Text- Moresby Island


Morning on Portland Island

There is often a morning quiet, when even the sea has not woken up. Yet, the sky suggested a different sea in the hours ahead.


Don W. has breakfast

Don W. grabs breakfast while the camp is still dormant.


Heiko starting camp stove.

Camp stoves are light and efficient. Just assemble the half dozen components, forming the tinfoil into a desired shape. Pump the cylinder vigorously 50 times, quietly so as not to wake other campers, and not so vigorously as to move the assembly off of the table. Find a fuel can and put a liberal amount of fuel into the primer ring. Using a short match, light the primer fuel without putting your fingers in danger of the conflagration which will emerge. Wave something at the 2 foot flames, but not so vigorously as to move the assembly off of the table. If you forgot to open the stove valve before the fire suddenly dies, repeat the above steps. If you did open the fuel valve, the fire no doubt died before enough heat was created to sustain the stove; repeat the above steps. With the stove finally working, try to find your food.


Jan looks through her food bag.

Jan, trying to find her food.






The VHF radio confirmed that rain was expected in the afternoon. We flew into a frenzy of setting up tarps. It was our goal to have at least an acre of covered mall so as to be undisturbed by the impending moisture. A bit of rain did indeed come, but the wind which accompanied it was much more formidable and performed its own natural selection on our tarp-setting architecture.


Carrying the boats into the water.

With wind coming in the afternoon, we moved up our launch for the day's paddle around Moresby Island.


Kayaks reflecting in the smooth sea.

Heiko and Jan start the paddle in smooth conditons. (Ph: Becky H.)


Moresby Passage

We started across Moresby Passage, crabbing 20 degrees left to correct for a strong current moving to the south.


Eagle on light

As we approached Moresby Island, we passed another seal rookery. However, the Bald Eagle perched on the light definitely stole the show.


Lunch on Moresby Island

Moresby Island is about two miles long and a mile wide and is privately owned. While it has been selectively logged twice in its history, it still shows off some beautiful old growth forest. Some grassy acreage on the northwest corner helps to support about 100 cattle which are raised on the island. Our circumnavigation of the island would take us ten miles, so half way around we stopped for lunch.


Joking around during lunch.

Relaxing over a leisurely lunch. (Ph: Becky H.)


Eating lunch

We enjoyed the scenery as we delayed a bit to allow the north flowing current to set in.


Rock garden

The wind was picking up as we recrossed the Moresby Passage. When we reached the eastern shore of Portland Island, we found a nice rock garden with quiet water and plenty of narrow passages for exploring and playing.


Playing in a rock garden.

Kayaks can explore shallow places that bigger boats can't get to. (Ph: Becky H.)


Following a narrow passage.

Playing follow the leader.


Re-entering the Moresby Passage

Re-entering the Moresby Passage for a short run north to the campground.


Dinner together

Happy Hour and down time after a good day's paddle.


Getting to Sidney


Group photo on beach

The next morning we broke camp early and set to paddle the six miles back to Sidney. Our ferry left at noon.


Paddling back down Satelite Channel.

As we paddled southbound down the western side of Portland Island, we found ourselves bucking a fifteen knot wind.


Paddling in fifteen knots of wind.

While the pull on the paddles was a bit wearing, control was not a problem in the increased sea state. We took some extra breaks and eventually the wind eased up.


Paddling back past Sidney.

We once again paddled past Sidney with an hour and a half to catch our ferry. We had allowed for some time cushion, which was good as the wind did slow our progress somewhat.


It was another superb get-away by the Hole in the Wall Paddling Club. Beautiful scenery, hard exercise, an outdoor experience and good company always leaves one feeling uplifted and refreshed. Many thanks go to Becky for sharing her knowledge of the Gulf Islands and for meticulously planning a successful outing.


Don Webster

The End