The Monster on the Rock— And Sasquatch… British Columbia Kayak Adventure: Part 4

First Nation people had chosen this rock on Berry Island in Blackfish Sound, British Columbia as the location for a pictograph warning people to stay off of the island.

First Nation natives had chosen this rock on Berry Island in Blackfish Sound, British Columbia as the location for a pictograph warning people to stay off of the island. The dark line marks how high the tide climbs.

The third day of our kayak trip was a ‘layover day.’ It was a layover in the sense that we would be spending two nights at our camp on Compton Island, not that we would be sleeping in and relaxing. There was kayaking to do. Berry Island and a pictograph was our morning destination. We found the pictograph on a tall rock cliff that hung over the water.

Our layover was not designed to be a kick-back and relax day. Here we are carrying our kayaks down to the water. The number of people required to move Peggy and my kayak suggests how heavy it was.  (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

Our layover was not designed to be a kick-back day. Here we are carrying our kayak down to the water. The number of people required to move it suggests how heavy it was. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

Extreme high and low tides in Johnstone Strait meant we often had to carry the kayaks a fair distance to water.

Extreme high and low tides in Johnstone Strait meant we often had to carry the kayaks a fair distance to water. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

Stretching across the rock face, ancient First Nation natives had painted a monster to warn people away from Berry Island, where they buried their dead. It was an early no-trespassing sign— probably implying that the monster would eat you if you landed. I had seen its modern equivalent in west Texas, except there, the sign had declared that trespassers would be shot. Such admonitions make one hesitate; at least they do me. When my choice is to be eaten by a monster or shot by a Texan, I choose neither.

Mary and Rod, two of our kayakers from Idaho, paddle up close to get a look at the pictograph. It was above there right paddles on the shaded rock face. Can't see it? Don't feel bad; neither could I. (Photograph by Peggy Mekemson.)

Mary and Rod, two of our kayakers from Idaho, paddle up close to get a look at the pictograph(s). One is barely visible above the right paddles. Look closely and you will see two round eyes. Another is above the left paddles— red, round and also barely visible. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

Rod seemed quite happy with what he saw, however. Or maybe he was happy the monster chose not to eat him.

Rod seemed quite happy with what he saw, however. Or maybe he was happy the monster chose not to eat him.

Our guide, Nick, told us another story; this one had been passed on by the kayaking community. A lone, female kayaker had stopped to camp on Berry Island and had set up her tent for the night. Shortly afterwards, a boulder went flying by her head. She neither saw nor heard anyone, but another boulder came whizzing past. It was time to vacate the premises. She grabbed her kayak and paddled away as more boulders landed nearby. When nothing else had been hurled at her for two hours, she paddled back in, grabbed her tent (rather quickly, I suspect) and hightailed it. Back in town, the locals told her that Berry Island was also known as Sasquatch Island. Had Bigfoot been lobbing rocks at her? The Sasquatch/Bigfoot Research Organization claims this is a common practice of the big, hairy fellow. See here.

Heading back for camp and lunch, our guide, Julia, found a starfish that made Bigfoot seem normal in comparison. Julia handled it with aplomb, sort of. As for lunch, we ate the delicious salmon that I blogged about in my last post.

Starfish in Blackfish Sound, British Columbia.

This amorphous mass is actually a starfish. Here it rests on our guide Julia’s kayak skirt.

Julia picked the starfish up to show us. I think there was a slight 'ewww' factor. There certainly would have been for me.

Julia picked the starfish up to show us. I think there was a slight ‘ewww’ factor. There certainly would have been for me. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

Sea Kayak Adventures cooks up a delicious lunch of freshly caught salmon at its camp on Compton Island, British Columbia.

The fresh salmon delivered to us the night before by a fisherman, ended up as a delicious lunch. We weren’t the only ones interested in the salmon, however…

Bald eagle on Compton Island in British Columbia.

Each bite was carefully monitored. This bald eagle had already eaten the salmon’s guts, and he was eager for more fish. Sushi would be fine.

In the afternoon, we went searching for whales again. Along the way, Quy taught us how to blow kelp like a trumpet, and we saw a mysterious yacht that looked like it was straight out of a sci-fi flick.

Kelp beds off Vancouver Island in Blackfish Sound, British Columbia.

Floating kelp provided something of a challenge for kayaking through, but it also provided an opportunity.

Quy taught us how to cut up the kelp so it could be blown like a trumpet.

Quy taught us how to cut the kelp so it could be blown like a trumpet. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

Here Lindy takes a turn. Peggy had also tried her luck. My advice to them: they should keep their day jobs.

Here Lindy takes a turn. Peggy had also tried her luck. My advice to the two of them: they should keep their day jobs.

Nick looks on in amazement at the performance.

Nick looked on in amazement at the performances.

The whales kept their distance, but a curious seal stopped by to check us out. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

The whales kept their distance, but a curious seal stopped by to check us out. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

This futuristic yacht didn't look nearly as friendly as the seal. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

This futuristic yacht didn’t look nearly as friendly as the seal. At first we thought it belonged to the military. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

Blackfish Sound in British Columbia.

I liked the contrast here between water, clouds, and islands. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

Back in camp, Mary celebrated her birthday...

Back in camp, Mary celebrated her birthday…

Peggy and Curtis Mekemson on Compton Island off of Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

Peggy and I shared a quiet moment…

Evening on Compton Island, Blackfish Sound, British Columbia. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

And evening settled in. Next Blog: Peggy and I get caught in a powerful current.

 

34 comments on “The Monster on the Rock— And Sasquatch… British Columbia Kayak Adventure: Part 4

  1. “When my choice is to be eaten by a monster or shot by a Texan, I choose neither.”—Ha, wise choice.

    Great pics as always. By the way, Nick looks like he could be in a Hollywood movie. 🙂

  2. Pleased to hear that Bigfoot didn’t lob any boulders at you and that the bald eagle at least had some of the salmon. That is a nasty looking boat. Lovely photos and here’s to you having a little more luck with whales…

  3. I couldn’t see the monsters on the rock face, but I get the idea. To me, it’s interesting how language has evolved, but our sentiments about property and trespassing remain the same. Lunch looked good!

  4. I am really enjoying your travelogue, Curt! The photos make me feel like I’m there too, just not as wet and cold. How much fun it must be to capture the bald eagle and the whale. I spotted the monster on the left, and agree with you that it would give me pause if I was heading there for the first time.

  5. What an interesting boat. Did you get any more details about it? I’d say home (or custom) built, steel, hydrofoil. But yes — definitely Bondish. I looked and looked and couldn’t find the pictographs, but I get the picture. 🙂

    There was a guy who lived on his beached boat for months after hurricane Ike. He had one of those signs out front. His said, “Trespassers Will be Shot. Survivors Will be Shot Again.” I knew him, and I wasn’t about to test him.

    • You aren’t alone on the pictographs. lol One of my best friends and I had quite the discussion over whether they were there. Peggy was much better at spotting them that I was. 🙂

      The boat was just plain weird.

      Funny how no trespassing signs with ‘will be shot’ get more attention.

      Curt

  6. Curt, it is my loss but I just couldn’t make out the pictograph immediately above the paddle… I think I made out the other one higher up…where the gray begins and looks like the infamous yeti scalp up in the Himalayas?

    …but I am disappointed you didn’t see a bigboot!

    The photo of you two love birds was priceless.

    • The pictographs are indeed difficult to spot. Even when the guides pointed them out, I had a difficult time. But I felt the rock and the keep-off story made the photo worthwhile. I suspect the majority of people who follow my blog had a difficult time.

      Always on the lookout for Bigfoot. Someday. 🙂

      Yeah, Peggy and I do like to hang out together…

      –Curt

  7. It was interesting that once I finally spotted the pictograph, it was then jumping off the rock face no matter the angle. However, it took awhile to focus on the red and draw it out of the rock colors. Curt has always been challenged by reds, especially when it blends with the surrounding area. What can I say? Peggy

  8. Another excellent and entertaining post Curt. I couldn’t see the pictograph at first, but once I recognized it, it can’t be missed. Reminds moe of a friend who lived deep in the woods. To get to his house you had to take a long, narrow dirt road. There was a handpainted sign along the way that said, “No trespassing. Survivors will be prosecuted.”

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