• We apologize for the somewhat convoluted sign-up process. Due to ever-more sophisticated attacks by chatbots, we had to increase our filtering in order to weed out AI while letting humans through. It's a nuisance, but a necessary one in order to keep the level of discourse on the forums authentic and useful. From the actual humans using WCP, thanks for your understanding!

Klemtu 2 Port Hardy 2023

That was a great read, Jon. You guys got hammered with the weather! I’m curious how many days worth of food you had and whether you experienced anxiety about running out — 24 days is a long time to go without resupply.

The “brown bear” — was he a brown-coloured black bear or a grizzly?

Cheers,
Andrew
 
That was a great read, Jon. You guys got hammered with the weather! I’m curious how many days worth of food you had and whether you experienced anxiety about running out — 24 days is a long time to go without resupply.

The “brown bear” — was he a brown-coloured black bear or a grizzly?

Cheers,
Andrew
We took three weeks of normal breakfasts and dinners and about 4 weeks of lunch and meal bars. I lost most of the forth weeks lunch and had a couple more days left. I like ProBars for fuel about an hour or two after breakfast. I had an extra week of those. We weren't going to starve but I didn't want to make that my entire diet. I typically carry 4 weeks of food and never resupply.

According to the paw prints, facial profile and hump this was not a Black Bear. I was surprised when I saw the photo how dark he looked. He was a light colored animal.
 
Great write up! Impressively horrible weather, too.

I'm glad everyone survived the encounter with the bear. Although, judging by how well equipped you were in the photo, I'm sure you would have made quick work of the bear.
 
Great write up! Impressively horrible weather, too.

I'm glad everyone survived the encounter with the bear. Although, judging by how well equipped you were in the photo, I'm sure you would have made quick work of the bear.
I'm told that Brown Bears fear $5.00 Poop Shovels above all else. I'm sure that was what made the difference between life and death.
 
Great write-up, Jon. A good, old-fashioned WCP-style trip report! Thanks for posting.

I agree with your ID of the brown bear. From the photo, the bear's shoulder is humped, the ears are large, fat, and short, the face is flat and round, and the head is large and heavy. Amazing to see that species in September in a place like Cape Caution. It should be foraging in salmon streams this time of year, but there are no salmon streams anywhere near there. The seeps at Indian Cove, as you discovered, are barely a trickle. The larger streams in the other bays on the cape don't support salmon. I wonder what a brown bear was doing there.

A few questions came to mind while I was reading. I hope these questions aren't too personal, but it's so easy to imagine myself following in your footsteps, I hope you are willing to answer:
  • Do you have any pictures of the possible Kayak Bill site at Wilby Point?
  • Other than Wilby Point, you don't mention searching for more Kayak Bill sites, even when you were in fruitful locations such as Swordfish Bay. Are you taking a break from Kayak Bill, after your many years of service as our Kayak Bill expert-in-chief?
  • You were in the vicinity of some cool cultural sites. Did you find anything noteworthy in that regard, other than the clam gardens?
  • The entrance to Indian Cove sounds challenging during the two-meter swell you experienced. Do you think Blunden Bay, one headland to the south, would have been easier under those conditions—and also easier to locate from the water during a time of heavy fog?
  • Speaking of fog, why did you have so much trouble navigating in the fog in Milbanke Sound, Queens Sound, and Neck Ness? You describe repeated instances of finding yourself a mile or more off-course once the fog lifted or once you finally found a landmark you could recognize. You talk about how hard it was to identify the entrance to Indian Cove on a rough, foggy day—a struggle I have experienced as well. You also mention several instances of "compass fatigue" from following a blind bearing through fog. Yet you also mention having at least one working GPS unit—one that consumed batteries at a ferocious rate! If the GPS was working so hard that it repeatedly exhausted its batteries, why couldn't it solve your navigation problems?
Again, thanks for a great trip report!

Alex
 
Now that's a tale! I've never had gear failure like that. Something to keep in mind. Redundancy is a good thing.
 
Great write-up, Jon. A good, old-fashioned WCP-style trip report! Thanks for posting.

I agree with your ID of the brown bear. From the photo, the bear's shoulder is humped, the ears are large, fat, and short, the face is flat and round, and the head is large and heavy. Amazing to see that species in September in a place like Cape Caution. It should be foraging in salmon streams this time of year, but there are no salmon streams anywhere near there. The seeps at Indian Cove, as you discovered, are barely a trickle. The larger streams in the other bays on the cape don't support salmon. I wonder what a brown bear was doing there.

A few questions came to mind while I was reading. I hope these questions aren't too personal, but it's so easy to imagine myself following in your footsteps, I hope you are willing to answer:
  • Do you have any pictures of the possible Kayak Bill site at Wilby Point?
  • Other than Wilby Point, you don't mention searching for more Kayak Bill sites, even when you were in fruitful locations such as Swordfish Bay. Are you taking a break from Kayak Bill, after your many years of service as our Kayak Bill expert-in-chief?
  • You were in the vicinity of some cool cultural sites. Did you find anything noteworthy in that regard, other than the clam gardens?
  • The entrance to Indian Cove sounds challenging during the two-meter swell you experienced. Do you think Blunden Bay, one headland to the south, would have been easier under those conditions—and also easier to locate from the water during a time of heavy fog?
  • Speaking of fog, why did you have so much trouble navigating in the fog in Milbanke Sound, Queens Sound, and Neck Ness? You describe repeated instances of finding yourself a mile or more off-course once the fog lifted or once you finally found a landmark you could recognize. You talk about how hard it was to identify the entrance to Indian Cove on a rough, foggy day—a struggle I have experienced as well. You also mention several instances of "compass fatigue" from following a blind bearing through fog. Yet you also mention having at least one working GPS unit—one that consumed batteries at a ferocious rate! If the GPS was working so hard that it repeatedly exhausted its batteries, why couldn't it solve your navigation problems?
Again, thanks for a great trip report!

Alex
Thanks Alex. I appreciate it.

I took a lot of photos of the Wilby Point Camp that I'll share. They aren't great because 3 of our 4 cameras had died and I was left with my PFD camera. I'm checking with a couple of contacts in the KXX community to see if they will talk to me about the history of that camp.

We paddled into McRae Cove in Meyers Passage to see if we could locate Bill's PRIC on that point. It was raining and I was having a bad-knees-day so we got out and looked around but bushwhacking to where I'm pretty sure it is located would have resulted in pain and suffering or worse. Not the day to do it. We tried to get into the Higgins Pass Camp but, again, the water was too low. I have Glenn Lewis' photos from his visit several years ago. I'm done searching Swordfish Bay. I've found some artifacts, his well, and a place where I believe his camp was but it is all long gone. I did see a couple of boards that probably part of his bed and a bench though they are getting scattered. Over the years bits and pieces have been removed. We paddled past Extended Point but didn't land. Beaches seemed really choked with drift logs and since his camp is at the smallest of three beaches it doesn't take much to make it untenable IMO.

As far as cultural sites, we didn't see anything that we hadn't seen before other than the realization that the tombolo at Tombolo Camp was a man-made aquaculture production and harvesting site.

We walked over to Blunden Bay for a look-see on a day when the while we were weathered at Indian Cove. The very north corner seemed reasonable with NW winds 15-20knots and 9 foot combined seas but I didn't see what one would have to paddle through to be able to round that corner. Kimantas, Lewis and BCMTA all seem pretty cautious about recommending it. Indian Cove, even with conditions seemed reasonable at higher tides. We came and went at lower tides and I'm pretty sure that it would be my choice again. BTW.......More bear tracks on Blunden Bay. A sow and a cub. Not a small cub but not a full grown bear.

I get lots of suggestions and recommendations from folks on electronics. The truth is I prefer to not use them. I have them and take them but they are seldom used for determining location. It's just a personal preference. I feel like I learn more by making mistakes with chart and compass than by avoiding those mistakes using electronics. I feel like it keeps me engaged in the process. I think I drive a standard transmission for the same reason.
 
Out of curiosity what camera do you keep in your pfd? It seems like the best of the lot.
 
I get lots of suggestions and recommendations from folks on electronics. The truth is I prefer to not use them. I have them and take them but they are seldom used for determining location. It's just a personal preference. I feel like I learn more by making mistakes with chart and compass than by avoiding those mistakes using electronics. I feel like it keeps me engaged in the process. I think I drive a standard transmission for the same reason.
I totally agree with you about first using chart and compass, it also makes you more attentive to the shoreline and all its details.
Darn, I also drive a standard transmission car...
Great trip report by the way. It brought me some fun memories of paddling Calvert Island and the Hakai, 5 years ago.
 
Hmm. “Don’t turn your back on the sea” and “don’t pee into the wind” were at odds in this case. Which takes precedence?

Cheers,
Andrew
 
Back
Top