Five members showed up for the trip and we were rewarded with an awesome paddle. The wind was blowing NW 15 and forecast was for 20 knots in the afternoon so we were hesitant to leave Granite Bay. After some discussion we decided to brave forward as this trip had already been canceled once due to winds. We stayed close together so if anyone felt the wind was too much we would just turn around and come back. It was challenging paddling into the wind, but not that bad and gave us a chance to practice some skills. As we turned the first point the water got a bit better as we had some protection from the Chain Islets. Some harbour porpoises were out playing and the sockeye were jumping to make things exciting.
The group stopped at a protected bay on the south side of Kanish Bay near the entrance. From here we could walk to the outside and see what the wind was doing on Johnstone Strait. The white caps were many so we decided to have lunch and hope that it calmed down. After lunch we rounded the west most island and out into the wind. It was a bit much so ducked back behind the next island and paddled on the lee side to the eastern most island. At this point the wind calmed some and it was decided to make a dash for Orchard Bay. The crossing was uneventful and not bad as we had a following wind.
Orchard Bay is a very interesting place. The midden is enormous with a huge level meadow on top. There are many places to camp here. It is well worth the time to explore this old native site. After this we paddled across the entrance of Small Inlet and back to Granite Bay.
– Les Hand
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