Trip Report – Plumper Bay – 22 July 2020

Seven of us and one dog hiked to Plumper Bay.  The day was clear and sunny.  We hiked through the forest, with just the right amount of shade.  In the first part of the route follows the Maud Island Trail, where the forest ground cover is beautiful moss.  The second part of the route is an old road, possibly built for the Seymour Narrows blasting in 1958, as well as for logging.  The road bed is still in great condition, although littered with dead branches.  The lunch stop is where that road comes out in Plumper Bay, on the north shore.  We sat by the water in the shade with a gentle breeze.  After picking up some garbage, we headed back.  The group was up for a little adventure, so we took an old logging road which had reverted to wonderful deep moss.  We made our way through the forest back to the Maud Island Trail and the cars.  7.0 km, 3¼ hours.

– Norris

Thanks to Norris and Les for the photos

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Hiking – Plumper Bay – 22 July 2020

Trip Report – Open Bay/Sutil Channel/Octopus Islands – 12-15 July 2020

Day 1.  Six paddlers launched from the end of Valdes Road on a fairly high tide, leaving the beach about 10:45 toward the Penn Islets. The weather was sunny with some overcast and the occasional rain squall, winds light. With a favourable current, we made excellent time, arriving at the campsite on North Penn Islet in just under 3 1/2 hours paddling time. A lovely classic cruiser was anchored in the nook south of the campsite, but very few other boats seen. The campsite is beautiful, with great views from the bluff, and some good forest sites also. Distance covered – 16.6 km in 3 hours and 20 minutes.

Day 2.  As the day was sunny with light winds forecast, we made a side trip to the entrance of Von Donop Inlet and stopped for a break at the campsite in Robertson Cove. While the location has several tent sites, and a trail to Robertson Lake, it seemed dark and is exposed to the west. Easy landing. We then paddled toward South Rendezvous Island, our planned stop for the night. Unlike other years, this large and very attractive site was empty. The summer has been disastrous for local outfitters, but it has meant that more camping options are available than usual. Easy access from the north, several tent sites, and a small creek. One or two tent sites also available on the tidal island in front of the main site. Hot afternoon. Distance covered 16.2 km in 4 hours and 10 minutes.

Day 3.  We launched about 9:45 to be in good time for slack at Surge Narrows. Paddling up the west side of the Rendezvous Islands to the south tip of North Rendezvous, we crossed to Mayes Point at the entrance to White Rock Passage against a fairly lively adverse current. After a short stop on the south shore of the Passage (just before the campsite noted on the Marine Trails website), we paddled through the Settlers Group in good time. As the weather was very calm, we paddled a straight course up Okisollo Channel to the Octopus Islands to benefit from the favourable ebb tide. Several other parties of kayakers spotted, and the usual population of pleasure boats in the park. We camped on the shore of a very “clammy” cove on the south shore of Waiatt Bay. There is a good creek draining an unnamed lake. The grassy site is good for 2 and possibly 3 tents; others uncomfortably close to the high tide line. Another hot day. Distance covered 21 km in 5 hours 10 minutes.

Day 4.  Heading home, we made a short stop at the ‘museum cabin’ on the more southerly of the private islands adjacent to the park. Many boaters (often for successive years) have left mementoes of their visits in the cabin. We then took a short swing through the islets and headed to Yeatman Bay for lunch and to wait for slack in Surge Narrows. We slipped easily through the rocks between Quadra and Peck Island on the last of the flood, and with increasing following winds and a fair current, landed in Open Bay less than half an hour after high tide, for an easy landing and a short carry. Distance covered 23.9 km in 5 hours and 23 minutes.

The weather throughout the trip was great and the first two campsites excellent. We didn’t see much wildlife apart from a few harbour porpoise, some seals, and sea birds, apart from one fledgling eagle that we hoped would be rescued by a parent as it looked very forlorn on its rock. Total trip distance – 77.7 kilometres for an average speed of 4.3 km per hour.

Darcy

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Trip Report – Morte Lake Loop – 15 July 2020

It was a beautiful day and our hike began on the Deadfish trail where we enjoyed lush ferns as we followed the creek bed listening to the sounds of water flowing. At the first bridge we went over to the Morte Lake loop trail and stayed right to do a counterclockwise loop around Mort Lake. We took the new trail until we went left to the lookout where we stopped and took in the spectacular view of the lake below and the majestic mountains. From the lookout, in order to avoid water covering the main trail further along we followed the orange markers on the trees along the bluff which led us under a fallen tree where we saw a gnome and back to main trail and to the sandy beach where we enjoyed lunch before continuing on the remainder of the loop and back to the parking lot. We had the trail to ourselves and didn’t encounter another hiker until shortly after lunch, and it wasn’t until we were on the last leg of our hike before we encountered 3 more hikers. It was very pleasant and everyone maintained social distancing.

Vikki

Thanks to Vikki for the photos

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Hiking – Morte Lake Loop – 15 July 2020

Trip Report – Shellaligan Pass Loop – 8 July 2020

Six QIOC club members and one dog were heralded back onto Quadra trails with a two flipper salute and several large blows from a pair of humpbacks cruising down Hoskyn Channel in front of Shellaligan Beach. Their welcoming slaps set the tone for a very pleasant hike on the “long” Shellaligan loop, luckily sandwiched in between the seemingly never-ending rainstorms of late. Surprisingly, the rock bluffs along the seashore were dry, despite the early morning rain. We took advantage of the good weather to take an early lunch break on the granitic bluffs, even enjoying a few rays of sunshine. The trail was in good condition, branches and deadfall have been cleared in the forest section and bridges are in good repair. Some beach debris (mostly fish- and shellfish -farming debris) has been piled at the beach access points, hopefully to be removed by a boater (or very enthusiastic hiker) soon. Along the trail we saw several outcroppings of Indian Pipe, and one bright spot of “Dog’s Vomit” slime mold (or, more elegantly, “Scrambled Egg” Slime). The “Neurotic Sapsucker” tree amused those who had not done this section of the trail before. We also saw several fresh wolf scats on Boletus Road and Village Bay Main. As we hiked, and stopped for breaks, we had no problems in adhering to our Club’s new distancing and talking protocols. Altogether, a great start to our “Covid” hiking season. Time: 3 hours including a 20 minute lunch break

Valerie

Thanks to Valerie and Diana for the photos

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Hiking – Shellaligan Pass Loop – 8 July 2020

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

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

Trip Report – Rampart Hill – 18 Mar 2020

We had beautiful spring conditions to snowshoe from Ramparts Hill.  Warm and sunny, with good spring snow.  We headed steeply up the hill from the parking area until we reached the open bluff with great views of the Forbidden Plateau mountains.  We wandered along wide and narrow paths as well as untracked snow.  We meandered down to another great viewpoint where we stopped for lunch.  We continued on looking for the old cabin, but another group told us we wouldn’t find it because it has burned down.  A piece of history gone.  We continued east and south, with better views of the BC mainland mountains.  In total we had views through about 270° from Mt. Albert Edward to Mt. Waddington.  This was a beautiful day at a superb area for snowshoeing.  The terrain and views couldn’t be better.  6.3 km, 3 hours 

Debbie

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Snow – Mt. Washington – 18 Mar 2020

Trip Report – Reed Lake Loop – 11 Mar 2020

Ten hikers enjoyed a three-hour hike on a series of biking trails south of Walcan Road. Beginning at the Reed Lake pullout on Walcan Road, we headed south on Straight-As-A-Dime. This is a winding uphill trail with intermittent sections of logging roads which are beginning to grow in. After a short time on Navel and Silk Stockings Trails, the group turned east onto Backdoor Trail which winds its way over an extensive rock bluff plateau covered with vibrant green moss and pine forest. We stopped at a warm sunny spot to have lunch and enjoy the rays. Continuing east to the junction of Cash Only, and through the Rose Garden, we took Dick’s Ride north to the Yellow Mud Trail. Here we found a few pink salmonberry buds about to burst open. It was a pleasant walk along Wood Duck Lake, created by the extensive beaver dam at the east end of the lake. There were ring-necked ducks and bufflehead on the lake. We continued northwest on Yellow Mud Trail through mature hemlock and Douglas fir forest and along McKercher Creek to arrive back at the vehicles. The weather was sunny with a cold north wind blowing. This loop should not be attempted without being familiar with the biking trail system and having a specialized bike trail map, since the trail names have worn off the flagging at main intersections and the trail system is extensive. 8.0 km; 3½ hours

Janis

Hiking – Reed Lake Loop – 11 Mar 2020

Trip Report – Benn Mine and Deepwater Bay – 4 Mar 2020

Ten of us explored the Deepwater Main and Creek area to a variety of destinations.  We first stopped at the old rail trestle.  Only the posts remain, but some are impressively tall and it’s a reminder of Quadra’s history.  We continued along the logging road and were surprised by the amount of snow on the road.  We probably should have been expecting  it, but the cloud on the Mt. Seymour Ridge had been so low we hadn’t noticed.  We hiked up the old logging road to the Benn Mine, which was covered in enough snow to completely change the landscape.  The sample cores and even the old car were not visible.  After taking care around the open pits, we scrambled down to view the tunnel shaft.  2.5 km; 150m elevation; 1¼ hours.

We returned to the vehicles and continued further on the active logging road covered in some patches of snow.  We hiked down the old logging road following Deepwater Creek.  The creek was as beautiful as we have ever seen it, with plenty of water flowing and deep greens in the valley.  The route is somewhat eroded, but the frequent winter deadfall had all been chain sawed, making our progress very easy. 

We had not visited the old fish hatchery since it had been sold and rehabilitated by private owners.  The area is much improved.  We are very grateful that the new owners are permitting “leave-no-trace” visitors.  It’s very generous of them.  We stopped on the shore for lunch in the sun, with great views all around of Deepwater Bay, Discovery Passage and the mouth of Deepwater Creek.  It was a lovely and varied hike.  4.8 km, 235 m elevation; 2 hours.

– Debbie

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Hiking – Benn Mine and Deepwater Bay – 4 Mar 2020

Trip Report – Drew Creek and Harbour – 26 Feb 2020

Nine of us took a stroll around the new Drew Creek loop on the We Wai Kai reserve starting at the stream renovation done by the Salmon Enhancement Society, then on to the new foot bridge put in by John Barclay and other volunteers.  We continued through the campground, which is quiet in February, and on to the memorial and beachwood shack at Paddy’s Lagoon.  There were lots of interesting things to explore along the way.  We walked back along the shore and stopped to admire Alex Witcombe’s driftwood Sasquatch sculpture. 

Five of the group continued into Rebecca Spit Marine Park, stopped for a snack and walked the trail to the end of the Spit.  It was a cold, dark day with a bit of southeast breeze, but the rain held off.  11.1 km, 3½ hours.

– Norris

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Hiking – Drew Creek and Harbour – 26 Feb 2020

Trip Report – Open Bay and Crikey Creeks – 12 Feb 2020

Ten hikers attended the two short hikes. The weather was pleasant for early February, with cloud cover, mild temperatures and no rain. We walked south along the forestry road near the bottom of the big hill on Village Bay Lakes Road (opposite the Open Bay Main turnoff). After substantial snow the week before, the road still had a couple of inches of soft snow, but not deep enough to make walking difficult. After a half hour or so (and passing several clearcuts on the uphill side of the road), we took a trail into the woods towards Open Bay Creek, and followed this undulating trail through mossy open second growth Douglas fir and hemlock forest north along Open Bay Creek (upstream). This beautiful stream sustains salmon spawning in the fall, when chum and coho migrate up from Open Bay.

The second hike began on Open Bay Main which proceeds northwest from Village Bay Lakes Road, downhill from the large gravel pit. After a hundred meters are so, we turned west into the forest and proceeded at a steady uphill climb through lovely open Douglas fir and hemlock forest. The first part of this trail has been heavily eroded after the heavy winter rains, having been improperly constructed with no switchbacks or proper water management. We avoided the slippery-looking rough bridges by easily dipping down into the creek swales. Partway up this hill, we came across ‘Road Right-of-Way’ flagging tape, indicating that this area will be bisected by a forestry road and is slated for logging, presumably in the near future. We popped out onto a narrow logging road and could see Granite Bay Road a little further west uphill. A ten-minute walk south along the road took us to a good place for lunch, with old moss-covered logs to sit on. A short distance further, near the junction of this road and Granite Bay Road, our next trail headed downhill through the same forest, but closer to Crikey Creek which is situated in a deep gully. We came across forestry cruise plots used for timber volume estimates, another indication of imminent logging. The downhill trail ended on Open Bay Main just a short distance to the south of our uphill trail. Total time was three hours, from assembly at the Heriot Bay Store parking lot and back again. 

Janis

Hiking – Open Bay and Crikey Creeks – 12 Feb 2020