Late in the season as it was, I had been pleasantly surprised last evening at the amount of free space available at the park dock. As it turns out, I think that situation was just my perhaps unusual choice to catch the late slack on Sunday. With 30 miles to go from the nearest anchorage and the wisdom of transiting the tidal race through Malibu Rapids only in day light, there are really only two times each day for boats to arrive or depart the park. It was interesting to watch and be among the tide of boats coming in and going out each day. Now I know what driftwood feels like.
I awoke on Monday restless to explore so, even before the morning latte, saddled up the kayak and carefully stashed my camera between my knees under the splash skirt. The sky had closed in during the night and hovered not high above the bay, but that only served to focus me on the beauty of the shoreline and the waters it enclosed. More expansive scenery had been hidden in the dark the night before, but I would have to wait still longer for the clouds to lift before I could experience Princess Louisa’s full majesty. I returned to the dock, grabbed my tripod and wandered up the trail toward Chatterbox Falls.
Returning to the dock a couple of hours later hungry and weary from my artistic endeavors behind the lens, I saw that the prime anchoring spot directly in front of the falls had been vacated. Newly energized, I threw off the dock lines and dropped my anchor in about 20 feet of water not far off shore. It set easily as I drifted back in the constant outward current to float with about 80 feet of water beneath Mabrouka’s keel. The early afternoon flotilla of newcomers was approaching under a still misty sky and I expected to have company soon. Only one boat attempted to anchor nearby, however, and after many attempts they just couldn’t get happy with any of their sets so gave up and left me in delightful isolation for the day.
Chatterbox Falls is the supposed draw of Princess Louisa. Don’t get me wrong, it is very nice AND aptly named since her constant talk does dominate the aural scene, but I think cruisers only focus on the falls because they can’t adequately describe the great vista that they’re set in. Those who have been to Princess Louisa Inlet will know how useless it is to try to describe what it looks like. It’s certainly beautiful, but it may be more appropriate to try to describe how it makes you feel: small. No, not small. Tiny. Miniscule. I tried to take photos that would illustrate it, but they are still only two dimensional representations of scale that are better felt all around you to really absorb. You’ll see in the sub-album under the Local Cruising - 2013 gallery that I took pictures of Mabrouka anchored in front of the falls from ever increasing distances. At last you can hardly pick her out as a teeny white speck that’s vastly overcome as the surrounding mountains fill more and more of the picture, and that STILL doesn’t do the scene justice.
I’ll leave it at that. It gave me a feeling of insignificance in the bosom of nature that inspired me to write the short fiction I’ve posted as a separate entry. I hope you’ll read and enjoy it.