Sunday Feb 17th morning saw me drag my sorry excuse for a kayaker out of bed to get my gear together. Mike Jackson was coming over to pick me up extra early so we could make Portland Island for breakfast.
The day before a number of reprobates and the usual suspects had headed over from Sidney and camped out. Hearty souls all. Our plan was to arrive in time for kippers, bangers and mash and of course the more typical Canadian breakfast. Granola and beer.
Alas pulling myself away from my beautiful and ill treated wife was a chore, at least up to the point where she elbowed me out claiming I was snoring.
Fuelled by a double shot of espresso and a cup of regular drip I managed to meet the pick up time. Somehow or somewhere between Sidney and Swartz Bay we fell afoul of a time warp which had the consequence of seeing us pull up to the beach on Portland well past breakfast.
I partially put it down to guilty consciences that kept the campers from sleeping in. No doubt all were up early fearing the arrival of the Parks Canada contracted collection firm, "Bashim, Breakim and Beatim". In actual fact winter campers should earn credits for their misplaced fortitude.
Anyway ashore, greetings and salutations where completed and the aforementioned guilty party headed out to hike around the island whilst Mike and I paddled the circumference. Making it back in time to enjoy fried eggs, croissants, more coffee and seasonal fruit. I graciously offered an egg to Mike who provided me with a fork meaning I did not have to consume my repasts with my diving knife. We were blissfully soaking up the late morning sun when the first scragglier came stumbling out of the bush.
Like the true gentlemen we are, we politely listened to the recounting of their harrowing adventure a foot, before quietly excusing ourselves to prepare for the short but rewarding paddle home.
The last we saw of the campers they were heading SE round Coal Island and heading for some Sidney pub of ill repute to wash away the accumulated sea salt with large volumes of beer and ale. Home by three I turned my mind toward more traditional Sunday contemplations and fell asleep upon the couch. Sofa to our southern cousins.
You can check the paddle track, along with a less factual account of the trip, on Mike's blog.