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.

Margot

Thanks to Norris and Vic for the photos

(click on photos to enlarge)

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

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Trip Report – Cortes Island – 14-17 May 2018

Eight hikers arrived on beautiful Cortes, drove to Whaletown. Wandered around this sweet village, the floating dentist, the little post office, the tiny library and the church. Sculpin Potter opened his studio for viewing and some selected a few pieces. We even met the Sea Caption who was attacked by a bear last year in the Great Bear Rain Forest, he told us his story. He was busy painting bear paw prints on his boat. We then drove to Linnaea Farm and selected our bedrooms, all happily roomed. Ate lunch and then off for our first hike to Easter Bluff. It was an extremely hot day and thank goodness we were in the woods. What a delight to reach the summit, with its views of Cortes Bay, looking down on Linnaea Farm fields and beyond, incredible views. All found a little shade to sit and cool down. Returned to the farm and a number of members jumped in the lake.
We noticed a very tall fir clothed in wisteria on the shoreline, so beautiful. Dinner Team # 1 cooked a delicious meal, everyone sitting around the large table sharing stories and getting to know each other. We all ate so much, we decided to take a walk to see a close-up of the wisteria tree. Bed time.
Day 2: Another hot and sunny day. Up early, everyone ate a good breakfast, lunch packed and off to K’was Park Trail Network. Janis was our fantastic guide. This network of trails varies in difficulty and moderate climbs. Rugged in some places, magnificent old growth with trails that lead around the two lakes of Hague and Gunflint. Found wonderful places to stop, reflect, eat lunch, and just rest from the heat. Some of us climbed to the high manzanita covered bluffs, up and down the ladder, certainly well worth the climb. We always find this park magical. One could spend days in this park, we still need to walk the ‘Secret Trail’, next time for sure. Returned to the farm and several jumped in the lake or took out the canoe. Dinner Team # 2 cooked another delicious dinner, many laughs and stories happened around the table. We all helped with clean-up, giving us the time to travel to Smelt Bay to watch the sunset. Wandered along the beach, families were on the beach enjoying the warm night, even a trumpet player. A wonderful display of the sunset over Marina Island. Back to the farm and all filled with beauty.
Day 3: Yet another gorgeous day. Cyndy was our guide on this day. First stop, a walk through the woods to Hanks Beach. It was truly wonderful sitting on the magnificent rocks overlooking Twin Islands. We then drove to Manson’s Lagoon, low tide at this time giving us the opportunity to walk out and explore the beach pools and the islands. The islands were covered with wild flowers, colours of blues, yellows and pinks. We enjoyed having lunch on the top taking in the serenity of the lagoon. Off to walk the trail through the woods to Mansons Landing, stopping at the Community Co-op for a treat and to say ‘hello’ to the old turkey in the community gardens. A trip to Cortes Museum and all enjoyed the exhibit of ‘Refuge Cove’. Walked to Cortes School, terrific gardens created by staff and students. We then walked the trail, again created and mapped by the students of Cortes School. A beautiful trail that led us back to Mansons Lagoon. We stopped and marvelled at the newly carved totem pole overlooking Mansons Bay. Returned to Linnaea, of course a number jumped in the lake to cool down. Dinner Team # 3 prepared a delicious dinner, enjoyed by all. After dinner we then drove to Hollyhock to wander the garden and the beach area. A lovely treat to end our day.
Day 4: Members up early, clean-up began in the farmhouse. Everyone pitched in and soon the house was sparkling clean. After breakfast, food and gear packed, said our ‘goodbye’s’ to the farm and off to Carrington Bay. A beautiful hike through the woods down to the bay. Stories and dancing performed on the stage and enjoyed by all. Explored the magnificent lagoon, lots of starfish and sea cucumbers. Such a beautiful camping area. Took the trail to ‘Grandmother’s Grove’, feeling the energy and beauty it gives. The Forest Trust for the Children of Cortes Island Society has been formed to purchase these forestlands and to hold them in trust for the children of Cortes Island in perpetuity. Members managed to connect with the 1:50 p.m ferry for home.
We all gave input regarding our Cortes Trip, communicating how much we all enjoyed these days on Cortes, the trails, the laughs, the stories, the sharing and giving, the delicious food and of course staying at Linnaea Farm is always a delight. Many thanks to our guides, the drivers, our stretching exercise teacher, and for the donation collected for ‘The Children’s Forest’. A terrific group of members at Margot thanks you all for your positive support.

Margot

Thanks to Jan, Bonnie, Cyndy and Mary for the photos

(click on photos to view larger)

Multi-day Hiking – Cortes Island – 14-17 May 2018

Kayaking – Main Lake Prov Park – 30 May 2018

This trip has been changed to a day-trip on Wednesday.

Activity Kayaking Multi-day kayaking/camping
Destination Main Lake Provincial Park
Date 30 May 2018, Wednesday 29-31 May 2018, Tuesday-Thursday
Trip Coordinator Les Hand
Contact Info 2029 or leshand@gicable.com
Description The destination will be determined by the group when we depart the boat ramp.  Camping on Main Lake, probably on the north shore, with day paddling/hiking.  Possible day trips are: kayaking to Little Main Lake up Shadow Brook Creek, kayaking to the east end of the lake and hiking to Yeatman Bay, and/or kayaking to the north shore and hiking up to Clear Lake.
Meeting Place Boat launch, Mine Lake
Departure Time 10:00 10:30 a.m.  Plan to be at the launch site by 9:30.
Difficulty
Probably easy, unless it’s windy
Costs As of 2017 there is a $5/person/night fee for camping between May 15 and Sept 15.
Trip limits none
Dogs? no
Notes: Participants need to have all required safety equipment.  Here is the link to the Park information.  Everyone is responsible for their own kayaking gear, camping equipment and meals, but cooking groups would be a good idea.  I will send a list of people who have signed up a week before the event to facilitate planning, so please let me know if you are interested no later than May 15.  We’ll plan to come back after lunch on the 3rd day, so will have 2 half days and one full day to explore the park.

 

Multi-day Hiking – Cathedral Lakes Park – 5-10 Sept 2018

Activity Base-camp hiking
Destination Cathedral Lakes Provincial Park
Date 5-10 Sept 2018, Wednesday to Monday
Trip Coordinator Debbie Quigg
Contact Info Please contact the coordinator well in advance of the trip at debbie.quigg@ualberta.ca or 3710
Description We are planning on two travel days and four nights camping in Cathedral Lakes Provincial Park.  Day 1: travel to Keremos and spend the night in local accommodation.  Day 2 (Thursday): travel up the mountain to the Park in the Lodge “unimog” on the 10:00 departure.  Set up camp in either the Quiniscoe Lake campground (5 minute walk) or the Lake of the Woods campground (25 minute walk).  Begin day-hiking and continue through Sunday.  There are at least 12 trails in the core area ranging from easy to strenuous. The  variety of lakes and mountain scenery is exceptional.  Other activities such as swimming and fishing are also available.  For more info: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/cathedral/cathedral_core_area_map.pdf   and    http://cathedrallakes.ca/park/
On Day 6 (Monday) we will descend the mountain on the “unimog” and return to Quadra.
Meeting Place Keremos on the evening of September 5th
Departure Time At your convenience
Difficulty Easy to strenuous.  The group may break into subgroups depending on interests.
Cost Transportation costs (ferries, fuel)  The cost of the ride up the mountain is $105/person round trip.  This is non-refundable and must be paid at time of booking.  Accommodation costs for the first night in Keremos and campsite costs ($10/person/night) at the park, paid in advance as a permit.
Trip limits Eight people; maximum of six tents as we cannot reserve camping spots and we would like to be close together.
Dogs? Not allowed in the park.
Notes: There will not be any group bookings for this trip.  Everyone is responsible for their own reservations in Keremos, on the “unimog” through the Cathedral Parks Lodge (http://cathedrallakes.ca/camper-services/), and the campsite (at the bottom of the following link http://cathedrallakes.ca/park/).  Full camping gear and food is required, but only needs to be carried to the campsite.  Water must be treated.  The camping area is at 2,000 metres, so be prepared far a variety of mountain conditions.

Multi-day Hiking – Linnaea Farm, Cortes – 14-17 May 2018

Activity Hiking
Destination Cortes Island
Date 14-17 May 2018, Monday to Thursday
Trip Coordinator Margot Wood
Contact Info margotw@gicable.com.  Commitment for this trip needs to be made by March 31.
Description Planning four days of hiking on beautiful Cortes Island, staying at Linnaea Farm House. This is an eight bedroom rustic farmhouse, on the edge of Gunflint Lake at the gateway to many of the hiking trails on Cortes. This is an active farm & was once the residence of the farmers who ran ‘Lakeview Dairy’, the last raw milk in B.C.
Many beautiful trails on Cortes, Green Mountain, Easter Bluff, K’Was Park, Sisken Forest Park, Carrington Trails etc. The schedule of trails will be developed presented daily with your input. This year we want to spend another whole day in K’Was Park. Pot-luck dinners will be organized, using the farmhouse kitchen. Please check:
www.linnaeafarm.org
Meeting Place Cortes ferry line-up
Departure Time 9:05 am sailing.  Be early because this is a busy sailing
Difficulty Easy to Moderate.
Cost Ferry costs plus shared fuel.  $35/night if you bring your own sleeping bag or linen; $50/night if Linnaea supplies the linens.
Trip limits Eight bedrooms.  Must love hiking.
Dogs? No. Dogs are not allowed on the farm.
Notes: We will car-pool where possible. Everyone is responsible for own breakfast & lunch. Dinner teams to be organized.
We usually give a donation to ‘The Children’s Forest’, this is an educational program plus protecting the forest for Cortes Children. Entirely your choice & with thanks.
We will be returning on May 17th, probably 1:50 p.m ferry.

Trip Report – Hornby Island – 18-22 Feb 2018

Day 1: Nine members left Quadra on a clear and sun-filled day, however, when we reached Courtenay we hit snow. On arrival at Hornby Island, the snow was quite deep, we drove to our guesthouse at Tribune Bay on unploughed roads. Unfortunately, the power was off and the four bedroom guesthouse was freezing. We soon got a fire going after chopping wood and finding kindling. A quick snack and all out for a hike at Helliwell Provincial Park. This is one of the finest walks on Hornby, through old-growth Douglas fir forest and along weather sculpted sandstone cliffs, glorious views of the mainland, Texada Island and Lasqueti. Another treat for us was watching listening to the sea lions, eagles etc….all waiting for the herring. It was such a lovely day and we soaked up the beauty of this trail. Returned to the guesthouse and all decided to keep our coats on, although it had warmed up a little. Dinner Team 1 soon got cooking in the kitchen before the darkness fell, the smells from the kitchen were divine. We ate a delicious meal in candle light, most still wearing our warm coats. After dinner we shared some of our favourite books and travel stories. The fire was kept going all night to keep us warm. Power back on at 11:30 p.m. but not the heat.

Day 2: A wonderful sunrise. After breakfast we met Joanne (our Hornby Island trail guide) and she took us onto the Mount Geoffrey Forest Trails. There are countless trails and we were pleased to have a wonderful guide to follow. We broke trail in the deep snow climbing quite steeply and eventually picked the Cliff Trail to hike along the bluff overlooking Denman Island. We also had spectacular views of snow-covered mountains on Vancouver Island. Worked our way back down and returned to the guesthouse for lunch. The afternoon trail that we chose was to explore Big Tribune Bay. It was low tide and we could walk out along the beach, scramble over rugged sandstone boulders and investigate the beautiful formations. Joanne was invited for appies and dinner. Dinner Team 2 prepared a fantastic dinner. Joanne shared many stories of Hornby and we learned a lot about the island and its residents. All to bed. It was starting to get warmer inside……yeah!

Day 3: The morning was overcast with light snow falling with sun in the afternoon. After breakfast, we headed to Shingle Spit near the ferry dock. This picturesque, mainly forested trail is sandwiched between a spectacular conglomerate rock face on one side and bluffs overlooking the water on the other. We walked to Ford’s Cove and all enjoyed looking at the boats before walking back. We stopped for a delicious lunch at the Community Hall, many residents come each Tuesday to enjoy the food and company. It was lovely to talk with the locals, most soon knew that Quadra people were visiting the island. The afternoon hike took us to Heron Rocks. We hiked down to the rocks that gave us spectacular sandstone formations and tidal pools. Best of all was watching and listening to the sea lions plus all the various waterfowl and numerous eagles, all waiting for their annual herring feast on Hornby. Dinner Team 3 prepared another delicious meal. After dinner some played a new game and others read/chatted.

Day 4: Light snow fell most of the day. After breakfast we drove to the Bench Trail, part of the Mt Geoffrey Escarpment Provincial Park. The trail climbed steeply in places, but not difficult. Passing many arbutus, several large fir and a number of maple. The trail took us to the edge of the bluff with a couple of viewpoints, although unable to see far due to the light snow falling. This was a pretty trail enjoyed by all. On returning to the guesthouse some stopped at the Co-op store, what a lovely treat. Socks, scarves etc. were purchased, we all agreed the downstairs area of the store was like stepping back in time, plus the display of all the magnificent quilts created by the Islanders. Lunch back at the guesthouse and then some members went out to either Big Tribune Bay/Little Tribune Bay/Ford Cove and Heron Rocks. Dinner Team 4 prepared another delicious meal, followed by the sharing of stories along with lots of laughs around the table.

Day 5: A beautiful sunny day. Everyone up pretty early. Some of us actually ate quiche/chocolate cake for breakfast from the previous night’s dinner. Everyone packed and into our cars by 9 a.m. A final hike at Helliwell Park. We decided to turn left at the junction, giving us different view points. Walking through beautiful open forest containing enormous old-growth fir, cedar, large maple and alder. On emerging from the forest we found ourselves at the edge of the water. We were again entertained by the barking of the sea lions and waterfowl. We continued walking along the edge of the spectacular cliffs, fantastic views and many, many eagles. Creatures still waiting for the huge herring feast that happens in early March. We took our time because hikes come no better than this one. Caught the noon ferry to Denman Island, some continued onto the ferry and others hiked at Boyle Point Provincial Park. Took a short trail to Eagle Point and walked to the viewpoint of Chrome Island Light Station. The island was originally named Yellow Island because of its light colour. Chrome Island’s main claim to fame was a spectacular shipwreck, which took place during a gale on Dec 16th, 1900. Back on the road and caught the ferry to Vancouver Island, catching the 3:30 p.m ferry for home. What made this trip so enjoyable was the beautiful hikes on a lovely island, magnificent wildlife, delicious dinners and most of all a group of wonderful people. In every walk with nature, one receives far more than they seek.

Margot

The bird and mammal list follows the photos

(click on photos to view larger)

Thanks to Norris, Stephen and Diana for the photos

Bird List

Common Loon Bald Eagle
Horned Grebe Black Osytercatcher
Pelagic Cormorant Black Turnstone
Double-crested Cormorant Mew Gull
Great Blue Heron Glaucous-winged Gull
Canada Goose Marbled Murrelet
Mallard Northern Flicker
American Wigeon Downy Woodpecker
Harlequin Duck Pileated Woodpecker
Surf Scoter Northwestern Crow
White-winged Scoter Common Raven
Common Goldeneye Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Barrow Goldeneye Pacific Wren
Bufflehead American Robin
Common Merganser Varied Thrush
Red-breasted Merganser Song Sparrow
Red-tailed Hawk Red-winged Blackbird

Mammal List

Steller Sea Lion River Otter
Californai Sea Lion Deer Mouse
Harbour Seal Mink
Black-tailed Deer

Multi-day Hiking – Hornby Island – 18-22 Feb 2018

Multi-day Hiking – Hornby Island – 18-22 Feb 2018

 This trip is full.  You may contact the coordinator to waitlist.

Activity Multi-day hiking
Destination Hornby Island
Date 18-22 Feb 2018, Sunday to Thursday
Trip Coordinator Margot Wood
Contact Info margotw@gicable.com; please contact the coordinator as soon as possible.
Description A multi-day trip on Hornby Island. We have secured a lovely beach house right on Tribune Bay. Magnificent views/walks on the beach & beyond, set on 17 acres, close to Hornby Co-op Store. The house can sleep 8 individuals, with two per bedroom.  It may be possible for some people to stay less than the four nights, but to be most affordable, priority will be to have the bedrooms full each night.  If fully booked the cost per night will be approximately $50/person, but may be less.
Trails on Hornby: Mount Geoffrey Nature Park, Helliwell Provincial Park, Mount Geoffrey Escarpment Provincial Park, Tribune Bay Provincial Park …..also lots of new bike trails. We will be hiking approx. 4-6h per day.
Margot will organize car-pooling & dinner preparation teams. Each is responsible for their breakfast & lunch.
For accommodation info:
http://hornbyisland.com/accommodation/absolutely-the-perfect-spot-on-tribune-bay-spray-point/
For a map of Hornby Island trails:
https://www.google.ca/maps/@49.5192004,-124.6418233,14z
Difficulty Easy/moderate
Dogs No
Trip Limits 8
Costs Accommodation, ferry costs, fuel
Notes Please contact Margot a.s.a.p.
I will research trails on Hornby, ferry schedules to Hornby Island.
Further info to follow to individuals on booking.
Smiles, Margot