Yesterday was a 30 mile paddle day and we have done 22 miles today. We are one day out of Juneau. Its 8 PM, it’s been raining all day and we haven’t eaten enough. We were looking forward to this potential campsite that was next to a large waterfall that Anna had spotted on the map. The problem is when we rounded the corner we were not inspired at all by the falls, the power transfor station and the large 8 ft x 10 ft white high voltage cable crossing sign.
We didn’t even land. We just floated 100 yards off the shore. Fog was starting to roll in along the cliffs and darkness was creeping above us. There is another three plus miles of open water between us and the next potential campsite. I look at Anna and she looks at me and we know what we might do.
“Well,” Anna asks, “do we really want to do this”? In a question of we probably are going to do it but there might be some concern and we need to convince ourselves to do it or not to do it and be satisfied with whatever happens. We were warned about the current at this crossing as it is the mouth of a large river and told to go at slack tide to avoid large eddy lines and confused waters. At every large crossing there is a potential for it to become really nasty with any wind. At this point it was calm with only small ripples.
We sat there bobbing in our kayaks going over why we should not cross and why we should.
Pros: no wind, haven’t heard a boat for hours, its Friday night and not a high traffic inlet, we would be closer to Juneau, if we cross now we won’t have to worry about worse conditions in the morning, the next campsite might be better
Cons: could be a 45 min to a 90 min crossing, it’s getting dark, fog is getting thicker and we are having a harder time seeing the other side, we are worn out, hungry, the tides are not at slack as suggested, we might have to worry about boat traffic in low visibility and we are not sure where the next campsite is.
“Ok, so really why should we do this ? Anna asks.
“Because we love adventure” I reply.
Without hesitation she picks up her paddle, takes a compass bearing and says, “That’s good enough for me.”