Multi-day Kayaking – Nuchatlitz Prov Park – 20-28 Aug 2017

Activity Multi-day kayaking
Destination Nuchatlitz Provincial Park
Date 20-28 August 2017
Trip Coordinator Kathryn Manry
Contact Info 2103 or Please contact the coordinator by July 1.
Description We will take a water taxi in both directions between Zeballos and Nuchatlitz Prov Park. We will spend nine days paddling and camping as conditions permit. Likely destinations are Catala Island, islets in the provincial park, and Mary Basin
Meeting Place Zeballos
Departure Time TBA
Expect some challenging conditions: fog and wind are likely
Costs Transportation and one night in Zeballos
Trip limits Participants on this trip need to have been on a previous multi-day kayak trip with the Outdoor Club. Good paddling skills and good equipment are essential. Space is limited by the water taxi and by accommodation in Zeballos.
Dogs? no

Trip Report – Memekay Caves – 31 May 2017

Seven of us had a great trip to the Memekay Caves. We visited two caves: Chicken II and Scallop Falls. Bill, our guide from Vancouver Island Cave Exploration Group, was full of stories and information. He made us feel at ease as we made our way through the long narrow passages. There were some challenges in the second cave as we climbed, bridged and wriggle through the narrow tunnel with water running through it. We marvelled at the rock formations and Scallop Falls. After lunch we took a short walk along the East Memekay River.


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Thanks to Norris, Bill & Cyndy, Mitch and Sameen for contributing their photos

Natural History – Caving near Sayward – 31 May 2017

Trip Report – Ripple Rock – 10 May 2017

We met on the 9:00 ferry and drove 16 km north from Campbell River to the start of the Ripple Rock Trail. Seven of us set out – but eight came back, because we met a lone hiker on the way out who joined us for the return trip. We had six club members and one guest from Ontario. The weather cooperated and we were soon peeling off layers as the day warmed up.

The trail was muddy in spots because of all the recent rain, but the path is easy to follow. There were some steep sections but nothing challenging. We crossed several metal bridges and after the final 47-step staircase, we reached the top. We ate our lunch overlooking Seymour Narrows, and the site of the former Ripple Rock. It was interesting to see the endpoint of Quadra’s Maud Island hike from this viewpoint.

We passed several groups of hikers and dogs along the way – when we arrived there was only 1 other car in the parking lot. By the time we left, there were 11 vehicles.   The 9.6 km hike took 4 hours, with short stops at each viewpoint along the way and a generous stop for lunch.


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Hiking – Ripple Rock – 10 May 2017

Trip Report – The Campbell River Loop – 26 Apr 2017

Six of us hiked a loop from the logging bridge on the Campbell River up to Moose Falls and back. This is always a great walk with lots of highlights, but this was particularly special because of the spring wildflower bloom. Immediately after crossing the bridge and starting along the trail on the north side of the river, we were greeted with a wonderful profusion of pink and white fawn lilies, trillium, and wild bleeding heart. For the first 2 kilometers these flowers carpeted the edge of the trail.  After a long winter, spring was everywhere.

We admired the Canyon View and continued on up to the Station View, with its rather industrial view of the generating station and construction. The Millennium Trail wanders through a fine forest with some very impressive old growth and leads to the Elk Falls viewing platform and suspension bridge, both amazing.  Elk Falls drops about 25 meters into a very narrow gorge with a right-angle turn.

We took the gradually ascending Old Growth trail and then the very steep descent to the rocky viewpoint for Moose Falls and the Dolphin Pool, where we stopped for lunch. Although the forecast had called for rain by mid-day, we had warm sunshine. We returned along the river, passed by Deer Falls and more views of Elk Falls, and crossed over to the south side of the river for more wildflowers before reaching the vehicles. 13.4 km; 4½ hours.


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Hiking – The Campbell River Loop – 26 Apr 2017

Hiking – Ripple Rock Trail – 10 May 2017

Activity Hiking
Destination Ripple Rock Trail
Date 10 May 2017, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Diana
Contact Info 285-3204 or  Contact coordinator about car pooling by May 9.
Description 8 km round trip hike on Ripple Rock Trail, 16 km north of Campbell River. If you have hiked the Maud Island trail on Quadra, this hike shows the Ripple Rock site from the other side of the strait. Bring lunch. Approximate time 4 hours.
Meeting Place Q Cove ferry terminal
Departure Time 9:00 am ferry.  If you are driving, come early for this busy ferry.
Moderate, with some steep sections
Costs Ferry fare
Trip limits None
Dogs? Must be on leash or under control
Notes: Contact coordinator by May 9 to make carpooling arrangements ahead of time so we are not taking too many cars over.


Natural History – Caving near Sayward – 31 May 2017

Activity Natural History – Caving
Destination East Memekay Caves
Date 31 May 2017, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Cyndy Chidley
Contact Info Cyndy Chidley: 250-285-3575
Bill West-Sells: 1-778-860-3131
Description Introductory caving (with some challenges) on north Vancouver Island.  Challenges include bridging, climbing, stretching, wriggling.
Meeting Place Q Cove ferry terminal in time for the 8:00 am ferry
Departure Time 8:00 am ferry to Campbell River
First cave “Chicken II” – easy; second cave “Scallop Falls” – moderate.
Costs Ferry and shared gas
Trip limits 12
Dogs? Possible; check on carpooling
Wear rubber boots or runners that you don’t mind getting wet. Bring coveralls, a helmet that you are able to fit with head light and a head light, if you can get one.  Bill has some extras that he will bring.  Flexible gloves, if you have them. A change of shoes and socks. A lunch.  Not essential, but whoever has a walkie talkie, or VHF radio, please bring it with charged batteries.  The more we have of these the better.

Trip Report – Qualicum Area Birdwatching – 12 Apr 2017

A small group of us set out with low expectations, under heavy grey skies, to look for migrating geese. We were in quest of Brant, a beautiful small goose that makes a stop-over in this area to re-fuel on the trip north. We started our exploration at Rathtrevor Beach, just south of Parksville and had several other sites located in case we had to search the length of the estuary area to find groups of Brant. But as soon as we walked over to the edge of the sand we were delighted to see large numbers of these elegant black and white geese strung along the waterline. Among them were a number of shorebirds – Black Turnstones and Black-bellied Plovers. We walked out along the sand as far as we dared without disturbing the birds, set up the spotting scope, and enjoyed the show.

As we had a closer look, we realized that there was a lot of activity offshore as well. A bunch of immense sea lions were splashing and interacting just beyond the Brant, and we spotted a group of porpoise swimming by. Beyond all that were large rafts of Scoters and the occasional loon. There was a feeling of excitement in the air as all these critters were energetically feeding and organizing themselves for the next leg on the push northward to breed.

After taking in our fill at this location, we moved to the forested area on the other side of Englishman River to see what we could turn up there. The forest was beautiful, but there was not a lot of bird activity. We did spot large numbers of Swallows (Bank, we presumed) zooming about along the river. It’s always nice to see these birds in good numbers, knowing that their populations are struggling worldwide.

After a warm-up lunch in a pub in Parksville and we made a final stop inland at Hamilton Marsh near Coombs. A short walk took us to a large open wetland area with a dock extending into the water. We spotted many Canada Geese, Buffleheads, Red-winged Blackbirds and lots of Tree Swallows swooping about.

Altogether, our bird list for the day totaled 37 species:
American Robin
Northwest Crow
Bald Eagle
Brant Goose
Black Turnstone
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
White-crowned Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Black Oystercatcher
White Winged Scoter
Surf Scoter
Common loon
Eared Grebe
Black-bellied Plover
Mew Gull
Thayer’s Gull
California Gull
Pine Siskin
Dark-eyed Junco
Spotted Towhee
Wilsons Warbler
Red-breasted Merganser
Belted Kingfisher
Common Raven
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Savannah Sparrow
Bank Swallow
Pacific Wren
Red-winged Blackbird
Tree Swallow
Brown Creeper
Great Blue Heron
House Finch


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Thanks to Kathryn and Norris for the photos

Bird Watching – Qualicum Shoreline – 29 Mar 2017