June Solo Kayak Trip.

Discuss water related activities. fishing, canoeing, kayaking, sailing.
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DarenN
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Location: Surrey, B.C. Canada

June Solo Kayak Trip.

Postby DarenN » Mon Jun 15, 2009 11:17 pm

here's some pics i took on my week long solo trip. i'll add explainations of the pictures as time allows.

the first day i took the ferry over to Swartz Bay and was on the water at 11:30 Am. i paddled around the south side of Coal Island, through the Little Group, and southeast to Forrest Island. along the south side of Forrest, then northeast to Gooch, along the north side to the campsite on Rum Island. the leg from Forrest to Gooch was interesting to say the least. wide open to Haro Straight and the wind came up out of the east. beam on, four foot wind blown waves breaking over me. to put that in perspective; the top of my head is less than three feet above the water.
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calm water in the Little Group. this was before my waterproof camera crapped out. again! smarter this time, i had two cameras. :ugeek:
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Home is where you hang your hammock. i had this place all to myself for three out of four nights.
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for the landlocked souls, this shot was taken at low tide:
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this shot was taken from the same rock at high tide. at this time of year the tides run about 9-10 feet vertically from low to high and back.in a few weeks we'll be seing as much as 14 vertical feet. (IRA: what do the tides run over on your side? i'm curious.)
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Canada Geese are not too hard to find out in the islands. and they are pretty much unconcerned about people. here, Mama and Papa keep a close watch on their younglings
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a 'Prickley Pear' Cactus, in flower! :o i was shocked to find this patch of cactus on an island in the ocean. i thought it would just plain not be dry enough for them. who knew?! the patch was quite extensive, coverring about 12 square feet (~3'x4').
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dinner was heavenly. Bratwurst sausages over a fire. (i'd already eaten the first one before i thought to take a pic ;) ). i always carry some fresh meat or sausage to have within the first couple days. poultry i wouldn't try to keep for the second day. it turns too quickly. sausage can be ok after 3-4 days, i've found, if it's kept in the kayak, right against the hull. the Pacific ocean up here never gets above about 55*F.
something else of note in this pic is the geology. notice the veins of different types of rock. the MK1 stove rests on solid rock right next to a vein of aggregate. the entire side of this island is like this. ribbons of different types of material.
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i don't often shoot sunsets. it's just done to death. this is different as it was shot about an hour before actual sunset time. the orange sun with the vivid carona is caused by smoke in the air from forest fires. it was not too bright to watch with the naked eye.
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my little island had visitors in the night. now don't get all excited RR; these little deer are stunted from living on small islands, in small enviroments. they are full grown at about the size of a German Sheppard dog. like the geese, they are pretty much fearless. some years ago i had a doe sneak up behind me and touch me with her nose. scared the crap out of me! i had no problem clearing the campfire! :oops:
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i'm so pleased to have gotten these pics! :D
once hunted to near extinction for their fur, Sea Otters are making a comeback. there's three in this pic, hunting for fish as a team. i was upwind of them so one is checking me out while the others swim a little ways off.
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shot with all the zoom i had, you can just make out the fish hanging out of it's mouth.
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i saw a couple green garter snakes, and found this shed skin between two rocks. about 18" long.
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calm evening on Haro Straight, a commercial fishing vessel heads for port.
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foraging for food on the ocean.
i don't know the proper names for some of these. maybe RG does. further research has given me the names of these plants.
Bladderwrack.
the puffy looking light green floats of this plant are edible. just pass them through boiling water. they overcook very quickly and become mushy. the flavor is salty and mildly green vegetable-ish. very abundant and easy to find on any beach, or floating free in the water.
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Bull Kelp. the fronds, growing out of the float bulb, are the edible part. same cooking treatment as above, or can be quickly saute'd. i've also eaten it raw as an on-the-water snack. a bit of a slimy texture when un-cooked, i don't mind it though. salty but more or less flavorless. i've heard they can be deep-fried.
they grow to the surface in water up to thirty feet deep and often break free of the bottom and end up on a beach. i've used them as a "sea anchor" on occasion. i just pick up the bulb and drape the fronds over the deck of the kayak.
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Sea Lettuce. again, quickly in boiling water. salty green vegetable flavor. mushier texture, and slimier. not my favorite, but i've eaten it a time or two.
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Kombu. this one is harder to find as it grows deeper and doesn't reach the surface. the leaves are huge and heavey. the one i'm holding is about 18" wide and at least 5' long. being less delicate, they can stand a bit more cooking. they have a nice flavor that is slightly salty with nothing i can compare it to from the dirt-based world. short of scuba diving, the only way to find them is washed up on the beach at low tide.
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i am really fond of shellfish.
these are "Limpets". a cousin to the Abalone, these grow to a max of 1.5-2" and are easily found at low tide, clinging to smooth rocks. it's a bit tricky to harvest them. i use a small knife and quickly slip the point under the edge of the shell and flick them off the rock. not quick enough and they clamp down hard. so hard that the shell will shatter before they come free. soak them in fresh water for a half hour and they spit out the sand they carry. they can be boiled, or roasted in a bed of salt. very tasty, if a bit rubbery. don't overcook, and they are more tender. i'll often walk the beach rock on a morning low tide and collect them for my breakfast as i have my coffee.
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clams dug from the sand at low tide. watch the sand for a spurt of water. there's a clam on the other end of the spurt. just dig 'em up and soak them in fresh water for a while to clear the sand. boil them till they open up, and eat 'em. yummy!
on the right is a "Moon Snail". think 'Escargot.'
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Mussels. these are small California Mussels. too small really. i've seen them as big as six inches long. easier to harvest than clams. stronger flavor. treat and cook them the same as clams.
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on this trip i was unable to land any fin-fish and crabs eluded me completly, but i certainly didn't go hungry. (see my last two pics for the Oyster-Fest.)

packed up and a three hour paddle gets me to Portland Island for my last two days.
a Raccoon hunts for his dinner in the rocks at low tide.
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this huge pile of white "sand" is actually crushed shell. it's called a "kitchen midden", and is a sign that first nations peoples once had a village or settlement here. this is where they would dispose of their shellfish shells, fish bones, and the like. as time goes by the action of wind a water breaks down the shell into what looks like coarse sand.
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as the tide falls, and this rock dries, seals come ashore to bask in the sun. there's a lot of seals on that rock!
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Starfish. these come in many different colors. nothing to eat here.
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my last nights dinner was seven big-as-your-fist Pacific oysters......
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...dredged in seasoned flour and pan-fryed.
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Daren.......
"I'd rather be happy than right." Slartibartfast

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irrationalsolutions
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Location: South Carolina

Re: June Solo Kayak Trip.

Postby irrationalsolutions » Mon Jun 15, 2009 11:25 pm

it looks like you had a really nice trip darren! thanks for sharing the pics!
“Do or do not... there is NO try.” Yoda

Luke "Whats in (out) there?" Yoda "Only what you take with you."

Luke "I can’t believe it." Yoda "That is why you Fail.”

realityguy
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Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 2:20 am
Location: slightly north of Seattle,WA

Re: June Solo Kayak Trip.

Postby realityguy » Mon Jun 15, 2009 11:36 pm

Looks like fun..I haven't played in the San Juans since I was really young and at Camp Orkila on Orcas.Get any fishing in? :DB:
The views and opinions expressed by this person are his own and not the general consensus of others on this website.Realityguy

JohnnyB
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Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2009 2:22 pm

Re: June Solo Kayak Trip.

Postby JohnnyB » Tue Jun 16, 2009 1:17 am

Awesome!!!

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zelph
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Re: June Solo Kayak Trip.

Postby zelph » Tue Jun 16, 2009 10:21 pm

wide open to Haro Straight and the wind came up out of the east. beam on, four foot wind blown waves breaking over me. to put that in perspective; the top of my head is less than three feet above the water.


Adventure on the open seas, whooohooo Daren :D ride them waves buco!!! Glad you had such a great time. whooo!!!!

I'll be back to ask a lot more questions. I'm at a remote computer and not a lot of time.
http://www.woodgaz-stove.com/

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DarenN
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Location: Surrey, B.C. Canada

Re: June Solo Kayak Trip.

Postby DarenN » Tue Jun 16, 2009 11:05 pm

zelph wrote:I'll be back to ask a lot more questions. .


just give me a chance to get the last couple descriptions posted, ok? one of those last couple pics was taken with you in mind. :mrgreen:
"I'd rather be happy than right." Slartibartfast

DaddyMnM
Posts: 346
Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2008 7:26 pm
Location: Seattle

Re: June Solo Kayak Trip.

Postby DaddyMnM » Tue Jun 16, 2009 11:39 pm

Very nice photo's, Daren. I've had the pleasure of kayaking in the San Juans a couple of times but do not have the experience to be confident in a solo trip. I've only been in guided trips thus far. The San Juans are beautiful, but there is a lot of opportunity for simple mistakes to go bad with those tricky currents. I don't go often enough to know where to go and what to avoid when. Hopefully will have more time to explore someday. Not on this year's to do list though.

I am not getting off the beaten track much this year because I am training for an organized Seattle to Portland bicycle ride in July: http://www.cascade.org/EandR/stp/index.cfm.
210 miles in 2 days. I did this 24 years (and +40 lbs) ago and it was tough then. I was talked into this by a friend and the economy gifted me with some unexpected spare time, so I had no good excuses. I am riding in a small group of 40+ year old riders and we all could stand to lose a few lbs. I've lost 20 since Feb and have at least 20 more spare. But I'd be lucky to lose 5 to 10 by the main ride. I am riding 2 to 3 hours a day 3 days a week, and rode a 65 mile ride on Saturday. I could still walk on Sunday so I am making progress :D

Thanks for the photos, Daren. I enjoy seeing the scenery.

Roy
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Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2008 7:24 pm

Re: June Solo Kayak Trip.

Postby Roy » Tue Jun 16, 2009 11:53 pm

Now I'm really jealous!!!!!

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DarenN
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Location: Surrey, B.C. Canada

Re: June Solo Kayak Trip.

Postby DarenN » Wed Jun 17, 2009 12:12 am

DMnM;
i had hoped to drop 10lbs on this trip. i only lost 5. :( i blame it on the Oysters! :lol:
i paddled every day, at least 2 to 3 hours, and by the end of the trip i was making a cruising speed of average four knots. granted, long narrow kayak; but that's fast enough to leave most kayakers in the spray on a camping cruise.

solo trips in 'home waters' are absolutely great. even though i live on the mainland, those soutern gulf islands are very much home to me. my time with a sailboat and in a kayak has tought me enough that i rarely need to use a compass or GPS. i just navigate by looking at the chart on my deck and the "lay of the land". go out on a couple of guided trips, but carry your own chart, and try and navigate the trip yourself, with the help of the guide. you'll be out on your own before you know it.

Sucia Island is a great place to paddle. sheltered, and lots of clams! :D

Daren...........
"I'd rather be happy than right." Slartibartfast

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DarenN
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Location: Surrey, B.C. Canada

Re: June Solo Kayak Trip.

Postby DarenN » Wed Jun 17, 2009 12:26 am

Roy wrote:Now I'm really jealous!!!!!


Roy;
just as soon as your up for it buddy, you're included on the next trip. just let me know. i'll probably make another week-long trip this summer. you up for the broken group in july?

guys; in case you don't know.
Roy has been paddling these waters for many years. a very important freind of mine. introduced me to alcohol stoves, with a Trangia kit. i'm just waiting for his hip to get better so we can get back on the water together.

Daren...........
"I'd rather be happy than right." Slartibartfast


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