John Harvey Photo

Aristazabal Island - Day 7, 8, 9
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The outside of Aristazabal and back home


Previous Day
Day 7 - Chapple Inlet, Princess Royal Island
After all of the whale watching of the previous day, it was hard to imagine what the next day would hold.  After a morning paddle around the inlet we set off across the Caamaño Sound to Rennison Island on the outside of Aristazabal.  Jan saw a whale blowing in Parker Passage so we set off in the Kayaks to see if we could catch up.  The whale turned out to be much faster than our paddling, but that didn't end the fun.  We turned south to the Anderson Islands and spotted a sand beach on the largest of the Islands.

Sandy BeachStar Burst Of Kelp

Crossing Channel
The curve had moved several km down the chain of Islands so we were off for a long paddle.  We hugged the islands and paddled across the large channels seperating groups.  Steve got out a fishing line and pulled up two blackfish - larger than I had ever seen.  We watched birds feed on what we throught was herring.  And we paddled.


After a good day of Kayaking, Jan moved the boat into a nearby sheltered inlet and we settled in for dinner.  Just after dinner, we enjoyed a spectacular sunset and the clear, unpolluted starry night.

Mostly Blue SunsetPost Sunset

Day 8 - Kettle Inlet, Aristazabal Island


Sunrise Over Aristazabal
We knew today was going to be a long day of sailing so we got up as early as possible. When I got outside I realized just how early we were up - it was sunrise over Aristazabal. Erie, but calm for kayaking.


Columnar Basalt Islands
We rounded the islands that formed our shelter and were quite surprised to see the rocks were made of columnar basalt.  The twisted columns came out in all angles, some times twisted into waves by some tortured volcanic process.  Being early in the morning, shooting dark rock from a moving kayak, it was hard to do justice to the formations, and I so wished I could get out onto the rocks and shoot from a tripod.


Columnar Island
As we continued around the islands, we could see just how extensive the rock formations were.  Some columns were straighter or better defined than others, but most were distinct and surprising devoid of life.

Columnar Surge ChannelKayaking In Columnar Basalt

We had to get within striking distance of Bella Bella today and that mean many hours of driving the boat.  Journals were updated, books read and we watched the islands go by.

Jan On The Bridge
It rained. Fog came in and left, but the rain persisted.  As we traveled down Laredo Channel, Jan noticed some large splashed on the bow, and then another.  Dal's Porpoises were riding our preasure wave on the front of the boat.  They were only there for a short period of time, but it was nice to have visitors for a little while.

 Dalls On BowLong Exposure Porpoise

Once we got past the protection of Aristazabal Island, the waves from the ocean was enough to send me to my bunk.  I woke up after the sun was down and we were anchored in St. John's Harbour.

Day 9 - St. John's Harbour, Bardswell group
We awoke to rain, but for our last day we weren't going pass up a paddle.  We got into our best waterproof gear and went for a paddle.  The rain never really relented, but at one point when the downpour seemed it's heaviest the nearly flat ocean took the appearance of carpet - the rain drops were bouncing off the surface as they hit and so many fell that there seemed to be more drops in the air than water surface.   Even the best gear can't put up with this moisture so we eventually relented, returned to the Curve and got ready for our next destination.

Fisher Point
We visited fisher point by Kayak on our first day, but the ocean was too rough to permit an nearby landing by Kayak and the safer landings were too far through the impossibly thick forest to get to the point.  On our last day we were a little more determined.  We all loaded into the Zodiac and Jan took us to a near by rock shelf - a steep wedge of rock descending into the ocean with waves washing it clean.   Driving the nose of the zodiac onto the rock, Mike and Steve got out and stabilized the boat enough that the rest of us could get out and pick out way up the rock face.  At the top we found a trail into the forest.

Side Of Lying Down TotemUpper Body Of Lying Down Totem
At the very end of Fisher point once stood two totems or "watchmen".  They have at one time both fallen, and only one is currently standing.  Once the totems are on the ground they quickly erode under the life in the forest.

Head Of Lying Down Totem

Standing Totem
The one standing totem is harder to see - half of the face is seriously consumed and it is standing with a prominent view of the channel, but with limited footing in front of it.  It's amazing to me to think these objects were probably carved more than 100 years ago.


Walking back down the trail to the landing site, we called to Jan to bring back the Zodiac and had a few minutes to explore.  The area was rich with small things on the forest floor and I gladly took photos.  It was raining outside the forest, but under the canopy of cedars, the rain was reduced to large soaking drops that occasionally made it to the floor.

Impossibly Thin MushroomOrange Caps Hiding Under MossYellow Cap In Moss

Motion Blur SnailStill Blurry Snail

I was quite happy with the snail pictures - even at the shallowest depth of field, I was looking at more than a second exposure so I went with two or three seconds and now we get to see the high speed world of snails.

Once we were back on board, we got out of our wet clothes and prepared to rejoin civilization.  All too soon we were back in Bella Bella and rushing to the airport.  Thanks everyone for a great time!

  Group Photo
 


Kayaking In Columnar Basalt
Location: Go To...
Tags: columnar basalt, kayaking
Group Photo
Columnar Surge Channel
Tags: beach, columnar basalt
Yellow Cap In Moss
Tags: moss, mushroom
Impossibly Thin Mushroom
Tags: mushroom
Long Exposure Porpoise
Tags: abstract, wave, whale
Crossing Channel
Tags: kayaking
Head Of Lying Down Totem
Location: Go To...
Tags: native art, totem pole
Motion Blur Snail
Species: Haplotrema vancouverense (Robust Lancetooth)
Tags: motion blur, shell, snail
Dalls On Bow
Species: Phocoenoides dalli (Dall's porpoise)
Location: Go To...
Tags: marine mammal, whale
Still Blurry Snail
Species: Haplotrema vancouverense (Robust Lancetooth)
Tags: motion blur, shell, snail
Orange Caps Hiding Under Moss
Tags: moss, mushroom
Columnar Island
Tags: beach, columnar basalt
Standing Totem
Tags: native art, totem pole
Sandy Beach
Location: Go To...
Tags: beach, kayaking
Upper Body Of Lying Down Totem
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Tags: native art, totem pole
Jan On The Bridge
Mostly Blue Sunset
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Tags: sunset
Side Of Lying Down Totem
Location: Go To...
Tags: native art, totem pole
Post Sunset
Location: Go To...
Tags: orange sky, sunset
Star Burst Of Kelp
Species: Nereocystis luetkeana (Bull Kelp)
Tags: beach
Sunrise Over Aristazabal
Tags: silhouette, sunrise
Columnar Basalt Islands
Tags: columnar basalt, kayaking
Tags: beach(4), kayaking(4), totem pole(4), native art(4), columnar basalt(4), mushroom(3)
From: John Harvey Photo > Aristazabal Island > Aristazabal Island - Day 7, 8, 9
From: John Harvey Photo > John's Overnight Page > Aristazabal Island > Aristazabal Island - Day 7, 8, 9

In 1979 I conducted hydrographic surveys in Laredo Channel just to the east of Aristazabal Island. These were the first charting surveys carried out since the original surveys were conducted in 1922. After the discovery of a new and dangerous shoal near Wilson Rock, but not Wilson Rock a 20,000 bauxite ship ran aground on this shoal. The colour of the buoy marking Wilson Rock was technically incorrect and should have been changed after the discovery of the shoal in 1979. The whole wonderful area that includes the many inlets and waters of Aristazabal Island is a naturalists dream world and the majority of it remains unsurveyed to modern standards. it remains a dangerous area for ships without local knowledge.
Barry Lusk
Wednesday, March 18th, 2009 at 13:01:01

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Last Modified Tuesday, June 9th, 2009 at 00:52:30 Edit
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