Trip Report – Cortes 5-7 August 2014

Seven enthusiastic ladies ventured on this trip. Sailed on the day’s first ferry for Cortes Island. We set-up camp at Smelt Bay Provincial Park. Later drove down to Smelt Bay Beach, & kayaked around the southern tip of Cortes Island, stopping along the way at Hollyhock. Some chose to swim & others toured the beautiful gardens at Hollyhock. We continued onto Hanks Beach. Beautiful rock formations & all took the time to explore. Return route we paddled past Manson’s Heritage Farm & also the Japanese Farm, learning a little about the history of these farms. A good hard paddle, watched a minke whale & arrived safely back to the camp site at Smelt Bay. This was certainly a good workout for us all.

Great pot-luck dinner at night & then down to watch the sunset.

The next day we set out for Manson’s Lagoon. Quite a breeze blowing, ventured out towards Shark Spit. Many lovely islands on route with lots of resident seals to watch. Put in at Shark Spit, viewed the camp site & the lovely tidal pools. Enjoyed our pot-luck lunch on the beach & took the time to rest. We then kayaked over to Gillean Douglas’s home. It was such a delight to visit her home & to learn more about this incredible author. Return paddle was at times challenging due to the boat traffic, however, a beautiful return trip into Manson’s Lagoon.

A quick change & out for dinner at ‘The Cove Restaurant’ in Squirrel Cove. After a delicious dinner we drove over to the Klahoose Long House. A most impressive building & grounds.

Final day, after we had packed up, we all drove to have a java at the Cooperative Café & local grocery store. Then onto Easter Bluff Trail. This bluff hike is part of Linnaea Farm & offers gorgeous views overlooking the south & west end of Cortes Island & the mountains beyond. Parts of this trail were steep but well worth the view from the top. After, we drove onto Hague Lake & most had a refreshing swim, plus time for lunch. Margot then took a few of the party to Whaletown to view the tiny library, Whaletown Church & the floating dentist. Onto the ferry terminal to be in line-up to catch the ferry for beloved Quadra Island.

The weather was superb, the camp site was clean & quiet, apart from the ‘boot sneak’. What an enjoyable trip & thanks to everyone for making it happen. There is still so much to explore on beautiful Cortes Island.

submitted by Margot Wood, trip coordinator


(click on photos to view larger)

Camp, Kayak, Hike Cortes 5-7 Aug 2014


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