You Could See Japan from Here if the World was Flat

You Could See Japan from Here if the World was Flat
Looking out from a high vantage point atop a rocky promontory, I could see a little ways north towards Superstition Point, an exposed point of land we had to get around to reach protected Cultus Sound and then, in two days, the ferry, 30 km further north.

Approaching Swordfish Bay where the waves and swells got much bigger

Days earlier, we had passed that point without much problem on our way south, but now, paddling north, conditions had changed. To the west lay seemingly endless ocean and swells.

Though we left Triquet Island, 12 km away, early that morning, we encountered a forecasted headwind. That was fine in the quiet channels we paddled through, but as we approached Superstition Point, the wind, waves and swells overwhelmed us. Kayakers revel in those conditions, even seek them out, but they’re not to our taste. We can handle round, slow moving 2-metre swells, but these were larger, and there were also big waves ahead that had the potential to break over our bow.

To avoid calamity, we headed into the large and complex Swordfish Bay to find a campsite someone briefly mentioned a few days earlier. It was not among any I had read about. After scouring all the tiny coves and arms, we found it, a wind protected tidal flat with a sandy section above the high tide mark. Perfect. Even better, according to the forecast, the winds would abate at midnight.

We had all day to relax

Our alarm clock buzzed before dawn, and within an hour, we were on the water, passing the exposed point in much calmer conditions.

Approaching Superstition Point in calm conditions

Soon, we were in the glassy waters of Cultus Sound.

Dawn in Cultus Sound

As I looked west, I thought that if the Earth was flat, we would see Japan, but all we saw was water because y’know, the Earth’s a globe.

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Swells and Waves Go Away, Come Again Another Day

Swells and Waves Go Away, Come Again Another Day
We knew that on our first day on the water, wind would present an almost immediate challenge. That was unavoidable as the ferry from Port Hardy arrived in Bella Bella at 1 p.m. and all the wind forecasts I had been watching showed a spike in wind speed just before 3 p.m. Our worry was that those winds would prevent us from getting to our first campsite.

From Bella Bella, we headed to our campsite, Hose Point, just 15 km away. First, we went north past Bella Bella, then turned west into Seaforth Channel, just 20 kilometres away from open ocean and under 10 km to our campsite.

At first, we were protected from the wind and waves.

Dryad Point Lighthouse near Bella Bella

But the last part, 1.5-kilometre wide Raymond Channel, greeted us with lots of wind and high waves.

Crossing to Hose Point in relatively calm conditions

We turned back and found a deep bay, Odin Cove, where we relaxed in the sun on a lovely meadow exposed by low tide. KJ even made tea.

Enering calm Odin Cove
Odin Cove drying meadow at low tide

As the sun began to set and the tide came in, we left our soon-to-be-watery meadow and made the crossing in calm conditions and found our camp in another serene bay.

Approaching Hose Point campsite
Tent site at Hose Point

Ah, the rewards of patience.

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