The Zunoquad: Kayaking in the Broughton Archipelago (7)

Day 7 (Again thanks to John for much of this material)

Late awakening with mixed feelings: reluctance to end this interlude of pure living in the present and eagerness to get back to a less simple existence. Slow breakfast of oatmeal and granola. Murray collected clams in the low-tide mud flats, enough for two each. Sunshine.

With assistants, Steve completed Zunoqua and mounted her on a log facing into the bay. Rob created an artful arrangement of grass, rock and roots.

Careful cleanup of the campsite and deliberate packing of kayaks, gear and personal effects to be ready for Dennis’ appointed arrival at 1:30, the moment of high tide.

He got to us at two p.m. along with Leonardo, his quiet stepson, when the tide was already falling. He knew just what to do, as he slid the boat in parallel to the shore and holding it at the bow with a snag protruding out over the water, and at the stern by having Leonardo push a pike pole into the shallow rocky bottom, keeping the boat in water deep enough to float and shallow enough to allow us to to load first our baggage and then ourselves in a race against time and tide.

Dennis two-stepped along the wobbly snag ashore and back, and then at his urging and our cheering, Leonardo followed. Up went the heavy kayaks, whose bows were lifted to him for levering into place on his racks. Dozens of parcels of gear were passed on board by a human chain””a chain means that nobody moves.” And we squeaked out with the help of pike poles pushing us off into the deeper water.

Perhaps in return for the offering of Zunoqua, Dennis went well out of his way on the trip back to Telegraph Cove to a bay in Johnston Strait where he found Dahl’s porpoises to race and cavort with the boat for our entertainment.

Then he proceeded to the middle of the Strait for a close encounter with an Orca which spouted and surfaced.

Back in the Cove, the unpacking went smoothly, we paid our last bills, and Rob the provider came up with beer for everyone. Dennis told us of an even more remote kayaking spot on the mainland near the mouth of Seymour Inlet and Burnet Beach we could go to next year.

The long car trip back down Vancouver Island was relieved by dinner at the Cable Cookhouse Café in Sayward, a unique landmark constructed out of 26 tons of steel logging cable. The complex accounting of payment and reimbursement was completed over hamburgers and more beer and homemade blackberry pie. Peter Behr waited 1.5 hours for his dinner to come and it was the wrong one after all that. The blackberry pie and ice cream was divine. We cleaned them out.

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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