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A little Howe Sound Weekend - Feb 4-6, 2023


Oct 27, 2020
I've been living in the power mainland for a few years and hadn't gone paddling in Howe Sound. What a travesty! Anyways the wind looked like it would cooperate, so I launched from Porteau Cove on Saturday.


There was a tiny bit of wind. Very intermittent whitecaps forming. Once I wrapped around the north end of Anvil it was totally calm.



The paddle was nice and quiet. I saw very few others on the water. One that stood out is this old ferry.


I'm going to cross my fingers and hope it doesn't become another permanent eyesore. Time will tell. There was a sheen on the water that made me a bit pessimistic.

My campsite for the first night was Sir Thomas Lipton. I had envisioned a nice quiet night to myself, but as I got closer I could see hundreds of birds and hear dozens of sea lions.



They kept up their lullaby all evening, through the night, and even sang a ditty on my departure. Sleep was fleeting.

Knowing that was likely to be the case I tried to put myself into a semi comatose state by eating more than I really needed to.


Crunchy, greasy, warm. Yum yum. It almost worked.


I broke camp and left fairly early, stopping for a break at Halkett Bay. I had intended a bit of a siesta to make up for a poor night sleep but I had company over for lunch, so was too busy listening to their stories.



So lunch was dealt with swiftly and I was on my merry way.


Some birds were frolicking by the water. I believe these are L.B.B. (little brown bird) but perhaps someone has the scientific/correct name.

I also saw a stunning piece of art. The limits of human expression are truly unreachable.


I made my way to the Ramillies Channel site.
Nice pebble beach! No noisy neighbours!


It was early enough in the day that I set up a tarp and had a whole kitchenette to myself. Not the best area for a tarp but I made it work.



For this trip I brought the entire tent. The first night I used just the fly, the second I used the inner body as well. I noticed no difference other than one is more work to set-up and tear down.
Still in my 'i don't like tents' phase.


The moon peeked out to say hello while I popped out to tinkle. It astounds me what a cell phone camera can do sometimes.

The next day I slept in a bit and had a lazy morning packing up before cruising back over to Porteau. The calm drizzle was nice. I even stopped for a while to feel the rain on my face. It's good to be alive!



I packed up the car and made it most of the way home before my radiator hose exploded. Thanks for holding out until the end of the trip little buddy!


All in all a pretty good weekend!
I have been informed that the birds in question are Black Turnstones. A rather preposterous name as they are neither black nor turned to stone.
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Thank you for the report and nice photos. I also wonder why, when picnic tables are placed, there doesn't seem to be a consideration that the camper might want to tarp it (no posts or trees). Sometimes it just needed to be rotated from it's current orientation. Perhaps the site setters figure, if it's raining, the camper will just stay in the tent and fix meals under the cover of the rainfly. I carry collapsible poles (REI).

If you like to eschew the tent, you might try a hammock. You can still be out in the open, but maybe a bit more comfortable than on the ground.
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CPS, I started writing you a PM but decided to post it in the Gear sub-forum so I don't highjack you great trip report.
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Envious. Howe Sound so close so why do I never paddle there?

I think I've largely been dissuaded by the wind in the past. Seemed like any time I could make it up there it was blowing a gale. But that's likely just unfortunate timing. The classic of great weather when I'm at work, all going to pot on my days off.

I have been checking the weather at Pam rocks lately, which unfortunately seemed to be down right when I started my trip. It showed that generally wind in the area I was paddling in has been on the lower end of the forecasted values.

But really it's only an hour or so for me, and was nice. I'll definitely be making a concerted effort to get out there more often.
Yeah, it looked like a lake during your trip. But after seeing reports previously of the wind picking up and coming down the valley from Squamish it can get quite challenging. And there might not be a lot of notice. Perhaps this is more of a problem in summer afternoons or during arctic outflows.
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Good stuff man! Home waters for me at one time.
..it can get quite challenging. And there might not be a lot of notice.
Both true. Many factors that you don't encounter on 'easy' paddles come into play. For example: the shorelines do not offer many launches and landings. Once you're on the water, you're committed. 20 minutes can easily turn into an hour if the wind and tide are against you. But, what makes a place hard to get to also makes it more rewarding when you get there. The price is the prize. Learn the moods and ways of the Sound and you're on your way to paddling anywhere on this coast.
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If you watch BCMarineTrails photos/videos on fixing up the camp area at Howe Sound, you'll see a shot of a cougar walking down the trail (cats are curious. or hungry), to check things out. Just Say'n.
Aaaahh it's so cool to see. And to think the initial coalescence happened here on this site just over 10 years ago:

the first coming together with Gordon Mckeever:
It's interesting to see what I did and didn't have on the map at that time.

and just 5 years later an opening ceremony: