With a mere 5.8 nautical miles to go today, we chose to sleep in this morning. Many of our crews had stayed up late stargazing the night before. Without any light pollution in the area, the stars were absolutely sparkling across the sky. We spotted multiple shooting stars, constellations and the milky way gleaming overhead.
The delayed departure gave us plenty of time for exploring the inlet by kayak and dinghy. Things looked very different than they had the day before since the tide had dropped 10 feet overnight! The back of the inlet was now completely exposed, showing muddy tidal flats with clams squirting, crows, gulls and eagles feeding and a sulfery smell emanating from the thick dark mud. A family of river otters were diving for breakfast and noisily eating their catch on shore, while Belted kingfishers chattered overhead.
After a short trip on the water, we were securely tied up to the Okeover Arm dock by early afternoon. Our crews had time to stretch their legs on shore before it began to rain. A lovely trail takes you through a forest of cedar and ferns along the waterside. Once the rain set in, we migrated up to the restaurant for a drink. The Laughing Oyster is a gem of a spot. Perched up on the hill with a great view of the water, the enclosed and heated patio was the perfect spot to spend a drizzly afternoon.
After an educational happy hour on Deception, where we learned about the native people of the area and had time for a Q&A with the Naturalist, we headed back up to the restaurant for dinner. Though the spot seems remote, it is not unknown; the restaurant was expecting 94 people for their seafood buffet complete with live music. We enjoyed a fabulous meal, with great company, beautiful scenery and wonderful music. Dave- the owner, chef and one of the musicians- even got on and played Waltzing Matilda for our Australian companions. It was a lovely evening that we will not soon forget.