Texada proved to be a pretty worthy gamble. As I rounded the southern tip of the island, you could already see a lighter blue color to the water where the NW wind had been blocked. When I arrived there, I slid onto an absolute sheet of glass with a huge panorama of BC's coastal mountains and glaciers, as well as rugged, seemingly uninhabited Texada Island. Satisfied, I trudged up the coastline looking for a water source and a suitable campsite- imagining the land with 16 feet less water on a low tide and how that might factor into launching the boat.
Remarkably, the only passing boat decided to stop and chat, the woman, Erika, offering anything helpful- sunscreen, life jacket (I had lost mine earlier in the day), a beer, water, whatever. As I mentioned being low on water, Ben grabbed a Lifestraw filtering water bottle (for whom he worked) and threw it on aboard with a new lifejacket and with it extending the streak of amazing and gracious Canadian hosts.
The following day wasn't so forgiving. The forecast was awful and expectations were low, but the wind was blasting so hard, in spurts, that I was temporarily unable to feather my oars back from the seas and wind. Rendering my efforts useless. I waited on shore, but to no avail the wind howled all night.
I keep reminding myself that in order to capitalize on any weather anomaly, I need to be on the water, in good position for it. That next morning I set out into another round of sustained headwinds and sloppy seas. I pushed for an hour when the wind started really howling, stopped, and slowly switched directions. The sea state - the kind of slop that might take days to rectify on the ocean- almost instantly abated and left me sitting there puzzled. A following breeze filled in for the first time in 2 weeks as I scrabbled to hoist sails. The following 12 miles I lazily jibed down Maraspina Strait to Powell River being greeted by a pod of orcas spouting in the direction of the falling sun.
There are no provisions or camp fuel near the Harbor in Powell River, not to mention it was 7PM when I arrived. The town is gorgeous and set on a steep hill, to which I could see a constant reminder of the southerly wind that was unusually blowing (even coast guard weather data denied it). I couldn't resist the opportunity, vowed to take care of projects later, and without fuel or food to last any length of time I did what I had to do: order $75.00 worth of Thai food from Thaidal Zone, the token Harbor restaurant. I literally ran with my new bounty of curry back to the boat and paddled furiously out of the lee of the harbor to where I had seen the whales. It was dark now, and alas, the whales had gone, as had the wind. I sat there eating my buffet looking at the stars, wondering what to do with all the Thai food, and returned to the harbor.
Final Ode to Canadians. I crept back into the sleepy harbor around 11pm, found a corner to tie up to, harvested my inner backpacker self, and slept behind some hauled out dingy's on the dock. An older local guy spotted me and came to chat. As he left to his car I noticed a tremendously bad limp and cane- I offered to help carry some boat parts for the poor man to which he graciously declined. 10 minutes later the same man slowly hobbled back, gave me a package of maple muffins, and returned to his car an left.
Made it the next 20 miles the following day to historic, ultra gorgeous, landlocked, a one horse kinda town of Lund ( a Canadian couple fed me a pork dinner on the dock last night after seeing me row in). I'm hoping to hop on the afternoon flood tide today and get to the next phase of the trip- Desolation Sound and the infamous Johnstone Strait weather gods and goddesses permitting.