Nootka Island - Day 7

Friday August 8, 2002

A nice big cave.

We thought about camping in this wonderfully big cave. It looked perfect – a sandy floor, lots of space, and a great view of the ocean. We’d been paying attention to the tide tables though, and we knew that the tide had almost another ten feet to rise. Plus Dylan didn’t like the idea of being confined in a cave.

At least, it seemed like a nice place to stay. The upright sticks mark the high tide line though...

This photograph was taken from the same camera position as the previous shot, and is looking into the cave. See those sticks stuck upright in the sand? The sand was a bit damp on this side, but drier on the far side of the sticks.

Scratched into the sand was a warning – “Beware of the tide”. We could just imagine what had happened – a group of hikers bedded down for the night, only to be trapped by the rising tide. We envisioned them cowering at the end of the cave, wondering if they should try to make a swim for it between waves, or whether the tide would stop coming in before they ran out of space...

We had camped a little bit higher, at the top of the adjacent beach (NOT in the cave). I’d set my alarm to wake me an hour before high tide, so that I could look out the tent door, and make sure that we really were above the high tide mark.

In the middle of the night, Dylan woke up with a start, and an exclamation of “Oh No! Oh No! We’re trapped!”. He was sitting bolt upright, and breathing heavily. I assured him that we were fine, and that the tide wasn’t going to trap us. He wasn’t taking any of that though, and said that we had to get out of here – the tide was coming in. I turned on the little LED flashlight we’d brought along, and Dylan said “Oh – we’re in the tent”, and promptly went back to sleep.

Poor Dylan – Mark teased him mercilessly for the rest of the trip. Every so often he’d say “Oh NO!”.

Two shallow caves.

There were several sea caves along this section. These two are quite shallow.

A natural archway in the rock.

We particularly enjoyed this bridgeway.

This is where we camped (on the sandy beach at the far right side of the picture).

To the far right, you can see the sandy beach where we camped for the night.

Back through the arch.

Eventually we decided it was time to finish exploring the caves, and make our way to the Tidal Lagoon where we planned to stay the night.

Dyaln started off by using the handy rope.

All along the trail so far, I'd prided myself on not using the fixed ropes which had kindly been left in place by previous hiking parties. On this drop though, I'd got myself caught halfway down, and had ended up grabbing the rope (three pride demerit points).

Dylan was doing really well, and was sensibly using the rope.

After a while, Dylan decide to make it down on his own, without the rope.

Part way down, he stopped being quite so sensible, and decided that he didn't really need the rope. And it was true - he didn't.

Dylan reaches the tidal lagoon.

This is the tidal lagoon. We stopped here for lunch, while we waited for the tide to drop so we could cross.

When I bought the food for this trip, I included a pack of smoked sockeye salmon for Dylan. He'd been saving it so far, waiting for just the right time to savour it. This was the time and place. My folding knife had proved its worth on the cheese earlier in the trip, and it was no less worthy on the salmon.

Looking back to the beach we just came from.

This is the view to the north-west: the beach we’d just come from. To the west, the closest thing you’d see (if the earth wasn’t round) would be Japan.

Low tide at the tidal lagoon.

We actually crossed well before the tide got this low. Here at lowest tide, the water continues to flow out of the tidal lagoon which extends far to the East.

Mark relaxes after an evening swim.

Salt water or not, we all enjoyed a swim here. Mark enjoyed the swim so much that he did it again in the evening.

The last campfire. I'm really glad that Dylan and I were able to share this trip.

This is our final night on Nootka Island. The hard hiking is behind us, and the three of us have spent some great time together.

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