Murray gets up early today. He sits at the picnic bench and it is silent around him. No people, no animals, no lapping water on the shore, just quiet. His ears ring with the silence and it’s deafening. The darkness soon abates slightly and forms become more distinct. Trees, shoreline, tents, driftwood.
The smoke is less, but the moisture hangs heavy in the air to make the distant view obscure. Soon the sun will dispense with the fog.
Our first task once on the water is to paddle about 4 km across open water to a point on the east shore of the Malaspina Peninsula. Once there, it is snack and rest time, of course. We then head down the Malaspina Inlet along the coast spying out seals, sea lions (two of which follow us for quite awhile), kelp beds and kelp crabs. The crabs are bright orange and just below the surface. We pass a bald eagle perched on the shore dining on crab with a turkey vulture right behind trying to sneak up on him to get the remnants.
Our intrepid guides lead on towards the end of our tour. They take us by “The Aquarium” where there is a myriad of sea life under the water. We dawdle, not wanting to go too fast and have it all be over.
As we get deeper into the inlet, we see more civilization – cabins on the shore, boat traffic, oyster farms and the voices of other kayakers that carry across the water from the other side of the arm. We have become so used to the sounds of sea lions, whales and birds that human speech is an intrusion.
We finally see the Okeover Wharf and know that we are almost at the end of our tour. We glide into the boat launch at the Desolation Sound Resort, get high fives and set our feet back on the mainland.
While Murray, John and Richard go retrieve the two SUVs left in Lund, I schlepp gear up the boat launch. That is alot of gear! We unpack, organize and pack the car up. We thank our fantastic guides, John from Footprint BC and Richard from Island Romer Adventures and tell them we will be back to do Desolation Sound and Toba Inlet. We are on our way.