall and got our rudders tangled with each other. There we were, with hardly enough room for one kayak to turn around, in deep water, with our tails caught up. Some creative jiggling of the boats and whacking with paddles freed us from the prospect of a swim. In this same notch there was a charming little clump of mussels having colonized the end of a rope.

There's some real Tolkienesque landscape around here: 'squatch country.

Looking east up Toba Inlet:
The wind picked up quite suddenly and was making paddling difficult by the time we got to Brem Bay. Fortunately the bay is sheltered, and we made for shore. 
It's a spectacular place.
With a sandy beach at low tide, and enough anchorage for Hugh Hefner.
As well as some crazy modern art, a collaboration between humans and the natural world:
It also fairly reeks of grizzly. Like, if I were a big freaking brown bear, this is the one place in the world I would choose to live.

We had lunch, kicked around for a while, watched whitecaps form out in the inlet, and decided to go for a hike. We tied the boats up high and set off up a logging road. We'd gone about 100 yards when we saw this fellow with the most fashionable haircut:

That put paid to our hike - our food was in the kayaks and we weren't about to leave it there for him to discover. We had a nice hangout and kick-around watching him forage in the riverbed for a couple of hours while the tide came in alarmingly rapidly. eventually the wind slackened off enough for us to feel OK about venturing out again.
It was at this point that my camera battery died. I did get a few pics after this on my phone, but I didn't usually have it to hand.

We had an uneventful trip back and a nice evening. Note to self, though: next time bring more beer. You can definitely find room in the kayak for it somewhere.

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