I was embarking on my week-long solo kayak trip to the remote and wild Broughton Archipelago, off the far north-east coast of Vancouver Island, BC, Canada. This involved some meticulous planning and packing. I had to organize transport, menus, camping and kayaking equipment. Unfortunately, meticulous is one thing I am not, and my organizational skills are non-existent.
The week before the trip I begin piling up equipment and food in the staging area, a.k.a.the front room. All of the camping and kayaking equipment is supposed to be in neatly labeled bins in the garage. This year, as usual, things have mysteriously left the bins and scattered themselves all over the garage. This results in me digging around, last-minute, looking for crucial items in a garage piled high with crates, boxes, bins, bags and these could fall at any time causing major bodily harm.
I had to have everything set to pack the car and tie the kayak to the car roof, to leave by 7.30 am. The drive involves crossing the border, catching a ferry for the two-hour crossing and then a four-hour drive north to Telegraph Cove where I will camp for the night to launch early the following day. And all before dark, hopefully.
So the night before I come home from work to finish packing and the list of last-minute things to do is still alarmingly long. When I go to bed at midnight, I still have a few things to do in the morning including loading the kayak on the roof of the car. But my busy mind does not let me sleep well and so I am up before five; I load up the car, muscle the kayak on the roof, and tie up the loose ends. I’m on the road by 8:00am, not too bad, I should be fine to catch my ferry.
I get to the terminal and the sign says ‘Possible Wait’; translation= the ferry is almost full and I might not make it on; if I miss this ferry, it’s two hours until the next one and that would mean arriving at the campsite well after dark. The car in front of me paying was asking lots of questions, taking way too long. Finally I get to pay, get in line and then have to wait a long half hour until the ferry arrives, with fingers crossed, hoping to make it. The ferry arrives, cars start to load and I slowly move towards the massive boat. We stop and I am twenty cars away: No!
A few moments later, I am moving again slowly; I’m going to have a coronary. I am now only a few cars away when a man in orange, with a radio to his ear, walks up the line of cars. As he passes, I hear over the radio “… Two after the kayak”; the second car behind me is stopped, I made it! A huge relief hit me. After running around for 24 hours, packing, driving, lack of sleep, All of that was instantly forgotten, I made the ferry and will make camp by dark; the last hurdle.
The ferry always means I’m heading out on a trip; so from this moment on, I am officially on vacation.