Kayaking – Hyacinthe & Open Bays to Breton Islands – 1 Jan 2020

This outing has been postponed and a hike has been substituted

Activity Kayaking
Destination Hyacinthe & Open Bays to Breton Islands
Date 1 Jan 2020, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Vic Gladish
Contact Info vicgladish@gmail.com; 250-285-2111; (cell 250-287-0459).  Please contact the coordinator in advance of the trip.
Description This trip will be weather dependent and changes will be posted during the week before the trip. ALL paddlers MUST be equipped for ocean paddling in the winter.
We will put in on the first high tide of 2020, paddle the bays (Hyacinthe and Open) and the Breton Islands and find a sunny, south facing beach for a New Years Day picnic.
Meeting Place Len Road Beach Access
Departure Time Meet at 9:30; on the water at 10:03 (high tide)
Moderate depending on weather, winds and tides over a 3-4 hour day
Costs None
Trip limits 8 paddlers
Dogs? No
Notes: ALL paddlers MUST be equipped for ocean paddling in the winter. Please review paddling guidelines (https://qioutdoorclub.files.wordpress.com/2018/07/paddling-guidelines-aug2018.pdf). Having dry clothes waiting at the take out would be advisable.  Bring water and lunch.
The alternate plan, in the event of southeasterly winds, will be to put in at April Point and paddle into Gowlland Harbour.
The alternate, alternate plan will be to reschedule for a better day later in the week.

Trip Report – Hyacinthe and Open Bays – 8 Sept 2019

After a dark and stormy night, we prevaricated about getting out on the water in the face of an uncertain forecast. However, the lazy kayaker doesn’t get the first wave, or something like that, so three of us scrambled and were on the water by 10:16. Skies were overcast but the rain stayed away, the winds were calm, and the sun even peeped out occasionally. We meandered around Hyacinthe Bay, admiring both the variety of architecture, and the extensive pillow-lava formations. The incoming tide even allowed us to go around Heriot Island, where we were astonished to see large outcrops of sand dollars in the shallow, warmer waters. From there we enjoyed a calm crossing over to the Bretons and Hoskyn Channel. A few seals greeted us, but two were more interested in their squabbling than us. In the Breton Islets, oystercatchers, scoters, and dunlins were busy exploring the intertidal. We noted the number of boats still plying the waters around the Islands, we could see a kayaker launching from one large yacht that was hanging around Open Bay.

Our game plan was to land in the small beach beside the van Veen’s house, but a surprising amount of southerly swell generating wave action on the rocky beach made us decide to land on the sand/gravel of Big Beach and walk over to our house for our break. After lunch in the sun on our deck we were back on the water by 2 pm. An elegant two-masted schooner that has been anchored in Open Bay captured our interest, an internet search later revealed that it is for sale. We then had the pleasure of meeting the kayaker from the large motor yacht, a delightful American lady who travels the west coast in her yacht every summer. She was accompanied by her two dogs lounging on the deck of her kayak, resplendent in their doggie PFDs. She said she usually has her cat with her as well on her daily paddle. We were off the water by 3 pm. after a very pleasant, easy-going paddle. 13.7 km or 7.4 NM; 3½ hours, without the lunch break.

Valerie van Veen

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Kayaking – Hyacinthe and Open Bays- 8 Sept 2019

Kayaking – Hyacinthe & Open Bays – 8 Sept 2019

Activity Kayaking
Destination Hyacinthe and Open Bays
Date 8 Sept 2019, Sunday
Trip Coordinator Valerie van Veen
Contact Info 250 285 2329; vvv@qisland.ca
Description Summer-end Sunday Social … a gentle paddle to explore Hyacinthe Bay, then over to Open Bay, possibly check on intertidal and seals in the Bretons. Land on beach beside our house for coffee, tea, goodies provided to accompany your lunch/snack at our place. Paddle back to Len Road beach around 2 pm in time for high(er) tide.
Meeting Place Len Road beach
Departure Time 9:30 , on water by 10
Costs none
Trip limits none
Dogs? no
Notes: Bring your own lunch. Kayaks will be put up on driftwood on our beach while we enjoy the break up at our house. Forecast is for possibly showers in afternoon, little wind. Must email/call by Friday night to confirm participation. Kayaks must be ocean kayaks and conform to all Transport Canada requirements.


Trip Report – Small Inlet – 25 Aug 2019

This trip was scheduled for Aug 21 but was postponed, due to poor weather, until August 23rd. On August 23rd several of us conferred early in the day and decided again that the weather was not conducive to an enjoyable outing. Two paddlers arranged to meet for an afternoon paddle when the the weather made a change for the better. We enjoyed a 3 hour outing to the Breton Islands. A humpback whale made an appearance out in Sutil Channel and we encountered numerous seals, oystercatchers, and turnstones in and around the islands and rocks. It was decided that we would try again to get our Kanish Bay trip done and it was arranged for Sunday 25th.

Four paddlers met at Granite Bay on a sunny but windy morning and set off, finally, for our planned outing. Conditions on the water very quickly dictated that we implement plan B and we headed to Small Inlet instead of out into Kanish Bay. With wind and tide helping us we reached the portage trail in an hour, visited with a camper briefly and then set off for Waiatt Bay. We had the trail to ourselves, enjoyed the warm sunshine at Waiatt Bay and then headed back to Small Inlet. We decided to try for Orchard Bay for lunch and headed west into a strong headwind and rising tide. We battled our way out of the Inlet and eventually had to agree that, with the wind not abating as forecasted, we would pass on Orchard and head to the midden campsite in Granite Bay. We shared the beach and headland with a large family picnicking there and had an enjoyable and leisurely late lunch. It was a short paddle to the boat launch from there to conclude a 7 NM, 6 hour outing. The Chained Islands and Orchard Bay will have to wait for another day!


Thanks to Vic for the photos

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Kayaking – Kanish Bay/Small Inlet – 23 Aug 2019

Trip Report – Sandy Island Marine Park – 31 July 2019

Our group of eight kayakers left the Union Bay boat launch shortly after 10:00.  The morning was a bit dark, but mild and gentle.  We paddled out and across Baynes Sound to Denman Island and the Longbeak Point sand spit.  We arrived at a particularly low tide (0.4 m) on the day of a new moon, so that the sand spit connected Denman with Sandy Island.  In fact the White Spit continued all the way to the Comox Bar entrance, about 2.5 NM.  This gave us an excellent opportunity to observe the intertidal life:  moon snails, clams, barnacles, sand dollars, and sand anemone, as well as admire the variety of shells.  On the other hand, it wasn’t a good day to paddle around the islands and islets.  Oddly, a large search and rescue helicopter landed on the Island without any apparent emergency, as we paddled by Sandy Island.

We continued on to a shell beach and stopped for lunch.  Les spoiled us again, this time with garden fresh berries and whipped cream for dessert.  A few in the group explored a bit more or practiced kayak self-rescues before we headed back under a clearing sky.  On the way, we stopped for a walk around the lovely beach at Sandy Island Marine Park and then paddled back to the boat launch with a slight breeze at our back.  Although the tidal range was 4.5 m that day, the current during both crossings was minimal.  (13.9 km; 3½ hours)


Thanks to Norris and Marie for the photos

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Kayaking – Tree Island – 31 July 2019

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