South Prince of Wales Wilderness Area - Part 4

8/18 Tombolo Camp to Barrier Islands day trip

Our tent was warmed by rays of light cutting through the forest. I hopped out of my sleeping bag and scuttled out of the tent to confirm that the rain had stopped. The early morning conditions suggested a great day on the water.

Coffee warmed our cups as we enjoyed breakfast and prepared for a day trip to explore around the islands. Several of us swapped boats and began the micro adjustments of seats, foot pedals, and gear.

 Andis and Wayne enjoying coffee as the sun rises.

Andis and Wayne enjoying coffee as the sun rises.

 View towards Cordova Bay.

View towards Cordova Bay.

 Wayne and Nate.

Wayne and Nate.

 Nate enjoying the day.

Nate enjoying the day.

 Aaron paddles towards Mexico Point.

Aaron paddles towards Mexico Point.

 Aaron, Nate and Wayne.

Aaron, Nate and Wayne.

 Aaron paddles through a Bull Kelp bed.

Aaron paddles through a Bull Kelp bed.

 Kim paddles as a swell breaks over the rocks.

Kim paddles as a swell breaks over the rocks.

 Aaron looking back towards Douglass and Segull Island.

Aaron looking back towards Douglass and Segull Island.

 Nate and Wayne take advantage of the calm conditions to paddle out around Mexico Point. Open water stretches as far as the eye can see beyond Cordova Bay to Dixon Entrance.

Nate and Wayne take advantage of the calm conditions to paddle out around Mexico Point. Open water stretches as far as the eye can see beyond Cordova Bay to Dixon Entrance.

Gentle swell lifted our boats and washed up on rocks as we paddled west towards the open water beyond Douglass Island. We admired the fractured patterns of blue that danced on the surface between the reflection of clouds.

The islands became small and rough until what looked like large rocks with kelp feet remained. The sound of the water is impressive. As we paddled the water hit the rocks at a force strong enough to climb up a few feet before falling down the face until it rejoined the sea.

 Andis times a swell to ride the water in to a sliver of a beach.

Andis times a swell to ride the water in to a sliver of a beach.

 Aaron searches the secluded beach for glass balls.

Aaron searches the secluded beach for glass balls.

 Logs collect in a sheltered cove.

Logs collect in a sheltered cove.

 Andis enjoying the open water.

Andis enjoying the open water.

 Ideal lunch beach. Here we stopped for lunch, a nap, exploring in the woods, and a second nap for some.

Ideal lunch beach. Here we stopped for lunch, a nap, exploring in the woods, and a second nap for some.

 Looking out to the Barrier Islands.

Looking out to the Barrier Islands.

 Weathered tree with the Barriers in the background.

Weathered tree with the Barriers in the background.

20180818-20180818_IMG_0599.JPG

After a relaxing nap-lunch-nap break, we continued on to the closest of the Barrier Islands. The Barriers are scattered in three bands separated by small passages of water. Entering the islands provided a protected space where sandhill cranes, loons, cormorants, and other wildlife gathered.

We played with navigation as we moved towards Middle Island to fill water and search for toads. The tide moved slowly higher and we turned our boats to return to camp. We had hoped to explore the full Barrier Island chain series, but our curiosity earlier in the day kept us from completing the full loop. We would simply have to return on another trip to see the islands beyond Middle.

Kim and I cut up some carrots and Aaron heated up a pot of chili. We watched the sun set over the horizon before calling it a day.

 Exploring the Barrier Islands. We paddled through the southern Little Pass, out to Rocky Pass, and into a small cove on Middle Island where we filled and filtered water.

Exploring the Barrier Islands. We paddled through the southern Little Pass, out to Rocky Pass, and into a small cove on Middle Island where we filled and filtered water.

 The group gathered prior to crossing Rocky Pass.

The group gathered prior to crossing Rocky Pass.

 Sunset from Tombolo Camp

Sunset from Tombolo Camp