Trip Report – Woss Lookout and Huson Caves – 15-17 July 2019

We camped at the Woss Lake Recreation Site, with the group arriving gradually over about 30 hours.  Due to forecast rainy weather, many invested quite a lot of effort in setting up camp with tarps.  Three of us kayaked on Woss Lake Monday morning in calm and increasingly sunny conditions.  We paddled down the east side of the Lake exploring the cabins and boat launch. (about 7 km)  Some also explored the Woss River Trail with some impressive old growth cedar and good views of the river from a bluff. This trail goes a long way, but we only went about 2.8km.   In the afternoon, two more people arrived and the weather turned showery.  We drove logging roads to check out Schoen Lake Provincial Park. We already knew that any possible interesting hiking would involve access by boat, but the deluge of rain when we arrived discouraged any enthusiasm for exploration.  Back at camp, we enjoyed appies by Les’ campfire before dinner.  By Monday night the final two people had arrived and enjoyed an evening canoe paddle, where they found some pictographs.

Tuesday morning:  After Les’ delicious blueberry pancake breakfast, we departed for Woss Lookout.  We parked at the trail sign and hiked up the steep logging road, through some clear cut and into the forested lookout hill. The steep trail is well equipped with rope aids and the distance is quite short, but a good test of fitness.  We were soon rewarded with the restored fire lookout and excellent views, even with a bit of cloud around.  The views of the Schoen, Vernon, Woss and Nimpkish Valleys are impressive, as well as the nearby mountains.  We returned by the short loop and headed back down the steep trail, once again thankful for the ropes. (4.6km, 3½ hours; 400m elevation gain)

Tuesday afternoon: After lunch we continued on to the Little Huson Caves Regional Park.  The short walk through the woods takes you to the sculpted rock of the Atluck Creek working its way though the limestone.  The boardwalk and stairs are very helpful and some have been recently replaced.  We enjoyed views of the Natural Bridge from both entrances, the River Cave, the Atluck Creek and the Bridge Cave.  The green water, scalloped and sculpted rock were beautiful.  (about 2.6km, 1½ hours)  Back at camp, quite a few bathed in the Lake, which wasn’t too cold,

The forecast had consistently called for afternoon showers and we escaped until Tuesday evening, when the real weather was expected.  The rain began lightly after 21:00 and increased and continued all night.  Wednesday morning, five of us made a short paddle on Woss Lake in marginal weather, before taking down the sodden camp gear and heading home.

Thanks to everyone for the food sharing, logging road driving, and general good time.  Having the only serious rain at night was a benefit for seeing this beautiful and not much visited area.


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Multi-day Hiking – Woss Lookout and Huson Caves – 15-17 July 2019


Trip Report – Octopus Islands – 8-9 July 2019

An unfriendly forecast changed a four-day trip to Cortes into a 2-day trip to the Octopus Islands. The two days were great, however, and with the much reduced travel time, distance paddled was probably not too far off what we would have done on the longer trip.

Five paddlers launched from the Discovery Lodge docks at 9:15 to catch the morning slack in Beazley Rapids, and after a short stop in Yeatman Bay, headed north to the Octopus Islands. Passing (with just enough water) between the two private islands, we found a fairly good campsite on the east side of Quadra and set up for the night. After lunch, we paddled around Waiatt Bay and stopped at a truly lovely site on the south shore (which we’re saving for a future trip). Our next stop involved a short and unsuccessful walk to find the picturesque ‘museum’ cabin on the southern private island. Backtracking a bit, we made an easy landing on the beach below the cabin, and visited the hundreds of signs and other artifacts left over the years by visiting boats.

Heading back to camp, we sighted the very rare Flamingo Rosa Giganteus making its stately way around the cove (apparently propelled by two attendants…). This species is usually seen in its normal habitat of Suburbia Walmartia and is previously unknown in these waters. (First day 19.2 km or 10.4 NM; 4¾ hours)

The next day after a fairly early start, we crossed to the Maurelle shore and paddled down to enter the Settlers Group at slack water. We made good time, but were a bit apprehensive about the current as we hadn’t previously paddled among these islands. All went well and we stopped for lunch just inside White Rock Passage. After much debate and listening (again) to the marine forecast, we made the reluctant decision to head home that evening, as rain and strong winds were still on the menu for Wednesday. After a short trip up the passage, we returned on the Read Island side, and crossed from Surge Point to the Lodge, arriving at the dock just before 5 p.m. At that point, we had been in the kayaks continuously for 3½ hours, and flopping out onto the dock was less than graceful (for some of us, anyway).  (Second day 24.1 km or 13 NM ; 6 hours)

A good if short trip – good weather, lovely scenery, good company.
Thanks to all, Darcy Mitchell, Trip Coordinator

Thanks to Norris and Valerie for the photos

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Multi-day Kayaking – Octopus Islands – 8-9 July 2019

Kayaking – Tree Island – 31 July 2019

Activity Kayaking
Destination Tree Island
Date 31 July 2019, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Debbie Quigg
Contact Info or 3710
Description We will take the ferry to Campbell River and drive to Union Bay, where we will launch the kayaks into Baynes Sound.  The crossing to Tree Island/Sandy Island Marine Park is about 2.5 NM and the low tide is around noon.  We can explore the beaches, Seal Islets, and spits to the northwest and southeast.  The marine park is known for its bird and marine environment and fragile ecosystem.  Here is the link to the park information:
This is meant to be a relaxing trip and we will cancel or postpone if the weather is not reasonable.
Meeting Place QCove ferry terminal
Departure Time 8:00 ferry, be early in case of overload
Moderate depending on conditions
Costs Ferry, transportation costs, and $5 boat launch fee
Trip limits 10 paddlers
Dogs? no
Notes: This will be much more efficient if participants carpool.  You will need to follow the QIOC paddling guidelines. This trip requires a sea kayak with spray skirt and floatation. The deadline for registering for the trip is July 29th.


Kayaking – Granite and Kanish Bays/Small Inlet – 21 August 2019

Activity Kayaking
Destination Granite and Kanish Bay/Small Inlet
Date 21 August 2019, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Vic Gladish
Contact Info; 250-285-2111; cell 250-287-0459
Description Depending on weather (wind) conditions, paddle to Chained Islets, Granite Point, Orchard Bay and/or to Small Inlet with option to hike across to Waiatt Bay (if winds shorten our Kanish Bay portion).
This trip could be as much as 12 NM (24km) and take, including breaks, up to 6 hours not including the driving time.
Please carefully read all notes posted below.
Meeting Place Granite Bay boat launch
Departure Time 0830 at Granite Bay; 0900 on the water
Moderate – winds and tides over a 5-6 hour day
Costs Use of ramp $ 5.00; transportation to GB
Trip limits 8 paddlers
Dogs? no
Notes: Lets try to carpool to save fuel – carbon footprint – and space at the boat launch parking. If you can take 2 kayak, set it up with your paddling partner or let me know. I can pick up 1 passenger/kayak.

**All participants must review and conform to QIOC paddling guidelines. Only ‘sea kayaks’ with skirts for this trip, as weather can change quickly with the potential for strong northwesterly winds. If you have not paddled with the coordinator previously, please contact Vic no later than August 16. All participants must contact the coordinator by email (preferably) or by phone to confirm participation no later than August 19th. The trip will be cancelled if Environment Canada forecast winds for Johnstone Strait are higher than 15 knots, or steady rain is expected. Participants will be informed by 7 p.m. on Aug 20 if the trip will be cancelled.

Trip Report – Kayak training – 26 June 2019

Nine kayakers participated in an excellent course on strokes, braces and rescue techniques taught by Monica Russell and ably assisted by Graham and Janet.  The day began cool and a bit rainy, but rapidly cleared and warmed up.  The morning was spent on strokes (forward, sweep from bow and stern, sculling, and bow rudder), edging and bracing, particularly low bracing.

The afternoon was spent on assisted- and self-rescue.  Everyone began with a wet exit and assisted re-entry, then moved on to self-rescue with a paddle float.  Some tried the t- or bow rescue. The water and weather were warm enough to avoid getting chilled.  There definitely wasn’t enough wind to make the rescue practice realistic.

The course reinforced the importance of practicing these skills and of having the proper deck rigging to facilitate rescues.


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Kayaking Training – Mine Lake – 26 June 2019

Trip Report – Main Lake Prov Park – 20 June 2019

Although the wind was blowing about 15 knots, five kayakers decided to to give it a try as the day was otherwise beautiful. We started at Mine Lake boat launch and headed to the creek joining Village Bay Lake. The water level is low but it was out of the wind. As we entered the lake we were treated to watching a osprey hunt for about five minutes. They are such fast and graceful birds. He would swoop and hover, swoop and hover as he watched for prey and then dive at great speed to hit the water. After a few tries up he came with a fish in his talons and carried it off to the nest.

We then traveled back the creek and entered the channel to Main Lake. Here we pushed straight into the wind and waves. It was a challenge and work but also gave us some good practice in rough water. Upon reaching the small island to the west of Big Sandy we decided to take a break and have lunch. As we ate the wind came up more so decided to paddle back to Mine Lake. It was so much easier going with the wind back to the vehicles. About 3 hours and 4.5 nautical miles.


Thanks to Norris and Les the photos

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Kayaking – Main Lake Prov Park – 20 June 2019

Trip Report – Village Bay – 29 May 2019

Six kayakers put in at Len Road and across a low tide exposed beach on a beautiful spring morning – sunny and warm. Because we found ourselves in very calm conditions as we crossed Hyacinthe Bay, and with the forecast not calling for significant wind until late afternoon, we made the decision to add Dunsterville Islet to our itinerary. It took about an hour to reach the islets and we decided to land on the smaller of the two to explore and have a short break. We found excellent campsites, a profusion of wildflowers of many kinds, a pair of oystercatchers and the inevitable plastic junk. An hour later (not such a short break) with two hatches full of trash and many flower photos taken, we headed back across a still calm Hoskyn Channel with our sights set on Village Bay and lunch. The views in all directions were fabulous and only slightly obscured by smoke from very distant forest fires. We thought about going a little further on to Crescent Channel but time and hunger kept us on track for the beach, on Wei Wai Kai land, at the head of Village Bay. As we ate lunch in the hot sun and sheltered by the small island just offshore, the afternoon wind was picking up and we could see the water sparkling off in the distance. One brave swimmer tried the water.  We put in at 1300 and headed south into a rising tide and increasing southerly wind. The sparkly waves in the middle of Hoskyn soon sprouted whitecaps and we had a very different afternoon paddle. The changed conditions gave us some variety in our day and allowed one of the group to give her brand new kayak a good test. We took the seas broadside as we crossed Open Bay and then had the tide and the wind help us cruise into Hyacinthe and into the beach, now much closer to the parked vehicles. 17.2 km; 5½ hours.


Thanks to Norris, Vic and Terry for the photos

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Kayaking – Village Bay – 29 May 2019