After we book a tent campsite at Telegraph Cove, we embark upon a sea kayak built for two. Luke, our guide from “North Island Kayak” describes some of the sea sites.

Kayaking in Johnstone Strait

            “First Nation People use the gel from this rock weed to protect their skin from the sun.” Luke grabs some floating seaweed and squeezes clear gel from buds on the end. “It’s also the same chemical composition in anti-aging gels. Want to try some?”

We rub the gel all over our face. Hey, I’m all-in for anti-aging.

Luke laughs. “Actually, that is from the plant’s gonads. We love to tell folks about this, because it’s true. But still, you’ve just lathered your face with reproductive juices.” He howls. I squeeze out some more juice, because I do not look very young yet.

Water dog!

Although we see no killer whales today while sliding in our silent boats, seals lift their heads out of the water, and several bald eagles float overhead. Paddling the waves, we are getting an awesome core work-out. Luke tells us that boaters call kayaks “speed bumps.” Bobbing around islands, Luke explains that he use to work in an “oil patch” before deciding to go to college to study tourism. As logging and fishing industries slow, people are forced to make a grueling switch.

“It’s hard for some rough loggers to enter the hospitality business.” He tries to avoid me, but I crash our kayak right into his. “No worries. I love what I do. It doesn’t pay much, but it is one heck of a lifestyle.”

We paddle for over ten nautical miles…and Luke commends us for being so strong, surprising for our age. (Not sure if that’s a compliment or not)

Cement ghost ship in Bauza Cove

We enter a cove where a ghost sailboat is buoyed, unmanned, for over seven years. “Go touch that boat and tell me what it’s made of,” he says.

Cement. A sailboat made of cement…they thought it was a good idea at the time, but when it pits, it is too hard to repair. The boat just happens to be in Bauza Cove near our campground.

Starving, and rather fatigued after a day of kayaking in the sea, we get a couple of salmon burgers to go, and make our way to set-up camp. The grilled salmon filets are the best we have ever eaten. So what if hoards of mosquitoes’ surround us. Our camp rocks! Our fire roars! Our dog sleeps.

Camp Mitchell

Put kettle on! Drip coffee and scrambled eggs are being served in the camp next to the babbling brook. I can cook in the wild, but can’t clean very well, wild or not.

We walk Jack through the forest, and into the cove, where the ghost sailboat intrigues us. Jack has become a water dog, sometimes submerging his entire face to satisfy his curiosity. We love the remoteness, but for the price of many bugs.

The three of us hop onto a ferry today. The forty-minute ride to Alert Bay, where historic First Nation People live, proves to be chilly.

Sacred Burial Grounds Alert Bay

Totem Poles in the sacred burial grounds stand as reminders of a hardy people. We walk through the Ecological Park over an eerie swampland. No restaurants are open on Sunday, so we eat a round slice of pizza from the supermarket deli, in a small park overlooking the bay, and drink a can of beer with an eighty-year-old English alcoholic. He thinks that he is fascinating. Too bad we can hardly understand a word of what he says.  Maybe he is fascinating.

Two nights of camping for the price of one night at the Dalewood Inn satisfies all of us. Before leaving Telegraph Cove, we treat ourselves to Swedish pancakes at the “Seahorse Café.”  They are not as good as Mare’s, but close. However, the salmon burgers are the best!

Eating swedish pancakes at the Seahorse Cafe in Telegraph Cove

We make our way back to the no-tell motel, overtop the liquor store in Port McNeill. I’ll tell ya…we love the Dalewood lnn. It’s friendly, inexpensive and very accommodating. We’ll wake at four o’clock in the morning, drive up to Port Hardy, and jump on to a ferry for a fifteen-hour ride to Prince Rupert, anticipating the new adventure….but not before Mare drives back to Telegraph Bay, to catch us two more salmon burgers to go.