Summer 2008: Cape Caution

Kumshuwa Channel to Port Hardy

Part 2 - KwakumePoint to Fury Island

Day 2 - Kwakume Point to Phelps Camp

With the disurbed night we sleep until 9am. It is still raining so I cook breakfast in the vestibule. This is one of the great features of this tent: a huge vestibule, large enough for me to sit, set up the stove in one door, and still hold most of our gear. Another great feature is that the poles go in the rain fly and the inner tent just hooks in. In bad weather we can set up and take down in a sequence where the inner tent is never exposed to the rain. Through this whole trip our tent and sleeping bags were always dry and comfortable.

Forecast is for strong south winds and rain today (against us). Following days the wind should change to the north (with us). With weather like this we would normally just say in camp. If only we had a camp...

Breakfast in bed.

I guess we'll pack up camp and paddle...

And so we launch. Immediately we are teeth into the wind. I realize that I did not do enough training for this trip. I really did very little. Marie's feeling very discouraged this in these conditions. We take a break in a small inlet. I make a loop through the trees hoping to find a flat spot on which we could camp but have no success. In fact, it is not just that there is not flat ground, the whole forest floor is of downed trees slowly decaying into soil, covered with moss and brush. The ground is soft and it is difficult to just stand on it. We have a meager lunch on a wet rock in the rain.

Since gong back is not an option we decide to continue. It is only another 6 miles to a likely camp but we won't make it if the wind stays as strong. We head into Fish Egg Inlet. From the shelter of an island we turn to the south again and find the wind sill light. In the inlet we see a whale - a humpback we figure.

Calmer paddling in Fish Egg Inlet.


Further south, back in Fitz Hugh Sound we see another whale. We stop to watch and it turns toward us. Diving at 150 ft away it looks absolutely huge. 5 seconds later there is an up welling of water just behind our boats. We can't see it below us but it is there, probably looking at us.


Our camp is a large pocket beach. The guide book says that spring tides will probably drive us to the rougher rock portion but on inspection I think that even that will be covered. I walk thought the forest looking for possible tent sites. This is made difficult because the upper 20 ft of beach is stacked drift wood which I must scramble over to get into and out of the forest. I do find a flat spot, just need to remove a few ferns and shift some dirt...

I took a movie of our camp. We put the kayaks and our gear well up in the trees for safety.

Kayaks well above high tide: check.

Secure camp in the forest: check.


Day 3 - Phelps Camp to Fury Island.

In the morning we see that last night's high tide moved a full sized tree trunk from one part of the beach to another.

Paddling is much easier this day. A couple miles south we stop at Addenbrooke Point. The guide book says a Marine Trail camp is "reported" here. With such a weak recommendation we didn't want to push on to this camp yesterday but are interested to inspect the options. It is a nice beach in a semi-protected cove. There are a few rocks on the beach so it could be difficult with more surf. The beach is high enough that the top has not been covered by the high tide, attested by a tent pad left by campers the past night or two. The views south along Fitz Hugh are great. Looking across to Penroze Marine Park I see whale slapping it's tail. Marie launches first and when I catch up to her she reports a whale had just surfaced 40 ft from her boat. This is the trip of whales.

We know there will be a good camp on Fury island in Penrose Marine Park. We choose a "seldom visited clam shell beach" on the west side. The sun is shining and the white sand make the water turquoise and beautiful. Before committing to this beach we inspect the other options and go get water.

The camp at Addenbroke Point

Fury island makes a bay commonly used by cruising boats. Another beach faces this bay, but we like our outer beach better.

Our camp, left side

and right side.

With the sun we are able to dry everything...

Day 4: Fury Island

We take a rest day on Fury Island. I wash. We explore some of the islands. We read and nap. There are several rounds of tea and crumpets.

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