Monday, September 7, 2015

Let There Be Rain - Day Four on the Johnstone Straight

I was going to title this post 50 Shades of Wet but then though better of that title.  However, just stating the obvious (that it rains a lot in British Columbia) is a true understatement of the rain fall and climate in the area.  The northwest side of Vancouver Island and the hundreds of uninhabited islands surrounding it receive copious amounts of precipitation during the year.

On day four of our sea kayaking adventure we learned first hand about the areas rain fall.   But first let me digress just a bit.  Back at home in Boise Anthony was following a new television show on the History channel called Alone.  This show challenged 10 men to live alone (apart from each other, camera crews etc.) on Vancouver Island with limited resources for as long as they could survive.  I honestly was only listening to the show as background noise while doing household chores or my creative pursuits.  By about the third episode I finally proclaimed that these men were total whiners because all they would record were video's of themselves complaining about the weather.  They would complain endlessly about the rain, cold, wind, lack of sun etc.  Now granted our experience had nothing to do with survival (we had tents and guides who cooked our meals) but I now have a first hand account of why these 10 men were so fixated on the weather.  I humbly take back my earlier judgements as I have now traveled to Vancouver Island and have experienced the endless days of rain first hand.  I tip my hat to these men and the punishing climate they endured without the luxuries that we had or the hot chocolate I relished every evening. 

On the Johnstone Straight when the clouds roll in and the rain descends it is not just for a short period of time but for days and nights on end.  During our first several days on the water we were blessed with sunshine but on day four the clouds arrived and did not depart.  On the sunny days we were able to hang our wet and damp paddling clothes and gear on the ropes that secured our tents in place.  But on the rainy days all attempts at drying our clothes and gear were a complete failure.  Even hanging them inside our tents was useless.  By day five just about everything we were traveling with was some degree of wet from soaked to moist and everything in-between.  Our skin and hair was dewy, the insides of the tents were damp, the last of our dry clothes even felt moist to the touch.  It was a wet like I have never experienced before that permeated through every layer of clothing we owned right down to our skin. 

Instead of feeling downtrodden by the turn in the weather I actually felt a bit invigorated by having the opportunity to experience a variety of climate shifts on the Johnstone Straight.  Since we were already wet while we paddled the addition of the rain did not dampen my spirits for each days adventures.  In the evening huddled under a tarp while the rain fell to the earth there was so much beauty to be found in the companionship of our fellow travelers.  Sharing warm drinks and wine, playing silly camp fire games and just visiting and sharing our life's stories.  The rain afforded us these special moments that otherwise might have been lost.  As harsh as the rain was there was so much beauty that it created from the amazing temperate rain-forest we were camping under to the feel of the soft rain against your skin.  And my all time favorite was the combination of the mist and fog that we experienced on the water in conjunction with the rain.  I found it to be mysterious and magical in so many ways.  Who knows maybe that white unicorn was watching us from the shoreline after all.

The pictures above are great shots of our fellow adventure travelers all bundled up. Chris and Mark are at the top with rain jackets and hats on with their ROW mugs filled with warm drinks ready for the day.  Dana, Bill, Marybeth and her daughter are sitting enjoying breakfast under the tarp.  And various shots of Anthony and I paddling under dark skies and in the rain.  Shots towards the bottom are of all of us visiting under the tarps while the rain fell in the evening.  Each shot has it's own unique beauty that was only visible due to the gift of rain and if you look carefully at the image below you might just see the rainbow.

History Channel Alone:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails