Posts Tagged With: Kayaking Vancouver Island

Good Omen

Just before I launched my kayak, I checked my waterproof digital camera and couldn’t get it to power up. Strange and annoying; this is the camera that replaced the one I dropped overboard last time I was Kyuquot Sound; I lost all photos from that trip.

Thankfully this time around I had my phone with a good camera as an option so I put it in a dry bag behind my seat, just in case.

After only 5 minutes on the water, I see some movement on the far bank; something large and black on the water’s edge. I paddle closer, and sure enough, it’s a black bear digging around in the tidal zone. Good sized, jet black with a light brown face; He doesn’t see me as he searches for food on the rocky shore.

I fumble for the phone as I drift towards him and snap a few pictures before he turns, sees me and freezes. He is staring me down, totally motionless; Probably doesn’t see too many kayakers.

A crow call startles me, nearly causing me to drop the phone in the water, just like on my first trip here! I realize I’ve drifted not far from shore, about 50 feet from the bear- too close, so I quickly back-paddle as the bear continues to stare me down, transfixed.

On the long drive up to the launch site the previous day, I was just thinking that I’ve not seen a bear in the wilderness for a long time. I’ve driven by a few but that’s very different; It’s powerful, primal, seeing a bear when hiking or kayaking in the backcountry; in his territory, on his terms. Not in a car doing 50.

As I paddled on, I thought, whilst some people would think the complete opposite, seeing a bear in the first few minutes was a good omen; A sign of the adventure to come.

Categories: Americas, Kyuquot sound kayak trip 2019, Kyuquot Sounds 2019 | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Lucky hats

After 10 years of service and protection during my kayak adventures, I’ve had to finally retire my Lucky White Trash Kayak Hat. LWTKH has guided me on over 25 multi-day kayak adventures on the seas of the NorthWest. Like a forcefield it has shielded me from all hazards; real, imagined and completely unknown. With its help I’ve survived massive swells in Kyuquot Sound, navigated boiling reefs and kept the wolves away at night on the western shores; LWTKH has always had my back.

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I truly believed in its supernatural guardian angel-like powers. Maybe an ancient alien race of beings left it behind? Or perhaps it was a leprechaun’s hat? I felt it could manipulate my actions and decisions unbeknownst to me and steer me clear of danger I didn’t even know existed. For example, I would get a feeling that maybe it was time to get off the water and find camp, for no real reason. Then upon landing, a vicious squall would immediately kick up.

(I do have a thing for lucky objects, or more like it, objects I deem as lucky. When we travel I collect lucky charms from different cultures and religions. I have a few or them; perhaps maybe more than a few.)

Hand of Fatima, Morocco

I held onto LWTKH for as long as possible. It was in bad shape, discolored, stained, material falling off, with a funky smell that wouldn’t go away. Its days were clearly numbered.

Grand Canyon

Its last trip was 9 days rafting through the Grand Canyon, which I thought would be a fitting and epic trip to retire it on. I also thought it might be helpful to have my lucky hat on the mighty Colorado; It took a beating and was about to self-destruct but it did keep me safe.

The search for a replacement took some time. It couldn’t be just any hat, it had to have an aura, a lucky glow; I wasn’t sure what I was looking for, but I knew I’d know it when I saw it.

Finally, while walking through my neighborhood Goodwill, I could see it from far across the store. A trucker hat with a blue fish on it. Bright, ugly and hipster; it definitely had a glow. I figured this hat was like a beacon; I could be seen for miles away on the water. Plus it was only $4. The new hat was christened: LUHKH; Lucky Ugly Hipster Kayak Hat.

Changing of the guard

Only time will tell if LUHKH is actually lucky. The first trip will be somewhat nerve-wracking, but I have hope in its powers to guide me through perils and keep me safe; warn me of rogue waves, forecast the weather, and teleport me home if things get really bad. Now that would be some hat.

First trip with LUHKH. Successful

Categories: Americas, Deer Group, B.C. - June 2007, Grand Canyon, AZ - July 2017, Sea kayaking | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

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