Thursday, August 24, 2006

I guess that's why they call it rainforest, duh.

Sorry I've been so bad at posting, but I've got these mountains of laundry, gear, and work to deal with.

So, did I ever mention that it rained A LOT on the kayaking trip? We estimated that we got about 10 hours of blue sky and sunlight in the entire two weeks.

You might already know this but when you're a boat on the ocean you can use this thing called a VHF radio to communicate with other boats when necessary. (For us, never necessary.) It also has a station that continuously reports the weather and marine forecasts, spoken in a robotic voice-synthesized tone. This helps you plan your route and what you can expect. It goes something like this:

Marine forecast for Tuesday August 1.
South Chatham Strait. Winds northwest 20 knots. Seas 3 feet. Rain.
North Chatham Strait. Winds northwest 15 to 20 knots. Seas 3 feet. Rain.
Point Ascension to Point Leo. North winds 35 knots. Seas 11 feet. Rain.
[and on and on]...

It was ALWAYS for rain. The way the robot-voice spat out that word "rain!" sounded so spiteful to our ears the first few times, and was downright hateful-sounding by a week into the trip. It was kind of like when someone punches you in the arm to joke around but it actually fucking hurts and you start to think that person is a total asshole. Aaaaaaand they keep doing it.

Tuesday RAIN!
Wednesday RAIN!
Thursday RAIN!
Friday RAIN!
Saturday RAIN!
Sunday RAIN!
Monday RAIN!

You cope though, you know? We made a joke out of it, taking turns imitating the voice, optimistically expressing our hope that maybe in southeast Alaska "showers" (the only other forecast we heard, though very rarely) meant "showers with sunny periods". You know, that sort of thing. But we were doomed to sogginess.

(above photo by the inimitable Janna)

I have never been more grateful for drybags. At least at the end of the day, I could peel off my wet paddling jacket, wet fleece, wet neoprene wetsuit, hat, gloves and socks to briefly reveal my water-wrinkled pasty flesh to the wet landscape and wet paddling friends, and then hastily clamber into dry long underwear, dry fleece pants and top, dry waterproof shell, dry wool socks, dry boots, dry hat, and for the first time not desperately wish I was already dead and being eaten by lingcod.

(above picture by Marcus, the lingcod caught by Shawn is the one in the middle, red snappers caught by Graham on either side and surrounded by fresh mussels collected and rigorously tongue-tested for poison by Schencky)

Once over the White Pass on the way back to Whitehorse from Skagway, we found ourselves back in the more typical Whitehorse climate (dry, clear) and everything was different. It was like God opened his kimono at last and gave us the celestial money shot.*

* There was a bit of debate about what this actually means. Of course, I mean it in the least pornographic way possible. Naturally.


At August 30, 2006 10:35 p.m., Anonymous CW said...

I guess you guys got all the rain intended for Tofino as well


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