Ikkatsu daily report – Third Beach to Mosquito Creek

Posted by Ken Campbell August 12, 2012 0 Comment 1559 views
August 7, 2012
One good thing about Third Beach is that it’s steep enough that launching doesn’t have to be planned around the tides. Many of the shallow-angle shorelines – like Shi Shi and Hobuck – require some long walks out over the sand at low tide just to get to a point where the kayak has enough water to float. I am convinced that the hardest part of kayaking is getting the boat and all the gear down to the water; once you climb into the cockpit and take that first stroke, it all starts to get a little easier.
We left Third Beach about 9:00am and followed the coastline south toward the Giant’s Graveyard. The fog was thick and we only caught glimpses of the stacks rising out of the sea to the southwest, but the stone sentinels drifted in and out of the mist as we continued paddling. The shoreline was a mixture of imposing rocky cliffs and small, hidden beaches and we skirted the surf zone as we rounded each corner, continually amazed at what lay beyond.
We stopped on a strand just south of Taylor Point and did our first full survey of this leg. Debris was fairly thick, although there didn’t seem to be as much as there had been further north. We did find a couple of glass bottles that seemed to be Japanese in origin, and what we think was part of a Navy sonabuoy, used by sub-hunters, but the total number of tally marks on our survey pages was nowhere near the level of chicken-scratches we had made in earlier surveys.
After lunch, we got back in the boats. Toleak Point came up quickly and with it, the best mile of the entire coast, in my opinion. It’s true that the caves of Cape Flattery are more numerous and more intricately carved but Toleak has caves as well. And it has rock pinnacles around it and arches and even one place where a small cave has been carved inside of a larger one – not sure if I can use words to explain that one… I’ll try a picture. There are little caves that are difficult to get inside of but that must go back under the stone cliffs for hundreds of feet where, somewhere in the darkness, they erupt with concussive explosions as the waves are forced into ever-smaller cavities and the irresistible force of the ocean battles with the immovable ancient rock. It’s a powerful place, in every sense of the word, and kayaking there is a powerful experience.
Then, just when that part of the coast is past, comes the opening to Goodman Creek. In less than a hundred yards, we paddled from the ocean to what felt like a woodland stream. Once we rounded the bend in the creek, the sound of the surf disappeared and the calls of the gulls and the oystercatchers had been replaced with the whistles and clicks of songbirds. It’s a strange and beautiful contradiction, these two separate but connected worlds. There is nothing like Goodman Creek anywhere else along the roadless coast.
We scrambled up a side creek to a waterfall and took a short walk along the banks of the creek before getting back into the boats. Once we got back to salt water, the distance to Mosquito Creek was covered quickly and we set up camp on the gravel bar above the high tide line just above the sand. There was one other small group of hikers camped at one of the sites up the hill, but we had the beach to ourselves as we got dinner going and started a fire. The sun peeked through the heavy cloud cover out past Alexander Island just before nightfall as we sat around the fire, planning the next day’s activities. I definitely wanted to see Alexander Island from closer up, there was a survey that needed to get done and we still had some filming to do as well.
And there was the nagging question of why there was a backpack in the space next to ours, but there didn’t seem to be an owner that went with it. Sitting there on a beach log, an obviously full pack and a towel hanging from a nearby branch, but no hiker to whom it belonged anywhere to be found. We decided that, if it was still there in the morning, we’d investigate further. 
And with that, to bed.

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