Broken Group and Break-In

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by PDX outbound, May 31, 2017.

  1. PDX outbound

    PDX outbound New Member

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    While I have followed this forum in the background for some time, this is my first post, so let me start with a sincere Thank You to everyone, as I have gleaned so much helpful information here over the years.

    My wife and I made our West Coast paddling debut last week with a trip to the Broken Group. We wanted to get an early start on the water and spent the night before launching at the Secret Beach camp ground. They were in the early season mode and still have evidence of ongoing construction on the grounds, but we found a very nice spot and had a very comfortable evening to do the final sorting of our gear.

    Our launch on Monday was under beautiful skies and calm winds. We had a wonderful paddle through the islands at a relaxed but consistent pace to reach Clark Island shortly after noon. There was only a group of four on the island, and we had our choice of spots. The wind built steadily over the next few hours necessitating a move from the West side of the point to a more sheltered location on the East facing side. Camping on soft sand just a few feet from the high tide line was awesome.
    The next morning we set out for a planned trip to Effingham, but turned back after an hour or so as the winds built with gusts over 35 knots. There was plenty of tide pools and trails to explore on Clark so it wasn’t a big disappointment.

    On Wednesday, it was sunny skies, but still with a strong NW wind. As we were having coffee and sharing stories with our island mates, Aaron from the beach keepers arrived. He said he wasn’t able to make it out the day prior because of the winds. Unfortunately in addition to an updated weather forecast that predicted winds building to 40+ knots, he also brought news from Secret Beach that our car was one of three that had been broken into overnight. The thieves also broke into the Secret Beach office stealing their generator and cash register. Secret Beach was supposed to have security cameras covering the area, but apparently they weren’t working and there was no on-site security patrol either. The beach keepers strongly advised we stay put overnight because of the winds, but things cleared nicely by morning and we decided to cut our trip short by 2 days and head back in early to deal with the damage.
    They took our two duffle bags of clothes that we planned to change into on return and our prescription driving sunglasses, but what really hurt was that they also stole the small bag with our kayak tie down straps and bow/stern lines. I keep one spare set of straps in the trunk, but I was wracking my brain how to transport our second boat down the long gravel road from Secret Beach to Hwy 4. Fortunately Kevin, from Majestic Kayak, was just landing with a private party, and he had a box of extra straps and agreed to sell me a set right there – thank you again Kevin!

    We were able to get the window fixed in Duncan the next day and completed the rest of the trip without problems. Having our items stolen and the hassle factor of the repair and insurance claims were certainly a downer, but the Broken Group did not disappoint. There are bad people everywhere and we won’t let this deter us from our planned Clayoquot trip in August.
     
    VanIslePaddler likes this.
  2. LAM

    LAM Paddler

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    Dec 28, 2012
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    I'm sorry to hear about the break in to your vehicle while you were enjoying your paddle in the BGI. Pretty awful to have your time there cut short to deal with that. I'm glad to hear that you will be back regardless. You have a great attitude. And thanks for sharing your story.

    Happy paddling.

    Lila
     
  3. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    Strange that they took your tie-down straps. Agree with Lila though -- good on you for not letting this ruin your trip.
     
  4. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Likely tweakers. Here, they take off with whatever is easier/quicker to fence, from fresh wiring in a home under construction to kids toys.
     
  5. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    A friend just mentioned to me that he recently was charged a $45 launch fee at that 'Secret Beach' location. It seems like a lot, especially if there isn't any attempt at security.
    What is the fee structure there, for 2017?
     
  6. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    I bet that 45 bucks was partitioned into launch fee plus the overnight tariff. Are the Natives still sending out a skiff to each campsite, daily, to collect?
     
  7. paddlesores

    paddlesores Paddler

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2007
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    Location:
    Maple Ridge, BC
    Dave,
    We just got back from a trip to the BGI last week. You now are required to purchase a camping permit ahead of time (still $10/head/night). We bought ours through the Port Alberni Chamber of Commerce but I think you can also get them through the band office. We only saw the Beachkeepers once on our trip and they never asked to see our permit or request fees.. The first two nights we spent at Gilbert and had to share the site with 3 powerboaters who had a base camp set up for fishing, stereo included. Not what we were expecting out there. The eight of them were reasonable the first night but the second night the noise continued until 1:30 in the morning. Next two nights were at Gibraltar and the Beachkeepers showed up one evening to cook a salmon and share their history of the area with us. The Beachkeepers were great people and it was a fun evening but never was there any mention of camp permits. It was still a good trip but I didn't see any evidence of enforcement of the regulations of the area.
    Doug
     
  8. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    I asked my friend for details.
    The $45 was the cost for a day paddle for two people:
    $15 per boat to launch, plus $15 to park the car for the day
    More days would have involved $15 per day for parking.
    This is (apparently) completely separate from the $10/night fee that was formerly the National Parks fee.