Finally got a chance to sort through the photos.
Not being able to paddle made this trip quite a lot different for me -- but one that nonetheless went by as quick as a blink of an eye. Mostly what I did while everyone was away paddling was just enjoy the fresh air and quiet in this awe-inspiring setting.
I did a fair bit of visiting with Bruce and his family (the owners of the Inn), and had brought my laptop with me and spent a couple of hours doing computer work on the upcoming and totally new WCP site each afternoon and then a couple more hours again late in the evening after everyone had gone off to bed. Mostly though, I just enjoyed the moment and the company of a terrific bunch of people.
---This is the Broughton (sort of)
August 26-31, 2011
Maddie and I made our way up the Island after catching a 5:15 AM ferry on August 26 -- we wanted to be on an early ferry so that we could take our time driving and stop for an hour or so at Telegraph Cove as we'd never been there before and to visit the Whale Interpretive Centre.
And so my paddle-less journey begins...
Heading down the boardwalk to the Whale Interpretive Centre:
At the Interpretive Centre:
Passing in front of the store in Telegraph Cove on our way back to the parking lot. A group of kayakers had just returned from a trip and were using the fence as a clothesline.
We arrived in Port McNeil early enough to complete our grocery shopping at the local supermarket, stow our food, and head to the dock to meet Bruce and the rest of our companions for the next six days.
Loading boats and gear before heading out...
On our way:
Whales! Humpbacks in Johnstone Strait:
Two and a half hours later and we were at the Paddler's Inn. After unloading kayaks and gear from the boat and getting settled in our rooms, Jacquie and Theresa served our first of several great dinners that we'd enjoy over the week.
The next morning we all awoke to a gorgeous sunshiny day with everyone casually readying for the days paddle:
Before everyone heads off for the day, Bruce gives an orientation of the area talking of Broughton features, cautions and hazards, and must-see places:
Jacquie and Theresa returning from their day:
Getting ready for dinner:
The next day everyone was up and on the water early. Bruce and his wife and son (and a couple of his friends), and Maddie paddled off to the Burdwoods for the afternoon. For several hours I would have the place all to myself -- awesome.
Maddie, Bruce and his family and friends heading out:
It was Maddie's and my turn to cook dinner that evening so I spent some of the day slicing, dicing, and doing assorted menial tasks for when the head chef (Maddie) returns from paddling. That's just the way it is when you're the assistant. Maddie arrived back in the late afternoon and we got right to whipping up a six or seven (or maybe five?) course Chinese dinner complete with potstickers and lettuce wraps. It's really good being on Maddie's team when you've got a dinner to prepare. There were no leftovers so I assume that our dinner was well received.
The next morning I was up before everyone else and sat and watched the sun come over the treeline at the back of the bay and observed our team of paddlers rising for the day. This would be a spectacular day as several of the paddlers would see bears, and Maddie, Greg, Nick, and Darlene would be visited by a large pod of dolphins. Exciting dinnertime tales!
Kayakers rising in the morning:
GregN and Maddie head out for a trip to the end of Viner Sound:
Getting ready to go on a slightly overcast morning:
After everyone returned from their trips we had another fabulous dinner and then a bunch of us headed over to watch the sunset from the rocky shoreline on the other side of the small island next to the Inn:
Hanging out on the rocky shoreline:
The next day, most of the others went off paddling but GregN, Eli, Jacquie, Theresa, and I hiked up to the lake that is above the Inn. The hike takes about 45 minutes and is a gradual incline through a forest of evergreens:
Lots of mushrooms and fungi along the way:
The inset photo shows this fungus from the top:
Having a high-school biology teacher along made for a particularly interesting and educational hike to the lake (thanks Theresa!):
GregN stops to take a photo of an enormous (and possibly man-eating) mushroom:
More mushroom shots:
Arriving at the lake:
Mountain lion hunter:
The view across the lake. Not the best shot but the lake is about twice as long as you can see in the photo:
Eli and Theresa go for a swim:
I can't remember the name of this plant (biology was not one of my better classes) but it's a plant that eats bugs similarly to a Venus Fly Trap:
Heading back down the trail to the Inn:
After arriving back at the Inn, GregN, Theresa, and Jacquie decide to head out for a paddle.:
Eli, Maddie, Marshall and myself go for another hike -- this time to the viewpoint above the cliffs at the back of the bay. At the first viewpoint:
The view is pretty good but if you want to see a better view, you've got to go a bit higher:
The view from "Eagle Bluff":
Heading back on the trail through the forest:
The trail to the view point is not as long but quite a bit steeper than the trail to the lake:
Huckleberries. There were lots. It's a good idea to keep a watchful eye out for bears.:
After our hike(s), and the rest of the others returned from their day trips we enjoyed yet another great meal and camaraderie for the rest of the evening. To save time in the morning, all but one of the kayaks were loaded onto the boat for the trip home.
Early morning on our last day. We would be leaving not long after this photo was taken:
Brushing up for the boat ride back to Port McNeill:
Eli finishes a painting she was working on:
Maddie chilling before we leave:
Taking it easy and loading the last kayak before heading out:
It's smooth as glass as we leave (little) Simoom Sound:
GregN and Maddie apparently didn't get enough sleep the night before:
Kayaks on the boat:
On whale watch:
Bruce heard on the VHF radio that a pod of orcas were sighted a few kilometers from our location -- it would be a short detour but worth the extra half hour to the trip. Cameras are at the ready:
It was a really, really enjoyable six days -- a terrific bunch of people that I wouldn't hesitate to do another trip with. Thanks to GregN, Marshall, Jacquie, Theresa, Richard and Eli, Joan and Eric, Nick and Darlene, Maddie, and Bruce and his family for making it such a fabulous time!
For photos and info of the paddling trips that took place during the day, you'll have to see the trip reports from the others.
GregN has posted a trip report here
Can't wait till I'm back in the Broughton again...