Trip Report – Texada Island – 7-11 Sept 2021

What originally was planned as a kayak trip to Jedediah Island morphed into a trip to Texada Island, mostly to hike. Four of us took three ferries the day after Labour Day to reach Shingle Beach on a beautiful afternoon.  We settled in to the spacious campsites at the Forestry Recreation Site and enjoyed walking and relaxing on the beach. The beach walk south lead to an old homestead and a cabin in ruins. (3.2 km; 1¼ hours)  We watched the sunset from the bluffs.

(click to enlarge photos)

On Wednesday morning we kayaked south from Shingle Beach in steadily increasing southeast wind. We had no fixed destination and returned to the beach as the white caps pushed us home. (5.7 km; 1½ hours)  In the afternoon, we drove to Shelter Point and walked the gentle Kay Garner nature walk. This trail loops first along a shore bluff on Mouat Bay and then through the forest. The ocean views and old growth were excellent. (3.8 km; 1 hour)  After dinner we again enjoyed the sunset from bluffs at the campground.

After some night rain, Thursday was mostly overcast. We hiked up to the Mt. Pocahontas summit at 462m, which was the site of Canada’s first fire lookout in 1924. This fairly short hike is rewarded with excellent views of Malaspina Inlet and mainland mountains to the east, and Lesqueti, Georgia Strait and Vancouver Island to the west. Part of the group continued on to other nearby viewpoints (7.9 km; 3¼ hours) while others went to Emily Lake to look for turtles, which are common on Texada.  Everyone browsed through Van Anda and some stopped at beaches on Gillies and Davie Bays on the way back to the campsite.  Just above the Shingle Beach campsite, we hiked the short, rambling Colossus Grove trail with an exceptional old growth cedar tree (0.9km).

On Friday, we drove uphill on good-condition logging roads to Bob’s Lake, another Forestry Recreation site with camping.  The lake was beautiful, quiet and very inviting as a camping destination.  Nearby, we hiked up to Mt. Davies with the summit at 609m.  This hike was even shorter than the Mt. Pocahontas hike and mostly through a beautiful, mossy forest with completely open understory.  After enjoying the 360° views during lunch, we hiked on looking for the viewpoint from Mt. Blood.  We underestimated the number of routes flagged with identical flagging tape in the area and some ended up elsewhere, but all had great views.  Some of us swam in Bob’s Lake before returning to the campground for dinner. (5.5km; 3¼ hours)

Three of us were able to linger for a hike on Saturday before returning home.  It was quite windy and lightly raining. We headed to the north end of Texada and hiked in the Eagle Cove Trail system. We made a loop which included a gnome village, some hard walking on rocky, mossy terrain along circuitous trails, dramatic bluffs above wetlands and really impressive bluffs along the Malaspina Inlet shore.

We enjoyed Texada much more than we expected with its amazing variety and beauty, and felt we could have spent much longer exploring trails, lakes, beaches and logging roads.  We hope to go back.

Debbie

Thanks to Norris and Vikki for the photos

Kayaking – Granite Bay – 23 Sept 2021

Activity Kayaking
Destination Granite Bay/Small Inlet or Granite Point
Date 23 Sept, Thursday
Trip Coordinator Darcy Mitchell
Contact Info mitchelldarcy51@gmail.com (preferred); 250 923 5540
Description Depending on conditions, we’ll paddle from Granite Bay to the Chained Islets and to Granite Point, returning via Orchard Bay, or to Small Inlet, with a hike through to Waiatt Bay.  We will be back at the boat launch by 3:00
Meeting Place Granite Bay boat launch
Departure Time 9:30 a.m. for 10:00 a.m. launch
Difficulty
Easy/moderate depending on conditions
Costs Parking/launch at Granite Bay ($5.00)
Trip limits 6
Dogs? No
Notes: Please contact the Trip Coordinator 48 hours before the trip to confirm your attendance. A go/no go decision that reflects the weather forecast will be made by noon the day preceding the trip date.
Must have equipment that meets club and coast guard regulations.  Bring lunch and gear for the weather.

Trip Report – Village Bay Beach – 18 July 2021

Four of us set off on an almost perfect paddling day from the Rebecca Spit boat launch. While this is a very easy launch, regardless of tides, it does have its challenges regarding motor boat use, which was constant, and negotiating the ferry crossing both ways. However, we were off to an early start, on the water by 9:40. In calm seas and no wind, we enjoyed a leisurely paddle to the Breton Islets, taking the opportunity to survey intertidal damage from the recent heat dome event. Dead mussels were all too apparent, and the tide level did not allow for easy observations of the presence or absence of sea stars or other intertidal life. The usual oystercatchers were nowhere to be seen. The resident seal colony seemed content, and it was nice to see that they no longer flee their perches in panic as kayaks approach.

We continued on to Moulds Bay, enjoying a short break on the beach. The old oyster lease seems to have been relinquished and the Clay Cabin has been restored. The rising tide allowed us to scoot through the Shellaligan passage, then past the Shellaligan rocks and on to Village Bay where we stopped for lunch. Content with our paddle so far, we opted to return via the same route to the Spit.

On the way, we stopped to admire the amazing geological formations at the south end of Valdes Beach which include a lava tunnel. This unique feature alone is well worth the paddle to this area.

We waited briefly for the ferry to pass in front of us, returning to Rebecca Spit by 3 pm.  18.0 km; 5¾ hours.

Valerie

(click on photos to enlarge)

Kayaking – Village Bay Beach -18 July 2021

Kayaking – Village Bay Beach – 18 July 2021

Activity Kayaking
Destination Village Bay Beach
Date 18 July; Sunday
Trip Coordinator Valerie Van Veen
Contact Info 250 285 2329 vvv@qisland.ca
Description A club favourite, out through Moulds Bay, Shellaligan Pass, to Village Bay Beach. If time, energy, interest, weather, we can paddle further around Bold Point.
THREE possible dates (Friday, Saturday, or Sunday) as rain and wind is still forecast for Friday. Let me know by WEDNESDAY (14th) evening your preference. I will confirm day with all registered paddlers on Thursday at the latest.
Kayaks must be ocean- going craft with all required Transport Canada Safety equipment. If you have any questions call coordinator, 2329.
Bring lunch, water, snacks.
Meeting Place Rebecca Spit boat launch
Departure Time 9 am meet, on water by 9:40
Difficulty
Easy – moderate
Costs None
Trip limits 8 kayaks
Dogs? No
Notes: Our launch window allows for the Cortes ferry. We will time return for the ferry.

Kayaking – Granite Bay – 16 Aug 2021

Postponed due to high winds

Activity Kayaking
Destination Granite Bay/Small Inlet or Granite Point
Date 16 Aug, Monday
Trip Coordinator Darcy Mitchell
Contact Info mitchelldarcy51@gmail.com (preferred); 250 923 5540
Description Depending on conditions, we’ll paddle from Granite Bay to the Chained Islets and to Granite Point, returning via Orchard Bay, or to Small Inlet, with a hike through to Waiatt Bay.
Meeting Place Granite Bay boat launch
Departure Time 9:30 a.m. for 10:00 a.m. launch
Difficulty
Easy/moderate depending on conditions
Costs Parking/launch at Granite Bay ($5.00)
Trip limits 6
Dogs? No
Notes: Please contact the Trip Coordinator 48 hours before the trip to confirm your attendance. A go/no go decision that reflects the weather forecast will be made by noon the day preceding the trip date.
Must have equipment that meets club and coast guard regulations.  Bring lunch and gear for the weather.

Multi-day Kayaking – Jedediah Island – 7-11 Sept 2021

Activity Multi-day kayaking
Destination Jedediah Island via Texada Island
Date 7 to 11 Sept 2021, Tuesday to Saturday
Trip Coordinator Vic Gladish
Contact Info vicgladish@gmail.com; 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
Difficulty
A 2km crossing from Texada to Jedediah makes this, depending on weather, a more difficult trip.
Cost About $200 for ferries and camping fees
Trip limits 6
Dogs? No
Notes:
Sept 7  – Travel day; Meet at Q-Cove Ferry by 6:30 AM; to Little River to board 0955 ferry to Powell River; hopefully onto the next ferry to Texada Island; Drive to Shingle Beach Campsite
Sept 8  – Paddle to Jedediah Is
Sept 9/10 – hiking/paddling Jedediah/Lasqueti/ etc
Sept 11 – Paddle back to Shingle Beach; ferries to Powell River (330 pm)/ Comox (510 pm)/ Quadra (??)
This itinerary could easily be shortened by a day for whatever reason. However, it does not allow any time to visit the Townsite Brew Pub 😥.
Please take the time to read the club’s paddling guidelines – https://qioutdoorclub.files.wordpress.com/2018/07/paddling-guidelines-aug2018.pdf
If the weather forecast for the week looks windy/wet on Sunday, Sept 5 we will communicate re cancellation.
Plan to be self-sufficient for camping. NOTE: there is no drinking water on Jedediah so bring enough water for 4 days.
Feel free to email, text (250-287-0459), or call Vic Gladish

Trip Report – Strathcona Park-Ralph River – 15-18 June 2021

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.

Debbie

Trip Report – Cortes Island – May 2021

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.

Debbie

Thanks to Norris and Bonnie for the photos

Kayaking – Maud Island – 25 Nov 2020

This trip has been suspended due to additional COVID restrictions

Activity Kayaking
Destination Maud Island
Date 25 Nov, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Vic Gladish
Contact Info 250-285-2111; cell 250-287-0459
Description We will put in at 1000 at the Leishman Road shore access just north of Copper Cliffs. There is parking for a few cars and a rocky beach. Staying close to shore, the plan is to paddle north to Maude Island and/or the Saltwater Lagoon. The trip is about 8 km each way (16 km round trip). The lagoon entrance is passable at certain tide levels so will be an on the spot decision whether to explore or not.
Meeting Place Shore Access Copper Cliffs – Leishman Road
Departure Time 1000 on the water
Difficulty
Moderate – distance, currents, weather
Costs None
Trip limits 6
Dogs? no
Notes: The tide will be against us but it is a time of neap tides so currents shouldn’t be so strong. Participants should be open to trip revision once the forecast for that week is more relevant – i.e. lets be open to a Monday, Tuesday or Thursday with better weather.
All participants must be equipped for ocean paddling in November – required equipment as per club guidelines (https://qioutdoorclub.files.wordpress.com/2018/07/paddling-guidelines-aug2018.pdf) and appropriate clothing.
Bring lunch, hot drinks, extra warm layers and something to sit on.

Trip Report – Kanish Bay – 30 Sept 2020

We put in at low tide in Granite Bay and were ready to go by 10:00. Our group of five paddlers headed west, at a very leisurely pace, into a flat calm Kanish Bay and to the Chained Islands. As rest stop was in order by the time we reached the campsite on the next to last island of the group we had a chance to assess the site for future overnighting. As we approached the island we met up with a group of 5 kayakers from Vancouver Island who had crossed from Browns Bay on a large Zodiac for a day of paddling.

We headed north east to the north shore of the bay and worked our way east to Orchard Bay (finally!). As we approached OB a couple in a double kayak came straight for us out of Small Inlet – it was Debbie and Norris who had come out from Small Inlet and their anchored sailboat to visit. At this point we also observed 2-3 harbour porpoise circling about in the bay. Also observed while crossing Kanish Bay were a number of salmon jumping and a flock of about 30 loons that took flight as a very noisy, very fast speedboat roared down to Granite Bay and back out to Discovery Passage.

We then enjoyed a long lunch break in the sun at Orchard Bay and scouted out the area for camping potential. It was about this time that we noticed that the air was becoming somewhat smoky.

From this point we headed towards Small Inlet – decided it was taking on too much to venture in – and explored the shallows around the islands (a bit too shallow!) as we headed back to Granite Bay and the takeout at high tide.  6 NM (approx. 12km) over 5¾ hours.

Vic

Thanks to Vic, Valerie and Norris for the photos.

(click on photos to enlarge)

Kayaking – Kanish Bay – 30 Sept 2020