30-Jul-2005 -- As out first confluence visit, this was a wonderful experience. What seemed like an offroad driving, 20km kayaking adventure turned into a ferry ride and leisurly canoe paddle thanks to some help from locals at Port Alberni and Kildonan.
Our original plan was to drive down logging roads from Port Alberni to Bamfield until we were close enough to put our kayaks in the water. From there we were to load our kayaks into the Alberni Inlet, Paddle some 10km to the point through what looked like potentially rough waters at high wind. Then do the whole thing again in reverse with a few extra pictures and a satisfied grin as extra baggage.
What actually happened, was that we got onto the Lady Rose, which would take us through a historical tour of the Alberni Inlet. The Lady Rose runs from Port Alberni to Bamfield, with quick stops along the way. It was the first cargo ship of it's type to ever cross the Pacific, and today it still functions as a cargo ship deliviering supplies to Kildonan as it has no land access to it's inhabitants. We hitched a ride with the ship and got off at it's first stop in Kildonan. Here we needed a place to go as Kildonan is entirely private land. We got in touch with Garry of the Kildonan Cannery Lodge; a high-on-life charachter. Meeting Garry alone was well worth the trip and was as much a highlight as finding the confluence point itself. The Lodge is fully self sustained via a small hydro generator setup for the lodge, and welcomes visitors year round primarily for fishing trips and generally losing the concept of time. Garry lent us a canoe and sent us on our way less than 300 meters off his dock to the confluence point. We drifted around the point for well over an hour attempting to get the exact coordinates and after several camera technicalities snapped the GPS with the "0" coordinates and we were out of there, darn water confluences...
The Lady Rose was not due to come back from Bamfield for a few hours, so out we went hiking in Kildonan and snaping pictures of the postcard-like waterfall merely a hop-skip-and-jump away from Garry's lodge.
The Lady Rose does not stop in Kildonan on the way back to Port Alberni, so Garry drove us aboard his boat out to the Inlet were we rendez-vous'd with the Lady Rose. The Lady Rose did not stop, but slowed, and we bid Garry farewell as we hopped from his boat onto our ride home. The photoclub that was on board asked us all about our trip and if we were successfull all the way back to Port Alberni.
What seemed like a would-be difficult day of kayaking turned into a fun ride through some historical features and a few new friends. A great start to confluence hunting, now on to bigger ones!