If you just go for a paddle than you can stop thinking about wanting to go for a paddle.

Monday, August 7, 2017

2017: Post 14 – Caribou and Codfish

Last week Clyde said he was interested in kayak camping on the weekend.. I told him I would prefer to hike and camp (I'm in training for an upcoming trip in September) but if he was going to let me know and I would decide.  He decided he was going to kayak down to, and camp on, Bar Haven Island in Placentia Bay on Saturday and I decided to join him.  

We weren't too busy at work and so I took the afternoon off on Friday and we decided to make it a two night trip.  He picked me up shortly after noon and we loaded up my kayak and gear, and we bought some lunch on the way out of town.

We paid attention to the sign for the turn-off to Garden Cove when we were close, which was the put-in location... Derek would be pleased with us for paying attention as the last time we were here Clyde and I missed the turn-off and Derek had to catch up to us to set us straight... click here for my post on that particular trip.

The time was just a few minutes before 4 pm when we left the slipway in Garden Cove and pointed our bows toward Bloody Point on Sound Island.  

We were intent on a relaxing evening and so we took our time paddling down the inside channel, stopping to look at this run down cabin... 

Before we neared the south end of  Sound Island we had a little chat about how far we would paddle.  I think it was close to 5:30 pm by then and we decided we would start looking for a camp site along Muddy Hole and take the first sensible one we encountered so as to enjoy the evening.

We rounded Upper Sandy Point and there was a beach there that looked to have potential and so we got out and walked around.  As we walked along the beach further along we found a very nice location and then walked back to our kayaks and paddled to our home for the night.

We made quick work of putting up our tents and making camp.  Then it was time to relax and have a beer... 

... and then we had supper.

There was plenty of wood around and we didn't have to break out the saw... just pick up was was readily available along the beach.  We had another beer and then a rum and coke.  We fed the fire as we watched the moon rise...

We fed the fire some more and decided to head off to our tents before it became too late.

I drifted off to sleep before too long and was awaken by grunting  sounds at about 3 am!!  I listened and there was more grunting and the sound of hooves... I thought "that sounds like a caribou..."  It was so close that it seemed like it ran right along beside my tent.

I was trying to get to sleep again and then I heard the caribou coming back up the beach, still grunting.  Then I heard Clyde calling out "bugger off... bugger off..."  he had heard it the first time (it was hard not to) and he figured to decisively let it know we were there. 

It seemed to me it might be up in the trees near us and so I dug out my flashlight, unzipped the door, and shone the light around.  I was hoping to  get a look at the animal to confirm it was indeed a caribou but couldn't see a thing.  Perhaps it was Clyde's calling out, or my flashlight shining about, or maybe a combination of both, but It didn't return any more during the night.

When we got up in the morning it was cloudy but still.

We took our time with breakfast as we had the whole day to reach our intended campsite at Browns Cove on Bar Haven Island.  After our bellies were fueled for the morning's paddle we still took our time breaking camp and packing up the kayaks.

It was just before 9 am when we left the beach.

We paddled toward Hollets Point and headed down the west side of Woody Island.  When we reached the South end of Woody Island we decided to paddle toward the west end of Little Woody Island and then crossed over to Otter Point on the east side of Bar Haven Island.

We picked our way along the shore and decided to go into Bar Haven Cove where we dragged our kayaks across the sand bar.  One of the ladies staying in her cabin there walked down and Clyde had a chat with her for a while.

We launched off the beach and paddled down Western Cove and rounded West Point and then passed Western Cove Head.  Just before we arrived at Back Cove we stopped and chatted to a fellow who was out cod jigging.   

He graciously offered us a cod to have for our supper and we thankfully accepted it.  He said it was the only one he had caught that morning... it would have been rude to have declined the offer.  We chatted some more and he asked us if we knew  a couple of kayakers named Tony Roestenburg and Hazen Scarth... funny but we have been paddling with both these guys for almost a decade now and have all become great friends.  I remember this fellows name was Peter but I cannot recall his last name. 

There was an eagle sitting in a tree as we paddled along...  

I wondered if he might be eyeing that cod on Clyde's deck...

We pulled into Back Cove to have lunch and Clyde figured he should get a picture of me with the cod...

After we left Back Cove we took our time and paddled up the west side of Bar Haven Island until we arrived at Browns Cove (Tony had camped there a couple weeks ago when he did a solo trip in this area... (click here for that post).  

We had a look around and as it was still early we decided we would just carry on a little bit further and camp at Carroll Point.  When we arrived at Carroll Point we had a look around and there was several piles of what appeared to be bear scat.

We put up our tents and set up camp, and then we sat down and had a couple beer, enjoying the warm evening.  Clyde got a fire going while I cleaned the cod and we secured it to a stick with some wire and let it cook away.

When the cod was ready Clyde made some instant mashed potato and we had a very tasty meal of fish and potato for our supper... the only thing missing were the scrunchions.

We threw the remains of the cod into the fire and kept it fed so as to burn the remains... didn't want to give a bear a reason for a nightly visit if it was still on the island.  There was lots of wood around and we piled it on the fire and sat around and enjoyed the evening...

After darkness we each had a rum and coke.  We were both tired from the lack of sleep the previous night and the days paddle and decided we would head for the tents by 10 pm.  We pushed the remaining wood that was burning into the ocean, spread the coals across the beach, and doused water on the coals until we were satisfied it would not be an issue.

We woke up to a another pleasant morning and had breakfast while the tide was rising.

Again we took our time getting ready and were on the water shortly after 8 am.

From our camp site at Carroll Point we made a bee-line for Sugarloaf Island and then Shag Rock, and then paddled up the west side of Woody Island.

When we arrived at west side of Upper Sandy point on Bar Haven Island we got out for a stretch and to look at a potential future campsite.

From there we took our time paddling up the west side of Bar Haven until we rounded Bloody Point where the wind was blowing from the southwest.  It was refreshing to paddle in the coolness of the wind and fun to have some little wind waves to paddle through... 

It was only a short crossing though and we arrived back at the slipway in Garden Cove.

As we were unloading the kayaks I told Clyde this was the best kayak camping trip I've had in a while... The paddle day's were short and the weather was excellent.  The visit by the caribou the first night was an unexpected treat, and I slept really well the second night.  We had lots of time in the evening to enjoy camp life and the gift of the fresh codfish for supper the second day was such a treat. 

In the spirit of a relaxing weekend we took our time and loaded up the gear and kayaks.  It was lunch time then and Clyde had a hot turkey sandwich on his mind and I was craving liver and onions... a couple great meals to top off a great weekend of kayak camping.

I know I am gonna remember this trip for a while.

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