Leaving civilization has always been a glorious moment for me. Rolling off the asphalt and on to a logging trail somewhere about an hours drive from anything was a good start to a wilderness mission. The road twisted along the coastline allowing us to catch a glimpse every now and again through the dense forest lining the trail. Joaquin was close now. With the wind howling through the trees the ocean had become a fury of white caps and spray. The swell was on its way.
A shocking 20mm of rain had been predicted over the next 24 hours, we needed to find high ground and be sheltered from the wind.
Finally after several hours of logging trails we were deep in the thick of nothingness. The northern quadrant of Nova Scotia is pretty sparsely inhabited and we stumbled upon a beautiful lake with a raised camping area and forest dense enough to keep the rain at bay.
Around the fire we sat sheltered from the rain exchanging tails of Africa and the vast tundra. An eclectic trio, Hayley our photographer, is well known for pointing her lens in the furthest corners of the earth. She had only just regained her sanity after a summer in Antarctica where the sun sets once a year.
Then there was George, who quit school and spends his time in a tiny freestyle kayak training and pushing the limits of gravity. George and I had just finished six months of training and then competing at the world freestyle kayak championships. Although neither of us placed, I had two months ahead of me to explore and surf my brains out. This was my gold medal.
Day 3 Big Wednesday
Rising at dawn, the weather forecasts were right by the sound of things. All I could hear was the deep rumble of waves crashing on to the rocks in the bay that our camp backed on to.
The previous day we had spent the afternoon hiking through the undergrowth and trees to get to a big point break. The only one we had our hopes resting on that would hold the swell Joaquin had to throw at us. A spit of rocky land jutting out from a small bay protecting a tiny man made harbor, this was our play ground.
Arriving at the entrance to the bay, slightly bruised and scratched from the hike in, the peek stretched out in front of us and beyond. Lines and lines of swell marching down the coast. The wave seemed to hit a slab about twenty feet away from the end of the point and throw a good barrel for a few seconds, then it would bend on the reef and a second peek would rear its head and throw out another keg, from there the wave would scream down the inside of the bay ending a few meters away from the harbor wall. Perfection.
I don’t remember putting my gear on, or the paddle out. I remember arriving at the peak in time to watch the wind whip the top of a wave off creating a spectacular rainbow and showering me with spray.
Follow the journey.
We can't promise to protect you from bears in the wilderness but we can keep you warm