The Zunoquad: Kayaking in the Broughton Archipelago (2)

Day 2

The morning was bright. The tradition, for many years, has been the election of a leader for the day. The appointed leader must choose a title. Lionel, our elected leader going right to the top for his title “Your Holiness,” bowed to the general desire to hang around the campfire and drink yet another pot of high quality coffee.

On average, it turned out, six hours a day were devoted to serious discussions of topics like what we would tell wives and partners we did on the trip and a business plan for our restaurant with a “roughing it” theme called “Ecoccino.” Around 11 am we finished cleanup, hoisted our food bags into trees to keep them away from mice and raccoons and departed on an expedition to replenish our dwindling water supply.

Heading for Simoom Sound where it was rumored one could find creeks emptying into the sea, we encountered a pod of dolphins on the north side of the islets and then crossed the broad expanse of Tribune Channel.

The vertical granite cliffs glistening in the sunlight on the opposite shore grew to 300 feet tall as we approached. The echo effect from the sheer wall dropping into the ocean prompted a chorus of sound effects.

Close to the base we came close to some unusual sea birds with white spotted wings and red feet.

Rounding the point, one kayak came upon a bald eagle feasting on a salmon. They closed in and chased off the raptor, but not enough of the fish was left to be worth stealing for our lunch. John continued fishing. Down the Sound we saw one of many fish farms scattered through these waters. These nests of ecological evil in the midst of the pristine landscape are hated by most coastal residents but loved by foreign investors and politicians. (see this article by the Raincoast Research Society of Simoom Sound entitled, “What has gone wrong with salmon farming in the Broughton Archipelago” for a hair-raising scientific account of this disaster) They stimulated rich fantasies of ecotage.

Fortunately we found a creek in a cove out of their sight, where we pulled up on the warm rocks, filled our containers, ate lunch, napped, swam, and mooned a large passing yacht.

John’s crab trap landed a couple of formidable sun stars.

Exploring the south side of the Burwood Islets on the way back to camp, Ian used his professional fisherman expertise to disentangle a rope from the propellers of another yacht–a service performed without thanks. Another swim in the relatively warm waters of the clamshell cove was followed by a golden sunset illuminating the summit of Bumcrack Mountain to the east‚ÄĚnamed by Dennis for the cross-shaped snow formations visible near its summit.

Dinner was fish free: chicken-with-rice and butterscotch pudding, which received mixed reviews. The wind came up strong enough to require a windbreak engineered using a large tarp, trees and rocks. Tonight’s co-occupant was as fit and serious a kayaker as Ron. Mark from Portland was cruising the islands in a rare Necki boat, a kayak with a scull rowing mechanism that allowed him to travel at twice the normal pace. Evening entertainment included a lengthy and heated game of cards.

For a full set (67) of my Zunoquad pictures click here.

For a pool (184) of pictures by several people on this trip, click here.

For a wiki including these journal entries and writings by other participants, click here

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