Friday, October 28, 2016

Port Alberni Yacht Club

The next morning we saw humpbacks in the distance as we sailed to Port Alberni Yacht Club, a favorite stop from last year's trip. We had explored a sea cave there but were limited in how far we could go because our only source of light was my iPhone. Isaac had been anxiously looking forward to returning to the cave with proper flashlights so we could explore further and Aaron had been anxiously awaiting the cave so that he could properly try out his new powerful flashlight.

We arrived at the Port Alberni docks in time for dinner. Once again Port Alberni lived up to its extremely friendly and welcoming reputation. On our last visit the dock the host gave us fresh king salmon steaks and this time he had made extra servings of fish and barley which he invited us to finish. Feeling extremely thankful and with full, happy bellies we took an evening walk over the hill to a rocky beach where we watched the sun set.

The following morning we waited until low tide and headed for the cave, flashlights in hand. We entered the cave and squeezed through an uber-tight opening that last year had wigged me out because I had imagined spiders smearing across my back as I scraped through. We entered the small cavern beyond and Isaac anxiously shined the flashlight down into the passageway he had been dreaming of exploring since last year only to find that it didn't go too much further. Oh well. It was still super cool to be back in the cave with its glittery walls and ginormous cave crickets and so cool to share it with Cousin Emma.

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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Thar Be Dragons!

After our paddle to Benson Island, Emma and Isaac pulled up the anchor and we headed to Wower Island where we spent a peaceful evening. The following morning we paddled out into some big swells with white water all around us where they were crashing into the rocks. Sea kayaking was new to Emma and it was fun to share the experience with her. The swells were a bit intimidating at first but Emma handled the bigger water beautifully. On the way back to the boat we pulled ashore on a tiny gathering of islets where we ate our picnic lunch.

After lunch Isaac and Emma pulled up the anchor again and we moved on to Island Harbor. Not only did Emma bring her happy spirit, she also brought warmth and sunshine and we finally had warm enough weather to take a quick dip. Emma, by far, outlasted everyone else in the water, grinning ear-to-ear and laughing all the while. We retired to the foredeck to dry out in the sunshine and for some music. Isaac broke out his guitar and Emma, her harmonica. We were treated to a blissful afternoon of music and sunshine.

The following morning we dropped the kayaks into the water with visions of sea caves dancing in our heads. Poor Jason had to paddle me there like the Queen of Sheba the whole way because one of my ribs was out and I couldn't paddle. When we arrived we took turns gingerly inching our kayaks into a sea cave. It's always such an unnerving feeling as swells pick you up and suck you deeper into a cave.....especially when it sounds like a fire-breathing dragon lives at the end. Having survived the first cave we headed over to poke our noses into another. Next we were off to explore another little islet where we gathered nodding onions to spice up our lentil soup for the evening.

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