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 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. (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(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.
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.
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. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
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…
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.
Floating kelp provided something of a challenge for kayaking through, but it also provided an opportunity.
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 the two of them: they should keep their day jobs.
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.)
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.)
I liked the contrast here between water, clouds, and islands. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
Back in camp, Mary celebrated her birthday…
Peggy and I shared a quiet moment…
And evening settled in. Next Blog: Peggy and I get caught in a powerful current.