When we were ready to launch the tide was low and there were lots of slippery rocks in front of our beach. I dragged my plastic boat over the rocks, launched early and went exploring some sea caves I had passed by the day before. The water was crystal clear and at one point I saw something white on the bottom of a cave. I thought it was a dead fish until it rolled over, looked up at me through the water and turned out to be a harbor seal. Roger waited an hour for the tide to come back up a little and then launched over the rocks anyway. We started south exploring the rest of Cape Flattery and the points south of it. We saw a few sea otters but not as many as I had been lead to believe there were up here. Sea otters have not expanded their range back into the San Francisco area waters yet, but I see them when I paddle farther south. It is good to also see them way up north here. This gives them two chances to expand back into territory near where I live.
Soon after we launched it started raining again. Never very hard but enough that it ran in through the holes in my helmet, soaked my hair and ran down my face. Roger suggested putting duct tape over the air-holes in my helmet (his had fewer and smaller holes) but there wasn’t a good time all day to stop and unpack enough to do this. A skullcap would also be a good idea under a helmet. I probably would not have minded so much but there was also a wind from the south blowing into our faces all day. This slowed us down and also blew more rain under my visor and into my face. If I stopped to rest or take a few pictures I would start to get chilled and have to start paddling again to keep warm.
When we got to the big bight in front of Hobuck Beach we cut across it to get to the next rocky point. Out in open water we ran into a pod of grey whales trying to make a living far from their normal feeding grounds. Past this long sandy beach every point seemed to have a row of rocks full of caves and arches. There were more offshore islands than we had time to paddle out to and explore. I was already starting to think about coming back one day to spend several days in each campsite so there would be time to go through every arch and around every island.
We had a permit to camp at a place called Sand Point in the Olympic National Shoreline. But a few miles before this point we stopped at Ozette Island. After a day in the rain I didn’t mind stopping a little early if we could find a spot. We paddled down the northeast side of the island looking for a place to Ninja camp because this side of the island was sheltered from the wind from the south. We found only one place on the whole island where two tents could be set up above the high tide line. The water was very shallow in front of this spot and we worried about having a long miserable carry over slippery rocks at low tide in the morning. But we were both eager to get out of the rain.
Roger figured on setting up his tent and hiding in it for the rest of the day, but he had not seen my big parabolic tarp yet. I surprised him by pulling it out of my kayak and setting it up to create a large area where we could sit in comfort, set up our tents, cook and play cribbage out of the rain. As a result we spent a pleasant evening in the Pacific Northwest despite the weather.