We get a very good connection from Whitehorse via Vancouver to Victoria which is the capital of British Columbia. It is referred to as the little England. A lot of people retire here and real estate is very expensive.
We are staying the night at a small hotel in Sidney a beach-side suburb of Victoria. The reason for selecting this particular hotel is because of Dave. Dave is the black Labrador failed guide dog trainee that works as the hotel’s welcoming committee. He had his own bed in the lobby and wears a jacket with the hotel’s logo. He is obviously very popular as his bed is surrounded by all kinds of toys. Deserving guests can take him for a walk. We have to squeeze one of those in before we leave the next morning. We are missing the girls so getting a Labby fix as been great.
After a compulsory visit to Mountain Equipment Co-op to get some gear and exchange our old Nalgene bottles we drive north to Campbell River and the ferry across to Quadra Island. This is a beautiful place and the B&B we stay in is perched on the edge of the island with great views across the strait. In the evening we meet the rest of the kayaking group a total of 10 with a group of 5 friends in their early 30’s, another “older couple” and a 25 year old young woman from England.
Next morning an early start with the water taxi for the 2.5 hour ride to our base camp. The channel we go up is quite narrow so on the change of tide they get these massive currents as the water rushes in and out. It is not uncommon to get sudden 5-6m drops on the surface of the water. We do not experience this but as the tide starts coming in we encounter massive whirlpools arising from nowhere which look like they can suck a small boat under. We see lots of dolphins and porpoises on the way and they take a fancy to our boat surfing the wake for a long time.
Camp is great, we each get a tent after drawing a name out of a hat. We get orca tent, I take this as a good sign. All the tents are on wooden platforms and every one is private with an ocean view. “Orca” is facing a small and narrow rocky beach and is protected from the prevailing wind side by spruce trees. This proves to be a blessing as the days unfold.