An epic sea kayaking adventure down the west coast of Canada.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Trip Log Part 5: Discovery Islands and Sunshine Coast

Day 24 -- Port Neville to Green Point Rapid
Date: July 19
Distance: 28 nautical miles
Duration:  7 1/2 hours with an hour break for lunch
Forecast: Afternoon strong wind warning - NW 25 knots
Actual conditions: NW wind 15 knots rising to 25 knots, partly cloudy/sunny

We packed up and had muffins on the beach.  The caretaker chatted with us as we were preparing to leave.  We gave him a donation to help him expand his library.  We passed a group of kayakers who were still on the Beach at Blenkinsop Bay.  Going into Sunderland channel we saw 3 orcas pass by.  The current was against us, so we eddy hopped up stream and then used the building wind waves to surf across the channel and make progress. It was serious surfing with the wind and against a strong current - great fun. We went through whirlpool rapid but before doing so we had lunch waiting for it to turn.  We went through close to slack.  As we entered Chancellor Channel we found an exciting race going off. By this stage the wind was quite strong and the seas big . We surfed our way up through the race and surfed up stream before crossing. We had a great series of wind waves for the crossing again.  It got really rough for a while and a big motorboat did a U-turn and came by to check on us in mid-channel to see if we were OK.  We were fine, and enjoying the surfing. It was like our training runs in the Columbia River Gorge back home. We saw 2 black bears, several porpoises, and 13 bald eagles.  We went through Green Pt. Rapid while it was still flooding fairly hard.  It was churning a bit and the current really picked up at the top of it. We did a quick ferry across and caught an eddy to skirt the worst turbulence.  We camped at a great rocky island right after it in the Cordero Islands group.  Later that evening the group of kayakers we had seen on the beach earlier came by.  They consisted of a Professor and a large group of students from his kayaking program at Pearson (?) College. They had launched at Prince Rupert a week or two before we had.  They had weathered out the wet storms as well.  They all seemed to be doing well. We were impressed.

Eddy hopping up Sunderland Channel early in the day

Crossing Sunderland Channel in light tail winds

Heading toward Whirlpool Rapids early in the day

Flowers at camp in the Cordero Islands

Our rock ledge camp in the Cordero Islands

Jonathan struggles in the undergrowth to secure the bear bagging line

Day 25– Green Point Rapids to South Rendezvous Islands
Date: July 20
Distance: 28 nautical miles
Duration:  9 ½ hours paddling with a 1 hr lunch break and a hair washing session
Actual conditions: strong current against all day, wind against but not too strong

We set off and had the current against us.  Even the eddies weren’t going our way.  We went through Dent Rapids and Yuculta eddy hopping up against really strong currents.  We stayed closed to the shore paddling through kelp trying to make progress.  The water was moving really fast in the opposite direction in mid-channel. The rapids did not seem to reverse when they should have this day (we checked and double checked the tidal current tables). There were spectacular views of steep mountains, evidence of logging and fish farms.  Around Yuculta there were numerous very fancy fly in fishing lodges and lots of powerful powerboats zipping around creating wakes for us to contend with in the slim eddies along the shore.  We spent a really long hard day counting barnacles. Eventually we found a great campsite on South Rendezvous.  It was a mossy rock outcropping and we found a perfect spot for the shelter and the tent.  A storm blew through bringing wind and a downpour.  We saw someone swimming in the sea here. The water was very warm.  We saw 7 bald eagles, 1 black bear, sea lions, seals, sea urchins, pods of porpoises, and loads of sea cucumbers. 

Jenny in Cordero Channel

Jenny in Cordero Channel

Jenny in Cordero Channel

Jenny in Cordero Channel

Jenny in Cordero Channel. Its raining again

A nice but rainy camp on South Rendezvous Island

Day 26–South Rendezvous Island to Copeland Islands
Date: July 21
Distance: 20 nautical miles
Duration:  4 ½ hours paddling without a land stop
Actual conditions: current against, wind at our back

We woke to sunshine and a North West wind.  We were going against the current but the wind was pushing us along nicely.  We surfed our little hearts out and even passed 2 sailboats going our direction with their sails out.   When we hit Desolation Sound area the wind waves changed directions and there was a lot of boat traffic.  We had nice views of snow capped peaks on both sides, Vancouver Island and the Mainland.  Kinghorn Island has lots of seals and small pups on rock ledges on its south side.  We had a nice camp on one of the northern most Copeland Islands, with a slight breeze and sunshine the rest of the day.  We dried all our stuff and even had a sunset!

Seals near Kinghorn Island

Our camp in the Copeland Islands

The view north from just above our camp

Sunset from camp

No comments:

Post a Comment