Trip Report – Shark Spit – 25-28 June 2018

Day 1: Caught the 9:05 am ferry to Cortes Island. Launched from Whaletown Bay and kayaked over to Shark Spit. It was low tide on arrival and a bit of a haul with our camping and kayaking equipment. We had big tidal ranges during this trip. Set up camp and left for a kayak trip around Marina Island. A number of old growth trees on the shoreline, this island was logged about 20 years ago. Discovered an interesting house on the west side of Marina, it was balancing on the edge of a sand cliff. It took us 3 hours to paddle around. (approx 14 km.)  All enjoyed dinner and decided on an early retirement.

Day 2: Breakfast and set-off kayaking, hugging the shoreline, destination Manson’s Lagoon. Stopped to look at the petroglyphs on the entrance to Gorge Harbour. Paddled onto Manson’s Lagoon, arriving at low tide which gave us an interesting shell-filled lagoon. It was hot and we ate lunch under the trees. Walked through the avenue of arbutus trees and celebrated their beauty. Walked along the beach to the wonderful newly carved totem pole with bench. Off again hugging the shoreline, stopping to explore a pioneer’s hut with huge oyster beds just below the hut. The wind got up giving us a bit of a challenge. Stopped off at Gilean Douglas’s house at Channel Rock, to have a quick look. (approx 10 km)  After dinner, walked along the inside shoreline discovering wolf tracks. Dinner and welcomed the arrival of two more members on a windy evening.

Day 3: Breakfast and ready for another paddle. A bit windy at the start of this day. A member was leaving and we all paddled to Whaletown Bay, assisting with unpacking and putting the kayak on vehicle. Four of us then paddled through Plunger Passage, into the beautiful scenery of Sutil Channel and found a landing spot to eat lunch. Paddled onto Carrington Bay which is one of our favourite places. Explored the bay and lagoon. Back into our kayaks and paddled through Coulter Bay. A good workout for us and stopped at Sea Vista for a break before heading onto the spit. We made it. ( 26.6 km; 7½ hours) Ate delicious clams at night.

Day 4: Breakfast, packed up our tents, everything into our kayaks and began paddling. The two latecomers paddled around Marina and two paddlers went to Whaletown Bay to catch the ferry for Quadra and home.  Thank goodness we did not experience heavy rain on this trip, the weather was kind to us and the scenery magnificent. Shark Spit is such a beautiful camping area and a joy to be there.


Thanks to Norris and Vic for the photos

(click on photos to enlarge)

Multi-day kayaking – Shark Spit – 25-28 June 2018


Hiking – Mt. Seymour – 11 July 2018

Change of starting time due to hot weather

Activity Hiking
Destination Mt. Seymour
Date 11 July 2018, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Valerie van Veen
Contact Info; or 250 285 2329
Description We will do this long hike as a crossover, using two cars, going up the Nugedzi Trail from Hyacinthe Bay Road then down the Mt. Seymour Trail to Granite Bay Road. We will park at least one car at each trailhead to ferry drivers back to their cars. Swim time in Nugedzi if desired. Lunch at either Nugedzi or Mt. Seymour (or both?). Bring lunch, snacks, water. Cancelled if raining as trails can be slippery.
Meeting Place Heriot Bay Parking Lot; north enders meet at Nugedzi Parking Lot no later than 8:15 10:15
Departure Time 8:00 10 a.m. at HB store parking lot
This is a long, more challenging hike. Good hiking shoes highly recommended for the rubble on the Nugedzi Trail especially.
Costs none
Trip limits none
Dogs no
Notes: Must confirm with coordinator by 8 pm the night before at the latest to be on my participant checklist; only confirmed participants will be notified if hike cancelled due to weather.

Hiking – Newton Lake and Beyond – 18 July 2018

Change of start time! 

Activity Hiking with swiming
Destination Newton Lake and beyond
Date 18 July 2018, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Darcy Mitchell
Contact Info
Description Hike into Newton Lake, down to the portage between Small Inlet and Waiatt Bay and back to the Newton Lake parking lot. Distance about 15 kilometres – will take approximately 6-7 hours (including lunch and short swim stops at Newton Lake)
Meeting Place Newton Lake parking lot. Drive to the end of Granite Bay Road, cross the small bridge and turn right. There is a sign. Or arrange carpools
Departure Time We will meet at the HB store parking lot at 8:00, to be at the Newton Lake trailhead at 8:30  (Not 10:00)
Moderate, with a steepish grade between the portage trail and Newton Lake.  Fairly long day.
Costs none
Trip limits none
Dogs? no
Notes: Bring plenty of water, lunch and snacks, and swimming stuff if you want to take a dip in the rather cold but very clear lake.

Trip Report – Hyacinthe Bay & Point – 20 June 2018

Eight of us kayaked from Len Road across Hyacinthe Bay in the morning  (1 km; ¼ hour).  It was a very short paddle to Maple Bay where we explored a property that is proposed to become a wilderness conservation area.  From there we hiked up to a viewpoint with views over Hyacinthe Bay and Rebecca Spit.  It was steep and rugged in places, a path following cairns.  We returned to the Bay for lunch (hike – 4.4 km; 2½ hours), then kayaked on to Lady Ann Bay.   One interesting feature of Hyacinthe Point is the exposed pillow lava which flowed out under water causing the “pillow” formations. Three kayaks returned from this point and five continued on for an extended paddle since the weather was hot and calm.

On our paddle there were herring jumping out of the water near us, which attracted an eagle to swoop in to catch them a couple of times.  He put on a very nice show quite close to us.  We continued around Heriot Island in shallow water and returned to the vehicles. (kayak – 6.0 km; 1½ hours)

Many thanks to the two owners who invited us to visit their properties.


Photos by Norris and Les

(click on photos to enlarge)

Kayaking/Hiking – Hyacinthe Bay & Point – 20 June 2018

Trip Report – Morte Lake Loop – 13 June 2018

We decided at the last minute not to go to Surge Narrows to hike. The weather forecast was sketchy and the recent rains would have made it a wet walk. Ten of us had a lovely walk around Morte Lake without more than a few drops of rain. We hiked the loop counter-clockwise, stopping at some of the high bluff viewpoints. We had lunch at the northwest beach and admired the lovely green water. After the south beach, we took the side trip to the lake viewpoint on the south shore. We returned to the vehicles on Lower Dead Fish, enjoying views of the creek and some old growth fir. The forest seemed to have been refreshed by the recent rains. 10.1 km; 3¾ hours.


(click on photos to enlarge)

Reconnaissance Report – Broken Eyes Mtn – 11 June 2018

The trip to Broken Eyes Mtn (aka Campbell RiverLookout) was postponed several times due to weather and rescheduled to sometime later in the summer.  But when the forecast turned sunny, we decided to check out this trail since the trail descriptions online left some doubts about it.  We can confirm that this trail will leave you breathless.  

After a short level hike on an old logging road, the trail crosses a stream on a long, narrow log bridge.  Some people won’t like this.  Then the trail goes up.  It climbs 500 m in 2.4 km, up through a forest.  The trail is well established and well flagged.  It’s rough and it’s dirt.  It’s about as steep as it can be, somewhere between the steepness of stairs and ladders, mostly.  It could be slippery when wet.  Hiking poles might help in some places and get in the way in other places.  The very steepest parts have ropes or chains to provide hand-holds.  Bring gloves.  There is no exposure, but one chained section would be tricky for many hikers without the chain.  At the top it levels off and the viewpoint is breathtaking.

According to the summit log, this is a surprisingly popular hike, and a four-year old, seven-year old and a dog have made it to the top very recently.  Altogether 7.0 km, 4 hours.


(click on photos to view larger)

Hiking – Broken Eyes Mtn – July 2018

Trip Report – Kayak training – 6 June 2018

Thanks to trainers Doug Taylor, Monica Russell and Penny Taylor, seven club members learned and revisited kayak rescue and paddling skills in the club’s annual rescue workshop. In a separate afternoon session, five members and guests were introduced to the use of the Greenland paddle. The day was cool, partly sunny and rather windy, but still the best day of a wet blustery week.

Doug and his fellow trainers have adopted a ‘backwards’ approach to teaching assisted rescue. Rather than starting with the dreaded “dump yourself upside down” (otherwise known as a wet exit), this step is taught last, after participants have practiced emptying a swamped boat and re-entering with the help of a fellow paddler. Participants unanimously preferred keeping wet heads and water up the nose until the end of the session.

In the afternoon, club members learned about the history and construction of the Greenland paddle and practiced various strokes in a short tour of the lake. Paddling technique is quite different from that of the Euro paddle, and is considered very efficient for long trips, especially in windy conditions. The shorter and lower stokes place less stress on the shoulders. For the older paddler, this is a real advantage.

Once again organized through Coast Mountain Expeditions, the two workshops were both well received and very useful. Several participants mentioned that they would like to see self-rescue included in future workshops, which will likely require some advance information about proper deck rigging.


(click on photos to view larger)

Kayaking Training – Main Lake Provincial Park – 6 June 2018

Trip Report – Main Lake Provincial Park – 30 May 2018

Nine of us had a sunny day for the paddle and hike. Although the wind had been terrible for the past two days, we hoped that the forecast would be correct and a break would come at noon. As it turned out we had variable winds most of the day and only a bit of a head wind on the last leg. We paddled from Mine Lake out onto Main Lake and then to the creek from Clear Lake. Although the landing is a bit sketchy in the reeds, we managed to find the trailhead to Clear Lake. The old logging road is in fair shape with only two bridges out and a few downfalls. It wanders up through alders and is grass covered most of the way. It is a very open and beautiful walk. At the end you come up on a rock with an 180 degree view of Clear Lake.
We returned via the same route and had lunch at Main Lake. On the return paddle the lake was dead flat most of the way until the wind came up at the entrance to Mine Lake. All in all, a very good day. We paddled for 3 hours and 4.7 nm (9.6 km). The hike portion took an hour and forty minutes and was 1.85 km each way.  All totalled, we were gone 5½ hours.


Thanks to Norris and Les for the photos

(click on photos to view larger)

Kayaking – Main Lakes Provincial Park – 30 May 2018