Trip Report – Breton Islands Spring Equinox Paddle – 20 Mar 2020

Six paddlers gathered (mindful of our interpersonal distance) at the Len Road access on a sunny, calm, 2° morning to start the season with our first paddle outing of the year. After refreshing each other on some basic paddle trip guidelines, a gear and flotation check, and COVID-19 protocols/discussion, we put in at 9:00 on a favourable tide and headed across Hyacinthe Bay. We cruised the shoreline through Open Bay, rounded the “Red Chair Point” and on into Moulds Bay. After a brief beach stop, we continued northeast through Shellalligan Pass into Hoskyn Channel to enjoy the view up the channel towards snow-capped Doogie Dowler and other mountains of the BC mainland. Turning south we paddled down the island chain on even calmer seas until we rounded the southern tip of Breton Island and our lunch stop destination on the cobble/gravel beach. After a leisurely, 90-minute lunch in the sun (physically distanced) we put in once again and headed west to Turtle Island and on to the take out, completing the circuit at about 3:00 pm. Although we saw no cetaceans or sea lions, and few harbour seals, we did enjoy the company of a large variety of sea birds, many of which were in breeding plumage. The trip coordinator will attempt to recall the identified birds and includes a list below.  15.0 km; 4 hour paddle without the lunch break

Varying numbers of: Common Mergansers, Harlequins, Barrow’s Goldeneye, Bufflehead, Loons (Common in transition to breeding plumage), Cormorants, Black Turnstones, Black Oystercatchers, Glaucous winged gulls, Canada geese, Surf scoters.

Vic

click to enlarge the photos

Kayaking – Hyacinthe and Open Bays to Breton Islands – 20 Mar 2020

Kayaking – Hyacinthe & Open Bays to Breton Islands – 20 Mar 2020

Activity Kayaking
Destination Hyacinthe & Open Bays to Breton Islands
Date 20 Mar 2020, Friday; Vernal equinox
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 Postponed since NY Day, we will now attempt to have our first group paddle of 2020, on the first day of spring!
We will put in on the first high tide of spring 2020, paddle the bays (Hyacinthe, Open, and Moulds) and the Breton Islands and find a sunny, south facing beach for an Equinox picnic.
If the forecast indicates that a Gowlland Harbour paddle would be safer, that will be our alternate plan for the day.
Meeting Place Len Road Shore Access at 08:00
Departure Time 9:00
Difficulty
Moderate – weather, winds and tides over a 3-5 hour day
Costs None
Trip limits 8 kayaks (ie a double counts as 1)
Dogs? Not sure how that would work?
Notes: ALL paddlers MUST be equipped for ocean paddling in cooler weather. THIS MIGHT BE THE FIRST PADDLE SINCE LAST SUMMER FOR SOME OF YOU SO CHECK YOUR EQUIPMENT!! If you show up without required equipment you will most likely be turned back at the beach.
Please review Transport Canada 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 to Saturday or Sunday.

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)
Difficulty
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

(click on photos to view larger)

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
Difficulty
Easy
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!

Vic

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)

Debbie

Thanks to Norris and Marie for the photos

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Kayaking – Tree Island – 31 July 2019