Leg 5 – Half way! (Klemtu – Prince Rupert)

We just arrived in Prince Rupert and finished off leg 5! With a longer stop in Hartley Bay due to high winds, this leg took us a little bit longer than anticipated.


Graham and Fraser Reach

The paddle from Klemtu, alongside Princess Royal Island’s eastern shore, was definitely one of our highlights: Impressive mountains, waterfalls and glassy seas nailed down the image we had of the Inside Passage before starting the trip.

We stopped at Butedale for lunch and explored this ghost town, that used to be a fishing, logging and mining camp. It’s operations stopped in the 1950’s, but the ruins of the buildings remain. Seeing the site with all the artifacts took us back in time.


On the way to Hartley Bay

On our way to Hartley Bay we were surprised by a group of seven bubble-netting humpback whales. Not only that, we also listened and recorded their feeding call with our hydrophone. What an out-of-this- world sound!

We also stayed at our worst camp spot to date – a beach loaded with large drift wood logs. We had to empty our kayaks completely, lift them up onto logs and get up at 12am to check up on the high tide level. Everything went smoothly, but we have had better sleeps!


Crossing Douglas channel was not a problem and we made it safely into Hartley Bay. Here we were invited by locals to stay in a wonderful house for a few days. This gave us time to attend a potluck dinner, visit the hatchery, reorganize our equipment and of course enjoy a hot shower or two.


The infamously famous Grenville Channel

In the couple of days spent here, Grenville truly became our teacher. It taught us to get up very early in the morning to cover distance before the strong northwesterly winds took over in the afternoon. Around Lowe Inlet major current and back eddies occurred during the ebbing tide, forcing us to wait them out on shore and check out the intertidal life.


When we crossed Marcus Passage, the strong current made us fly over to Smith Island in 15 min  (crossing 1.5 nm). The water was of emerald green colour caused by the outflow of the Skeena River.

We have increased our daily mileage from 15 to 18 nm per day. We changed this after talking to the kayak rental shop in Glacier Bay. The woman explained “Nobody wants to kayak here past Labour Day”. Who knew! This increase in mileage will bring us up to Gustavus, the outer edge of Glacier Bay National Park by August 22nd.

But first off to leg 6 … crossing the border to Ketchikan!



7 thoughts on “Leg 5 – Half way! (Klemtu – Prince Rupert)”

    1. Good question! Paddling past log booms, clear cuts, fish farms, tankers and cruise ships have been challenging. We are continuing to document what we are seeing. Fortunately, we haven’t too much garbage.


  1. What a great report and such a fabulous experience! I bet there is far more to tell! OMG only half way but you’ve paddled already so far! I’d love to get more details, photos etc to help other paddlers – especially about lovely vs nasty campsites!
    If there is anything I can do to help, pl email me at groundcheck@bcmarinetrails.org. Nick


    1. Thank you for the support Nick! Yes, we are keeping track of all our camping spots and taking some notes. We would be happy to send you all that info when we have completed! 🙂


      1. That would be extra-super. I felt a bit crummy that I did not share with you two all I had already collected, but you were already on your way when we met up and there wasn’t a good opportunity. When I look at your InReach track I can see some points where you seem to have been searching for a suitable site for the night – not a good feeling when you you are tired and want to get off the water! Some of the places you camped are definitily well-known, but you have also stopped at some less-used or new ones (new to me anyway!). I’m very curious about those!


  2. Congrats on coming halfway, while exploring some backwaters along the way! We are basking in a great summer in Baranof, and are so sorry to miss you here, as we will be leaving for Psbg Aug. 6 or so. Lani and I are very envious of your trip of a lifetime. Good luck coming around Dixon!


    1. Oh no! We will arrive in Petersburg on August ~3rd, probably leaving on the 6th/7th, heading for WSB. Are you coming down from Baranof directly? Maybe we can meet up somewhere along the way..? I’d love that. Glad you two have had a great summer.


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