The trip sure did not start out relaxing. First I spend two days packing food, sorting gear and trying to squish it all into the car, while N constantly tried to rearrange everything. We picked up Christian straight from work, made it onto the ferry and then spend an hour driving towards Ucluelet with two screaming kids in the back. Eventually though they settled down and we drove most of the way there in silence. We didn't make it passed Kennedy Lake before nightly road closure, so we camped on the side of the road. From here on everything seemed to only get better though...
In the morning with met with Michelle, Tim and their son, L, on the government dock in Ucluelet. We started sorting the immense pile of gear and getting everything ready for our water taxi ride to Dodd Island. We had opted for a water taxi ride, so we didn't really need to do any kayaking with our one year old. It just seemed like the sensible thing to do. We got dropped us off just 100 m from Dodd island. We launched the kayak directly off the boats, paddle a round of stuff in and then came back for the kids. The whole thing was pretty fast.
We spend four nights on Dodd and it was definitely some relaxing days. We usually had relaxing mornings, before we all heading for a paddle around the area. On the first day we just explored around Dodd until we got to the windy side, then we turned back to camp. One day we went to Trickett and Turrett Island. We spend most of our time on a tidal beach at the edge of Turrett Island. Christian took the opportunity to get out his snorkeling gear, which hasn't been in use for basically a decade, to check out some of the nearby kelp forests. The kids enjoyed the white sandy beach. On another day we paddled through the tiny group, to hang out on one of the islands in between Jarvis and Jaques Island. N had fallen asleep while nursing on the way there. We managed to transfer her to a pfd on the ground, so while everyone were relaxing I got to paddle around the East side of Jaques over to Dempster Island. I was hoping to check out the arch on the South side of the island, but I didn't feel comfortable with the waves in Imperial Eagle channel, so I returned the way I came. I caught up to everyone else just as they were leaving to return to camp. I picked up some fire wood on Chalk island on the way back. We had a nice small fire every evening. We are usually not into having camp fires, but it is nice for the kids to get to poke around in a fire and roast some marshmallows every once in a while. It fit in well with the relaxed feel of the trip, and the kids really enjoyed playing firemen while putting out the fire at the end of the night.
On our last day we explore the local area. Paddled to a gorgeous beach on Chalk Island, where we found lots of animal tracks and shells. We also went on a paddle along the East coast of Dodd, but didn't make it all the way around as the wind started to pick up. We returned to camp just as I was getting worried about being out in the wind with N. A good reminder that conditions can change fast on the west coast.
We got picked up by our charter on Monday morning. We were super efficient at getting everything on board, and had a nice a carefree trip back to Ucluelet despite a bit more wind. The drive home was a lot more calm, we made our four o'clock ferry, and got to bed early enough that F would be ready for first day of Kindergarten the following day.