morning greeted me with hordes of mosquitoes. There was no question of
cooking a breakfast. I ate some fruit and cheese and an energy bar and
packed up, draped with the bug net. Early morning is a kayaker's best
friend - winds are usually at their lowest, conditions calmer. There
was a bold coast to get by between Black Duck Cove and Louse Harbor.
I'd watched waves smash into it all the prior afternoon, spray
exploding into the air 20, 30 feet. I wanted to get to it early. The
hungry mosquitoes followed me, necessitating paddling while wearing the
bug net, for at least the first mile.
The ocean was calm, wind
blowing in the opposite direction from the prior day, and the passage
to Louse Harbor easy. The harbor itself is pretty and offers camping
possibilities, protected from rough weather. Continuing on, out and
around the next point and then into Port Howe, a deep harbor which
provides a back way around Dover Island.
no camping possibilities here as best I could tell. I stopped here for
a snack, looking out across the mouth of the harbor. Wind was picking
up, the water rougher. I had no idea where I'd be staying that night.
As I looked at the chart I realized that Whale Island was directly
across from me, a little under a mile away. I came upon mention of this
island while I was researching the trip. It had a very interesting
recent history, as recorded in "On Whale Island: Notes from a Place I Never Meant to Leave". This I had to see.
Island was beautiful - massive folds of white granite with a patina of
yellow-orange lichens, clear blue water, rough breakers on the seaward
side but calm on the inland side. There were multiple camping
opportunities. I circumnavigated the island to see everything I could
about it - the little house standing unused in the seaward cove, the
high lookout which seemed inaccessible. Clapotis made chaos of the
water rounding the outer coast - I was glad to return to the quiet of
the inside passage and choose a campsite.
Then I was free to enjoy the day in the sun, and explore on foot.
I was so lazy!
Orange lichens adorning the rocks
How could I not feel safe on an island with these rocks protecting me?!