Monday, August 24, 2009

Up to the top of Vancouver Island - we pass the rapids test

Since August, we've been foraging better, and have managed to find berries, mushrooms, wild chives, mint, apples, plums, and from the sea; cockles, oysters, crabs, seaweed to stretch the pantry. Not doing too good on the fishing, yet. Rest assure, we're eating just fine. Making lasagna from homemade pasta, fresh basil and asiago cheese. Oh my.

Mo rolling out some lovely noodle dough.
Every once in a while we look outside the cabin, and once, we spotted this golden spruce on the hillside along the way. Head and sholders above the others. We wondered if it's truly a golden spruce like the famous Queen Charlotte Islands one.
Another oddity, this little murrelet was fishing nearby and we puzzled over it's make and model. We hope it's a long-billed murrelet (rare and doubtful). One can hope. Also, we've started seeing flocks of shorebirds coming through. A true sign that summer's winding down.
Here's a shot of Blain pulling the kayak through a reversing tidal rapid. We through this in as a scale model representation of the real thing. If we make a mistake in calculating the currents in Oystercatcher, this ISN'T an option. He's not that strong.

So knowing we had a bunch to go through, we dusted off the calculator and had to blow out a few cobwebs, but we tasked the team analyst with figuring out the tide/current corrections for Yaculta, Dent, Greene Point, and Whirlpool rapids.
Note the proper relaxed arm extension and comfortable posture with the compass. She's a natural. Good thing we got it right. The penalty for being early is that you get to maneuver around in the eddies waiting. The penelty for being too late is certain death. OK, maybe not that dramatic, but we can attest to the strength of these constrictions even when we time it correctly. We don't want to be around them otherwise. Slow boats, like ours, need smarter captains.

These series of tidal rapids can really kick it up. Like trying to squeeze a hippo through a garden hose, there's a lot that can happen if you're standing too close. An interesting thing happens up at the top of Vancouver Island. The tides come in from both sides, and meet somewhere in the middle. So the calculations of which direction the tide floods in and ebbs out is critical. You can get it right and have an easy free ride, or fight it with a screaming engine and lots of cuss words.

The view in Dent Rapids was a bit disneyesque, complete with jet helicopter and a fleet of fishing chauffeurs standing by for well-heeled guests.

Our heels were a bit dirty, so we didn't stop in.

No comments:

Post a Comment