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

Kayaking – Kanish Bay – 30 Sept 2020

Activity Kayaking
Destination Kanish Bay (Granite/Small)
Date 30 Sept, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Vic Gladish
Contact Info 250-285-2111; cell 250-287-0459
Description Plan A – Kanish Bay – Chained Islets to Ashlar Creek to Orchard Bay
Plan B – Orchard Bay to Small Inlet and short hike to Waiatt Bay.
Meeting Place Granite Bay boat launch
Departure Time 10:00 on the water
Difficulty
Moderate to difficult depending on weather, tides, winds, distance.
Costs Use of ramp $ 5.00
Trip limits 8 kayaks
Dogs? no
Notes: Meet at 0930 for a 1000 departure. Must have a sea kayak and equipment that meets club and coast guard regulations.
Bring lunch and be prepared for fall weather.

 

Trip Report – Desolation Sound – 8-13 Sept 2020

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.

Darcy

A couple of useful links for trip planning:
http://bcparks.ca/explore/parkpgs/desolation/camping.html
https://www.bcmarinetrails.org

Thanks to Norris and Val for the photos!

Multi-day kayaking – Desolation Sound – 8-13 Sept 2020

Trip Report – Sandy Island Marine Park – 3 Sept 2020

Five club members were joined by three paddlers from Campbell River for a pleasant trip on a calm, sunny day. Leaving from the Union Bay boat launch about 10:00 a.m., we crossed to Sandy Island and stopped for lunch, before paddling to the end of the sandspit. We enjoyed the sight of many seals and their pups on the beach and in the water. It was a hot afternoon when we returned to Union Bay, just after low tide.  15.3 km; 4¾ hours.

Darcy

(click on photos to enlarge)

Kayaking – Sandy Island Marine Park – 3 Sept 2020

Kayaking – Sandy Island Marine Park – 3 Sept 2020

Activity Kayaking
Destination Sandy Island Marine Park
Date 3 Sept 2020, Thursday
Trip Coordinator Darcy Mitchell
Contact Info 250 923 5540; mitchelldarcy51@gmail.com
Description Day paddle to Sandy Bay Marine Park (Tree Island) at northern tip of Denman Island.
Meeting Place Union Bay boat launch
Departure Time About 10:00
Difficulty
Easy to moderate depending on conditions
Costs Ferry, transportation costs, and $5 boat launch fee
Trip limits 8 paddlers
Dogs? no
Notes: You will need to follow the QIOC paddling guidelines. This trip requires a sea kayak with spray skirt and floatation and all required equipment. The deadline for registering for the trip is Aug 31st.

Check last year’s trip report for this outing:
https://qioutdoorclub.org/2019/08/01/trip-report-sandy-island-marine-park-31-july-2019/

 

Multi-day Kayaking – Desolation Sound – 8-13 Sept 2020

Activity Multi-day kayaking
Destination Desolation Sound
Date 8 to 13 Sept 2020; Tuesday to Saturday
Trip Coordinator Darcy Mitchell
Contact Info mitchelldarcy51@gmail.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
Difficulty
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
Dogs? No
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.

Trip Report – Kayak training – 12 Aug 2020

There were a total of 5 participants on a cool morning for August. With the boats on the ground, just up form the launch site, we went over outfitting, particularly in regards to rescues.

After a short period, we paddled north on Main Lake to a small shallow bay near an island, opposite and a little past the twin private islands. The water was shallower here and there was a place to pull out for drying off and changing clothes.

Participants tried solo rescues, and group rescues for the couple involved. One brave soul even made a game attempt at a roll.   After a couple of hours and a quick lunch, we headed back.

Although there were plenty of users on the lake, we had this practice area to ourselves. We had only a gentle breeze on the return trip. A cool August morning turned into a pleasant warm day, and no one got too cold, despite getting wet. About 4 hours went by quickly.

Brent Henry

(click on photo to view larger)

Kayaking Training – Mine Lake – 12 Aug 2020

Kayak Training – Mine Lake – 12 Aug 2020

Activity Kayak training
Destination Mine Lake
Date 12 Aug 2020, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Brent Henry
Contact Info brenthenrys@gmail.com or 250-205-1106 (phone or text).  Contact the coordinator in advance
Description This will start with a short session on outfitting a kayak for safety. We’ll do a short paddle with some rescue and skills practice, for 2 or 3 hours.
Meeting Place Mine Lake parking lot
Departure Time Meet at 9:00; launch at 9:30
Difficulty Easy
Costs none
Trip limits 6
Dogs? No
Notes: All safety equipment required. Bring a lunch. This is not a formal instruction session. We will all share our knowledge.

Trip Report – Open Bay – 5 Aug 2020

Five paddlers left Len Road launch on a bright sunny day with flat water. We went south between the small islands and Quadra. Then we traveled over to Seal Rock where there were about 50 seals and pups. We stayed well away so as not to disturb the pups. As we paddled past the entrance to Open Bay we were treated to an aerial show by two eagles.
After unloading anything that we did not want to get wet the group practiced a few different paddling techniques, edging/bracing and such. Two paddlers practiced self rescue. The water was surprisingly warm. We then dried off and had lunch on the beach.
The wind came up a bit on the return but was welcomed in the heat. 4 NM in total and 3 1/2 hours including the practice.

Les

Kayaking – Open Bay – 5 Aug 2020

Kayaking – Open Bay – 5 Aug 2020

Activity Kayaking
Destination Open Bay
Date 5 August 2020; Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Les Hand
Contact Info 285-2029 or leshand@gicable.com  Please contact the coordinator in advance of the trip.
Description This will be a casual paddle around Hyacinthe and over to the beach at Open Bay.  There we will do some paddle practice and self rescue for those that wish to.  Assisted rescue only for those that have someone within their bubble available. The choice will be up to you.  After we will have a lunch on the beach and paddle back to Len Road.
Meeting Place Len Road
Departure Time Meet at 9:30, launch at 10:00
Difficulty Easy
Costs None
Trip limits 8
Dogs?
Notes: All safety equipment required. Bring a lunch.
I am not an instructor so what we do will be dictated by the group.