|Destination||Jedediah Island via Texada Island|
|Date||7 to 11 Sept 2021|
|Trip Coordinator||Vic Gladish|
|Contact Infofirstname.lastname@example.org; 250-285-2111|
|Description||Three days on the water; one travel day to get there and one to get home; Camp on Texada on day 1 with the crossing to Jedediah early on day 2. Return to Texada on day 5 and on to ferries and home. Details will be posted soon.|
|Meeting Place||Quathiaski Cove ferry lineup at 0630|
|Departure Time||0705 ferry Quathiaski Cove|
||A 2km crossing from Texada to Jedediah makes this, depending on weather, a more difficult trip.|
|Cost||Ferry and camping costs|
|Notes:||More details will be added soon. Please let Vic Gladish know if you are interested or if a revised proposal would be more agreeable.|
When the kayak trip to Bligh Island unraveled, the remnants of that trip booked into the Ralph River campground at the last minute. This was not a carefully scripted trip; we mostly made it up as we went along.
Day 1 – After a late start and a ferry overload wait, we arrived at 3:00 at the campground, set up the tent amongst the amazing old growth trees in the Ralph River campground, and left to begin hiking at 4:00. Given the time available, we explored some of the trailheads in that area: the Auger Point Traverse (steep), Shepherd Creek route (impressive canyon), Flower Ridge, and Price Creek (river views, then follows an old level road for a while).
(click to enlarge photos)
Day 2 – We hiked up the Buttle Bluffs and Park Main logging roads from the Western Mine road. These are steep, gated roads surrounded by clear-cuts, but they provide excellent views and a rapid approach to higher elevation destinations. The spring flowers were still quite good, the geology was fascinating, and there is an excellent water falls at 5 km. The views of the Buttle Lake valley are really exceptional. We continued about 7.5 km and 840 meters elevation gain, until we crossed a high point in the road and could see into the next valley surrounded by high mountains.
Day 3 – We planned to kayak on Jim Mitchell Lake, but that didn’t work out because the condition of the Jim Mitchell Road changes from 2-wheel drive to 4-wheel drive at the Bedwell trailhead. We didn’t have the right vehicles, so we walked up the road to see the Lake. We returned part way down the road and then followed the Bedwell Trail out through a beautiful old forest to Thelwood Creek and the suspension bridge for lunch. After lunch we drove just a bit further and walked the short approach to Lower Myra Falls. This is always a beautiful falls, with great rock ledges and pools. There was lots of water coming through the falls with the spring run-off. The final short hike of the day was the Shepherd Creek loop, which leaves from the Ralph River bridge. This short trail has a lot of variety with the river, some big trees, a mossy bluff, a wetland, and interesting saprophytes and fungus. We still had time to explore the campground which is nestled in a beautiful forest between the Ralph River and Buttle Lake with lots of shoreline and views. There were other folks from Quadra so the evenings were very social.
Day 4 – We packed up the camping gear and drove to the Buttle Lake boat launch to kayak on the Lake. We crossed to Rainbow Island in a freshening breeze. At the moment it’s not an island because the water level in Buttle Lake is quite low. We paddled to the south, sheltered side, explored a bit and had lunch. There was a racing shell boat practicing in the lake. After lunch we poked around some cliffs and an island to the south before returning to the boat launch. Further exploration would be great, but more water and less wind would have been ideal.
This is an exceptionally beautiful area with access to amazing hiking at the Lake level or in the surrounding mountains. The combination of the fjord-like lakes, the mature forests and the numerous mountains makes this a wonderful base for hiking and boating.
Day 1 – With Dr. Bonnie Henry’s encouragement to go camping locally, we stayed three nights and four days on Cortes Island, using the Smelt Bay campground as our base. After taking the ferry on Monday to Cortes, setting up camp and after having a sunny, relaxed lunch on the beach at Smelt Bay, we went to Manson’s Lagoon at a very low tide so that we could walk to the little island and explore the intertidal zone. (1.5 km; 1 hour) After that we hiked to Easter Bluff, a short walk rewarded with excellent views to the south and east. (2.3 km; 2 hours)
(click to enlarge photos)
Day 2 – The night was quite cold, but we warmed up hiking up to the summit of Green Mountain, the highest point on Cortes Island, but still a very accessible trip. The loop around the top provided great views in most directions. (4.3 km; 2 hours) In the afternoon, one couple kayaked on Hague and Gunflint Lakes, while the rest of us kayaked from the Whaletown government dock out to Shark Spit, once again at a very low tide. The launch down the steep ramp was quite extreme. We walked around the Spit before portaging the boats over the spit and exploring the islets and coast around Uganda Passage. (9 km; 2.5 hours)
Day 3 – Rain was forecast overnight and into Wednesday, but we really only had drizzle overnight and it was dry by morning. Still, for breakfast we took advantage of the beautiful picnic shelter at the Smelt Bay campsite, with its timber-framed structure, wood stove and picnic tables. We then set out for the long loops at Kw’as Regional Park. Starting near the Cortes Motel, we hiked the eastern side Millennium Trail out to the Swim Rock for lunch. We followed along the Rock Face trail on the Hague Lake shore and visited the amazing Survivor Fir before crossing the narrows and hiking the loop out to the bench on the Pierre de Trail. Returning by the Cedar Ridge, we re-crossed the narrows and followed the Gunflint Lake shoreline stopping at the old steam donkey and then back to the cars. (12.4 km; 5.75 hours)
Day 4 – Wednesday night was cool and windy, but Thursday turned into a lovely day. A few headed back on an early ferry (which it turned out didn’t run until 3:50), while the rest of us hiked in the morning at Hank’s beach, catching the low tide, sunny facing shore and great views. We rambled over the rocky bluffs and explored some tidal pools. (3.2 km; 1.25 hours) We then headed over to Squirrel Cove for lunch on the beach. We carried the kayaks a long way to the water and paddled into the protected anchorage, through the islands, enjoying the intertidal life. We were happy to see that the purple sea stars are returning very well. We stopped at the creek into the Squirrel Cove lagoon and walked across to the lagoon. In addition to the excellent intertidal life, there were duck and chicks in the lagoon. (7.7 km; 2.25 hours) After ice cream from the Squirrel Cove store, most of us took the last ferry home.
There is so much to see and do on Cortes and we packed a lot into four days. The weather was kind to us, the low tides fascinating, and the spring growth lovely. We are so fortunate to have this nearby.
Thanks to Norris and Bonnie for the photos
In order to encourage more participants and because of the dates of the club’s kayak trip, this trip’s goal was changed, to focus on the Malaspina Peninsula, and was delayed by one week. Being well into September there was some concern about the good weather holding. Although we did leave with this year’s southern fire smoke in the air, the timing regarding weather was perfect, as the first daytime rain followed immediately after reaching the end of our trek. It turned out to also be auspicious timing regarding dates, as we only encountered 4 other back packers, and only shared a campsite on the first night.
Day 1 – Tuesday: Leaving the ferry behind at 10:15, we left one vehicle at a friend’s house near Mowat Bay, near the end of our walk, and drove on to Lund with our other vehicle, catching the Lund water taxi at 2 pm, destination: Sarah Point. The taxi dropped us off in hazy conditions on a dry rock shelf, from which, after the “before” photos, we donned our lightweight backpacks and started the walk through arbutus and manzanita groves to Feather Cove, our first campsite. We shared this site, looking east towards Malaspina Inlet, with a young kayaking couple, and were visited frequently by a curious sea lion as we set up camp. At this point, one is in Malaspina Provincial Park, and the campsite is outfitted with an outhouse, food cache and picnic table. This was truly roughing it. This is where one of our group revealed their secret weapon, a backpacking chair, and quest for seating began!
(click to enlarge photos)
Day 2 – Wednesday: Wanting to gradually add to each day’s mileage considering the placement of campsites along the route, we rose around 7 am, stretched as all conscientious aged packers do, and were on the trail by 9. Our goal was a 9.2 km hike to Wednesday Lake. At Hinder Lake outflow we were able to fill up with water.
The route took us through a green mossy forested landscape, with the first two thirds including some pleasant forested walking trail. This disappeared the last kilometer and a half before Wednesday Lake, as we had 2 successive uphill grunts up root filled inclines, until finally gaining site of Wednesday Lake. The old, non-parks standard outhouse was in stark contrast to our cushy appointment at Feather Cove, and the first camp clearing was rudimentary and a poor prospect for clean drinking water. Luckily, a short distance around the lake shore brought us to the real campsite, with adequate flat space for our 3 tents on a rock bluff, and good access to water and a swim! We walked about 6 hours that day, and being our first day of real backpacking, we were very ready to lose our loads here. We were humbled later in the early evening when a young speed backpacker dropped in, after leaving Sarah Point only 3½ hours earlier that day. Her plan was to hike the entire Sunshine Coast Trail, some 150 km, in 4½ days. We gave her all the experienced hiking tips we could offer in about 10 seconds, and bid her good evening.
Entertainment that evening was shared between stealing a backpacking chair, and watching three seasoned backpackers comically hone their technique of launching a rock-weighted line over a tree limb, to provide a food cache; entitled: Quest for Rocks. Nominations for the Darwin Awards have been submitted!
Day 3 – Thursday: Again we were back on our route by 9 am. We had to climb out of Wednesday Lake but the trail had some pleasant forested walking before our accent to the Gwendoline Hills. The walk along this ridge was fairly flat, but again we climbed as we neared McPherson Hill, after leaving Malaspina Park behind. After a walk through lovely old growth, we reached Manzanita Bluff, where a beautiful mountain hut awaited, and an expansive view of the Salish Sea would have been our reward, if it hadn’t been obscured by alternating smoke and fog. Unfortunately, we could barely see the darker mass of Hernando Island in the distance. Nevertheless, it was a beautiful lunch spot with picnic tales. We now descended through commercial forest lands, containing some lovely old trees, where the forest companies have allowed a right of way for the trail. Later, we came to Emil’s Bench, dedicated to Emil Kormpocker, a veteran logging contractor who had the foresight to save a stand of old growth trees in this area. Unfortunately, the younger forest around us obscured views of the saved old growth. Here you also have a view of Okeover Inlet below. Eventually, through some older forest, we crossed over Malaspina Road, and continued on to our next campsite, Fern Gully Creek. Here we had one of our darkest campsites, thanks to some old growth giants, There was adequate space for tents here and a rustic table. Although we had water, the pools may be drier at the end of a hotter summer. And we could find no outhouse.
Day 4 – Friday: We were back on the trial this day around 9 am knowing that we would add the first real increase to our daily distance, covering 13 km. The first part of this day had us climbing up the Thunder Ridge Trail.. After the Plummer Creek Road we were treated to an old forested rail grade, which lead us to a rest spot at Plummer Creek Bridge. Below, a 5 minute walk leads to the Plummer Creek campsite, near the bottom of Toquenatch Creek. After our break, about an hour later, we arrived at Toquenatch Falls, where water still cascaded over rocks, although nowhere the force that would exist after a rainy fall. The trail continued up the creek valley, sometimes using old rail grade, and eventually comes to a newer logging area where we had another reminder that we were out of the park, as we could hear a logging truck close by, lumbering up a grade. Eventually, the trail took us to a road system, and the Homestead Forest Recreation site. This was accessible by vehicle, and after a quick lunch held no real interest for us. Here, we met, Nick, a young fellow from Victoria, who had passed us the previous evening at Fern Gully, but was now lying on the ground, in some obvious discomfort, nursing a nerve injury from long bouts of car driving. We could only offer ibuprofen and encouragement, but Nick seemed to be familiar with the condition and was weighing his options. The afternoon then brought us up a climb to Rievely Pond with its lovely hut in an open spot above the pond. Water was not the best here, but we enjoyed a rest and continued to our intended goal, the Appleton Creek Bridge Campsite, a lovely open site amongst several old growth giants, next to a very good running water source. Above the campsite is a trail leading up to a bathing pool in the creek. We had benches at camp for cooking and sitting, and an outhouse, although its location was hidden to us until the next morning.
Because of the weather forecast, we set up two tarps to be prepared for the next morning. Two trail walker/runners passed by, who were doing the peninsula trail in one day, They were only carrying fanny packs and intended to continue through to Powell River with just 2 hours left. We did celebrate our last camp on this Friday evening by sharing some extra food and having a small campfire.
Day 5 – Saturday: This morning, the darkness of the forest and the night’s rain had us up a little later, but we were on the trail a little after 9. We had another 15 km to reach the end of our route. The descent down Appleton Creek was a mossy forest trail with several stops for small cascades and the larger Gorge Falls. Further along we entered lands given by the Sliammon people to allow the trail to continue to Sliammon Lake and Little Sliammon Lake, with its picnic pavilion, boat wharf and road access. The trail around the lakes is an up and down workout around bluffs and roots, but only for a portion of the days hike. From Little Sliammon we mostly followed old forest roads down to Sunset Park, and increasingly saw bear scat, and many friendly day hikers as we approached the suburb of Wildwood. At Sunset Park, we dropped our packs and congratulated ourselves. Two of us continued along streets to the bridge at Powell Lake outlet, and then again picked up the Sunshine Coast Trail to Mowat Bay, just down the road from where we had left our parked car. The timing was perfect, as we encountered our first daytime rain just before we reached Mowat Bay.
This trail is obviously not a walk in the park, carrying loaded packs for 5 days. But, after our plan to gradually build up each days distance, we not only found it manageable, but enjoyable and well worth the effort. It offered a great deal of variety within the coastal forest setting, including views, water courses, a variety of forests, and some excellent camping. This part of September proved to be a good choice, as there was little traffic on the trail, and offered many opportunities for solitude. The group turned to have excellent dynamics and the common love of the outdoors, plus an ample dose of good humour, allowed us to get beyond familiarity. A very positive journey!
Thanks to Brent, Norris, and Diana for the photos
This trip was rescheduled from August in hopes that Desolation Sound would be less busy in September. It probably is, but still busy enough in this exceptional pandemic summer, especially at the Curme Islets campsites. Compared with our usual paddling destinations, there were a large number of young people (well, young being anyone under 40…), many of them in rental kayaks, and some in more unusual craft. Notable sightings (of creatures human and otherwise) are described below.
Day 1 – Tuesday: Four of us launched from Squirrel Cove on Cortes Island about 11 a.m. on Sunday, having lined up around 8 a.m. to catch the 9:05 ferry from Heriot Bay. The weather was calm and sunny for our crossing to the Martin Islands where we stopped for lunch. From the Martins, we headed to the north end of Mink Island and around the top to the Curmes. We had a little wind and chop on the crossing. We were somewhat taken aback to find two of the three campsite locations full by early afternoon. Fortunately, we were able to nab three of four remaining tent pads on East Curme. All the sites in Desolation Sound Marine Park have designated tent pads, an outhouse, picnic tables and/or benches, and (on the mainland sites, bear caches). Access in the Curmes is awkward in most spots on most tides. After setting up camp, some of us went swimming in the warm – slightly soupy – water, and all made an early night. One of the consequences of the younger demographic was a certain amount of partying, although with darkness by 8:30 and no campfires, things settled down about 9:30 or 10 (which is quite late on kayaking days!). The stars were absolutely dazzling. 13.7 km; 4 hours.
Notable sighting: A group consisting of two senior lady paddlers and two couples in doubles came looking for a tentpad about 5 p.m. and spent some time paddling about before the two singles took the last site on East Curme and the others disappeared to seek their fortune elsewhere. Like us, they hadn’t expected the crowds….
(click to enlarge photos)
Day 2 – Wednesday: We headed out about 9:30 for a day trip to Prideaux Haven and beyond. Exceptionally calm, almost glassy conditions, and hot (although not the hottest yet). Very pleasant paddling through the islets, with a break at Laura Cove (where we were serenaded by a boat owner playing his violin). Then on to a rocky outcropping just beyond Price Point for lunch, and back home (taking the route outside Eveleigh Island and back though the gap between Otter Island and the mainland). More swimming, dinner, and planning for the next few days. By this point we had decided to order a water taxi to return us from the north tip of Malaspina Peninsula to Squirrel Cove, as three of us needed to be back fairly early, and it looked like a longish slog through open water. This later proved to be an inspired decision. 20.0 km; 6 hours.
Notable sighting: Half an hour before dark, a young couple paddled up in an inflatable double (about as wide as it was long), accompanied by their cat. Fortunately, some parties had moved off West Curme, and they were able to find a tent pad.
Day 3 – Thursday: Off about 9:00 a.m. to Hare Point on the northeast shore of Malaspina Inlet, about 2 kilometres from Zephine Head. Another hot still day. Quite a bit of room at the campsite, with a fairly decent beach, although the canoe/kayak run is only wide enough for one boat at low tide. The tent pads are located on either side of the cove, with outhouse/bear cache/picnic table for each group. The westerly, more scenic area is up a fairly steep trail – we defaulted to the lower group of tent pads – still a bit of a scramble up the rocks. The afternoon was very hot – we spent much of it looking for shade. Two of us practised self-rescue (and have the bruises to show for it). This activity generated quite a bit of amusement for other kayakers: “Oh gosh, there she goes, right over the other side.” Much quieter location than the Curmes. Early night. 9.6 km; 2 hours.
Notable sighting: Ultra light aircraft on pontoons flew over us en route to Hare Point. Took a while to figure out what it was.
Day 4 – Friday: Off about 9:30 toward Grace Harbour for a day trip. Not such a warm day, with the smoke beginning to move in. Grace Harbour is a popular anchorage, although not very busy when we were there. Only 2 or 3 tent pads; probably not too much privacy in summer with boaters marching through toward Black Lake. There is a creek at the head of the bay, east of the campsite. We walked up to the lake through a pleasant cedar forest, with the remnants of logging operations in a few places. About 15 minutes walk each way. There is a small cleared area for swimming access but slippery on the rocks. After lunch, we paddled back to the campsite and passed on the way a colony of Steller (and possibly also California) sea lions. We had seen Stellers fishing in the cove, and occasionally popping up rather close to our kayaks. Back about 4 p.m. More rescue practice – more bruises…. 16.0 km; 5¼ hours.
Notable sighting: A young couple on standup paddleboards with gear strapped fore and aft arrived at the campsite about 5:30. The operation looked slow and a bit hazardous, but they apparently like it.
Day 5 – Saturday: Away at 9 a.m. In order to have time to visit the Copeland Islands and still be picked up Sunday morning by the water taxi, we upped stakes at Hare Point, and nabbed tent platforms at Feather Cove (about 45 minutes paddle). Feather Cove has a decent landing beach, although exposed to waves and wash. Another 2-part campsite, with tent pads on the hill, and back among the trees down by the beach. This site is on the Sunshine Coast trail, so is used by both hikers and paddlers. In very thick smoke, we paddled to Sarah Point, down the peninsula toward Bliss Landing, and across to the most northerly of the Copeland Islands. For the first time on the trip, we had some significant wind (in our face, of course). There are at least two and possibly three campsites in the Islands. We entered North Copeland Island through a small gap into a shallow bay with easy landing. At this large site, there are three sets of tent pads; the most westerly grouping is very scenic but with what looks like trickier access. Quite a few empty pads. After lunch, we paddled by the next island with tent pads, and around a larger island with several small notches and coves for anchorage. After darting across Thulin Passage between cruising and fishing boats, we headed north again, with a stop at a lovely sandy beach just north of Bliss Landing. An old homestead with some remnants of buildings, the site has a very productive collection of old fruit trees. Some of the apple trees were about 40 feet high. Unfortunately, it was very obvious that this is a place beloved by bears, whose reach is about the same as ours. Back to camp about 5:30, having enjoyed the following wind and a bit of a favourable current. 22.9 km ; 7¼ hours.
Notable sighting: A young couple in rented kayaks showed up about 6 p.m. with an astonishing amount of gear tied to the decks of their boats, including a five gallon water container (full). As they were leaving to find a campsite at Hare Point, one of us was unable to resist suggesting to them that the location of the water container was not the best of ideas…. Not sure how this advice was received, but one has to try. Notable non-sighting: About 2 o’clock in the morning, distant shouting and banging were followed by splashing and loud snorting. The bear (as we assume it was…) did not arrive in our locale. Judging by the trail of water leading from the beach up the hill behind our tents, we concluded that the bear had been chased off the hillside tent area, ran down to the water, splashed across, and took off heading south.
Day 6 – Sunday: Up early to be ready for the water taxi to arrive at 9. Very, very smoky. We were relieved not to have to make a 3+ hour trip in near zero visibility. Duncan Pollen from Lund delivered us safely to Squirrel Cove, and helped carry the kayaks up a very steep ramp. We reached Whaletown shortly after 11, and one of us was lucky enough to be shoehorned aboard the 11:50 ferry. The others left on the 1:50 sailing. Everyone home by mid-afternoon. Notable sighting: While we were waiting on the beach, a Steller sea lion showed us how to catch fish. Grab the salmon, shake it violently, and gulp it down head first. Worked for him (or her).
As mentioned above, this trip was quite different from our more usual paddles to less accessible and popular locations. It was mostly more relaxed, with shorter distances. The scenery is lovely, of course, the water is warm and having some basic services at the campsites is convenient. Almost certainly, COVID is responsible for the large number of paddlers, some of whom appeared to be out for the first time. Fortunately, the weather was very calm, and presumably there were no problems with overloaded boats or less-than-seaworthy conveyances encountering challenging conditions. We did hear from the skipper of the water taxi that there had been more than the usual number of kayakers in trouble this summer. We enjoyed our time together as always.
A couple of useful links for trip planning:
Thanks to Norris and Val for the photos!
|Date||8 to 13 Sept 2020; Tuesday to Saturday|
|Trip Coordinator||Darcy Mitchell|
|Contact Infoemail@example.com; 250 923 5540|
|Description||Multi-day paddle to Desolation Sound, launching from Squirrel Cove. Itinerary dependent on participant interests and weather. Here is the link to kayak campsite information: http://bcparks.ca/explore/parkpgs/desolation/camping.html|
|Meeting Place||Cortes ferry line-up, Heriot Bay|
|Departure Time||8:00 to catch 9:05 Cortes Ferry|
||Moderate to challenging|
|Cost||Ferry costs and nightly costs for camping within the Desolation Sound Marine Park|
|Trip limits||Minimum 4 – maximum 6 to 8 depending on number of tents|
|Notes:||All participants must observe club paddling guidelines including demonstrated ability to perform assisted and self-rescue. If you are interested in this trip, please contact the coordinator no later than September 1. Pandemic protocols will be observed.|
|Destination||Sunshine Coast Trail|
|Date||15-20 Sept, Tuesday to Sunday (date could still vary by a day)|
|Trip Coordinator||Brent Henry|
|Contact Infofirstname.lastname@example.org or 250-205-1106 (phone or text). Contact the coordinator in by the end of August|
|Description||A 4-5 day trip. Participants would take two cars on the ferry to Powell River. We would park one vehicle at Lund and water taxi to Sarah Pt, hiking the Malaspina Peninsula portion of the trail back to Powell River. We would hike roughly 10+ kilometers per day. Due to covid-19, the cabins are off bounds, and small tents /shelters must be carried. Coordinator has an extra 1 person tent and bivy that could be loaned out. A water treatment method should be carried, and at least 2 liters must be carried, possibly a third bottle.|
|Meeting Place||Little River ferry terminal|
|Departure Time||9:30 at the ferry terminal. We would catch the 9:55 ferry.|
|Difficulty||Moderate up and down mixed terrain.|
|Costs||Ferry, parking and water taxi costs.|
|Notes:||All participants should be self sufficient and willing to practice safe pandemic protocols, as well as having a mask available for the ferry and public transit. Exact route, kitchen requirements, food, first aid will be agreed upon by participants.
Coordinator will carry an Inreach satellite texter and a vhf radio. If you are interested, please contact the coordinator by the end of August.
|Destination||Sutil Channel/Cortes Island/Marina Island|
|Date||10 to 14 or 15 August 2020; Monday to Friday or Saturday|
|Trip Coordinator||Darcy Mitchell|
|Contact Infoemail@example.com; 250 923 5540|
|Description||Departing from Open Bay toward Carrington Bay on Cortes Island (likely 2 nights) then to Shark Spit, Marina Island (likely 2 nights), with a possible 5th night. Itinerary subject to change depending on participants’ interests and weather conditions. Up to 25 km per day in possibly adverse conditions. Possibilities for hiking as well as day paddles.|
|Meeting Place||End of Valdes Road, Open Bay|
|Departure Time||9:30 a.m. for 10:00 a.m. launch|
||Moderate to challenging|
|Notes:||All participants must observe club paddling guidelines including demonstrated ability (through Club safety sessions) to perform assisted, and preferably, self-rescue. If you have not previously paddled with the coordinator on a multi-day trip, please contact her to discussion your experience and equipment. Pandemic protocols will be observed.
Last date for registration – August 4.
Day 1. Six paddlers launched from the end of Valdes Road on a fairly high tide, leaving the beach about 10:45 toward the Penn Islets. The weather was sunny with some overcast and the occasional rain squall, winds light. With a favourable current, we made excellent time, arriving at the campsite on North Penn Islet in just under 3 1/2 hours paddling time. A lovely classic cruiser was anchored in the nook south of the campsite, but very few other boats seen. The campsite is beautiful, with great views from the bluff, and some good forest sites also. Distance covered – 16.6 km in 3 hours and 20 minutes.
Day 2. As the day was sunny with light winds forecast, we made a side trip to the entrance of Von Donop Inlet and stopped for a break at the campsite in Robertson Cove. While the location has several tent sites, and a trail to Robertson Lake, it seemed dark and is exposed to the west. Easy landing. We then paddled toward South Rendezvous Island, our planned stop for the night. Unlike other years, this large and very attractive site was empty. The summer has been disastrous for local outfitters, but it has meant that more camping options are available than usual. Easy access from the north, several tent sites, and a small creek. One or two tent sites also available on the tidal island in front of the main site. Hot afternoon. Distance covered 16.2 km in 4 hours and 10 minutes.
Day 3. We launched about 9:45 to be in good time for slack at Surge Narrows. Paddling up the west side of the Rendezvous Islands to the south tip of North Rendezvous, we crossed to Mayes Point at the entrance to White Rock Passage against a fairly lively adverse current. After a short stop on the south shore of the Passage (just before the campsite noted on the Marine Trails website), we paddled through the Settlers Group in good time. As the weather was very calm, we paddled a straight course up Okisollo Channel to the Octopus Islands to benefit from the favourable ebb tide. Several other parties of kayakers spotted, and the usual population of pleasure boats in the park. We camped on the shore of a very “clammy” cove on the south shore of Waiatt Bay. There is a good creek draining an unnamed lake. The grassy site is good for 2 and possibly 3 tents; others uncomfortably close to the high tide line. Another hot day. Distance covered 21 km in 5 hours 10 minutes.
Day 4. Heading home, we made a short stop at the ‘museum cabin’ on the more southerly of the private islands adjacent to the park. Many boaters (often for successive years) have left mementoes of their visits in the cabin. We then took a short swing through the islets and headed to Yeatman Bay for lunch and to wait for slack in Surge Narrows. We slipped easily through the rocks between Quadra and Peck Island on the last of the flood, and with increasing following winds and a fair current, landed in Open Bay less than half an hour after high tide, for an easy landing and a short carry. Distance covered 23.9 km in 5 hours and 23 minutes.
The weather throughout the trip was great and the first two campsites excellent. We didn’t see much wildlife apart from a few harbour porpoise, some seals, and sea birds, apart from one fledgling eagle that we hoped would be rescued by a parent as it looked very forlorn on its rock. Total trip distance – 77.7 kilometres for an average speed of 4.3 km per hour.
(click on photos to view larger)
|Destination||Cortes Island, staying at Linnaea Farm|
|Date||4-8 May 2020, Monday to Friday|
|Trip Coordinator||Janis McLean|
|Contact Info||250.285.3614; please contact the coordinator well in advance of the trip|
|Description||This is our annual trip to Cortes Island, based at Linnaea Farm in an eight bedroom rustic farmhouse on the edge of Gunflint Lake. We are planning to hike many of the trails: Easter Bluff, K’was Park, Hanks Beech Forest Park, Green Mountain, Whaletown Commons, Manson’s Lagoon, Smelt Bay, Carrington, etc. A schedule of trails will be developed and presented daily. There may be one or more optional hikes in silence, giving us the opportunity to immerse ourselves in nature without the distraction of conversation. Each person is responsible for their breakfasts and lunches; dinner teams will be organized in advance. Please visit: http://www.linnaeafarm.org for information about the farm.|
|Meeting Place||Cortes ferry line-up|
|Departure Time||9:05 am sailing. Vehicles must be in line-up by 8 a.m. This is a busy trades ferry. Car-pooling will be organized in advance.|
|Difficulty||Easy to Moderate.|
|Cost||$35/person/night. Bring your own sleeping bag and towel. Plus ferry costs and shared fuel. Bring your ferry card (and driver’s licence if you want the senior’s rate).|
|Trip limits||Limit of 10 people, if four people are willing to double up in two of the bedrooms. Lakeview Room is reserved for the coordinator.|
|Dogs?||No. Dogs are not allowed on the farm.|
|Notes:||Payment to Club Treasurer Julie Mellanby by April 15, 2020. Members will need to renew their membership for 2020-21. Please advise of any special dietary needs. Other activities include swimming and canoeing/kayaking (bring your own boats and equipment) on Gunflint and Hague Lakes. As in other years, this trip is popular and will fill up quickly.|