barnes dawn

The fourth day dawned fair and calm. It looked to be a splendid paddling day. As usual, my aims were unambitious - to paddle the immediate group of islands, and to head out toward the mouth of the harbor while conditions were good to have a look at the islands out that way (gold route, below).


The paddling was sublime, gliding across water silvery as mercury.


This is some of my favorite paddling, such glorious conditions. Of course, the requisite elusive porpoises showed up on the scene, making fun of my inability to catch them in a photo:

porpoise not


I'd been a little concerned about my water supply holding out. As I paddled along, a full sealed bottle of water floated with a bump against my boat. Problem solved!

barnes high

Eventually I tired of sublime paddling and headed back for a break. It was full high tide. Compare this to almost full ebb here:

barnes low

Astonishing how much water comes and goes in 6 hours. Astonishing how much the view changes. Astonishing the current it takes to move all that water.

I took off for a hike around this island's perimeter trail. Came upon this interesting location:


Fortunately it had not actually been used.

Lots of birds were at the weir - looked like they were taking advantage of the day's catch to help themselves.


Around on the outer side of the island the cliffs rose higher, affording sweeping views.

barnes cliff

I passed the day idly lolling in the sun, washed my hair, did some laundry, vacationed grandly. When else would I have the time to spend an hour looking at the colors of the rocks on the beach? When else could I sit on a cliff and listen and watch the world's constant shifting below me and above me, for as long as I wished?

Eventually evening came, and with it lowering clouds and the threat of rain. I headed for the tent.

barnes tent

Before long, the rain started.

tent rain

I'd thought it would end in an hour or so, but no, it kept up until well after dark. Why had I not set up the tarp over the cooking area? I had no dry place to make dinner. I rummaged through the bag of meals and came up with Trader Joe's Spice Chickpeas with Cumin and Ginger. It was precooked, just needed heating. Aw heck, I tore it open and ate it cold out of the pouch.


Obviously this didn't bother me too much. Why am I smiling? Because good friend Lorrie loaned me her Exped sleeping pad for this trip. I'd always used a thermorest self-inflating pad. As the years have passed, my old bones have begun to protest these camping nights. I would awaken achey and stiff. Not so with the Exped. I have never slept better in a tent. Awesome comfort. Lorrie, you are a saint.

I read my book and drifted off to the sound of rain on the tent fly. Next day, moving camp to the next island.

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