Brooks Peninsula To Port Renfrew, Whats your favorite Spot?

Discussion in 'General Paddling Discussions' started by dvfrggr, Mar 23, 2014.

  1. dvfrggr

    dvfrggr Paddler

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    Let the planning begin :)
    Using my favorite sources of Wild Coast 1, The BC Coast Explorer and The BC Atlas, I've started the slow, (for me painstaking) process of chart work and map gps data entry. In 3 evenings I've made it down to Nuchatlitz Provincial Park and this is only marking camp and picnic sites :(
    So I thought I'd put a shout out for your favorite , do not miss campsite, cave, surf beach, gotta paddle under this waterfall or thru this slot kinda place that I can highlight or add to the stack of charts scattered around this corner of the house. Some of the coolest places I've seen on the Coast have come from paddlers!
    Thanks, Dave R
     
  2. explorer777

    explorer777 Paddler

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    Re: Brooks Peninsula To Port Renfrew, Whats your favorite Sp

    I haven't done it, but a buddy has, and the West Coast Trail section of the coast has very few landing opportunities for kayakers so it's a dangerous stretch for kayakers for that reason...and apparently Parks Canada, for some unknown reason, has taken the position that kayakers aren't supposed to land on any parts of the West Coast Trail section...my buddy had to land at Monique's, which is one of the only private parcels of land on the entire WCT...seems like a crazy position for Parks Canada to take but that is what I heard so if you're planning to paddle that is something to be aware of...
     
  3. benson

    benson Paddler

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    Re: Brooks Peninsula To Port Renfrew, Whats your favorite Sp

    Our trip to the Nuchatlitz had some beautiful and popular sites including Belmont and Benson Pt., but my fondest memory was our days camped at Catala Is. We ended up on the inside spit along the Rolling Roadstead with the site all to ourselves. I can distinctly remember the afternoon nap on the warm stones of that steep round rock beach!
     
  4. dvfrggr

    dvfrggr Paddler

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    Re: Brooks Peninsula To Port Renfrew, Whats your favorite Sp

    Explorer777,
    Thanks for the heads up, I have not made my way that far down the coast on the planning and I'm sure that stretch will keep us on our toes..... my ass will be screaming to get out of the boat:)

    Benson,
    I have that location marked on my chart and I'll add your note concerning the napping stones :) It seems my paddling partners get a kick out of my napping habits because they always take a picture and make sure it shows up in the trip report.
    Thanks, Dave R
     
  5. Layback

    Layback Paddler

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    Re: Brooks Peninsula To Port Renfrew, Whats your favorite Sp

    Haven't paddled this area, but looking at your reference items, one is missing.

    www.bcmarinetrails.org

    There are two reasons you should be referencing the Marine Trails info on the website map. One is that the info there can be an update of what you see in the printed reference books. Time happens, stuff changes.

    The second reason is that by going to the website you are, in essence, casting a vote in favour of protecting kayak camping spots along the coast. The primary objective of BC Marine Trails is to identify small boat campsites and move to get them protected as such. However, there is no real way to gauge whether the kayaking community is interested in this process or actually using the sites that are being protected. "When I was in Clayoquot Sound, I saw a whole bunch of people in colourful little fiberglass thingies" really doesn't cut it when you are talking to governments. Large numbers of people checking out the information on the Marine Trails website creates a number that can be used to argue for continued and expanded protection.

    There should be a third reason here, to see photos of beaches and campsites that you are going to use. This process is lagging a bit and is now being filled in. Where there are pictures, the planning process is a lot easier.

    If you do take on the outer Vancouver Island coast, the rest of us would appreciate two things. One, updates. Let BCMT know where the information on the website no longer meets reality. Two, photos. Send pictures of campsites and beaches to BC Marine Trails so the rest of who follow in your paddle strokes can see what they look like.

    Enjoy your trip!
     
  6. Mark_Schilling

    Mark_Schilling Paddler

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    Re: Brooks Peninsula To Port Renfrew, Whats your favorite Sp

    We've done almost all of that section of the coast, in different trips over the last 10 years or so. I'd be hard pressed to come up with any specific favourites; just about every bit of it has something special. I really like the area around Spring Island; it's a bit busier than some places with recreational fishing boats etc. but the fishing is great and there are some fantastic little islets with rock gardens to explore and sandy beaches to call your own. The area north of the Brooks has some real rugged beauty you don't see too many other places, and the outside of Nootka Island has a bit of everything - it's rugged with sandy pocket beaches, awesome waterfalls and streams to bathe in and bask on the rocks; maybe even a bit of surf to play in. Clayoquot is paradise if you want to find some bigger beaches and practise surfing for days on end. South of Bamfield definitely shows the rugged side of the south coast, but there's some great hiking in there for your days off or 'weather days'. If I had to recommend anything, I'd say pick one smaller area and explore it fully rather than trying to stretch to many miles into one day and missing all the little hidden gems. For a taste of everything special about the West Coast, take a couple of weeks to paddle right around Nootka Island. You won't see too many others out there but you'll see a bit of everything.
     
  7. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Re: Brooks Peninsula To Port Renfrew, Whats your favorite Sp

    Catala would be high on my list, and a great spot for exploring a bit north and south, if you adopt Mark's notion. I have done the inside of Nootka Island, and found it a bit pedestrian, with a lot of cut blocks. Esperanza Inlet being pretty nice, however.
     
  8. dvfrggr

    dvfrggr Paddler

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    Re: Brooks Peninsula To Port Renfrew, Whats your favorite Sp

    Thanks Layback!
    It's been a long time since I looked at the BCMT, huge amount of work has gone into it since my last peek, that's why I overlooked it because there was not much going on the Central coast and West Vancouver on my previous views. I'll be keeping a look at the site till we leave in late July for more updates like you said!

    Thanks Mark and Dave,
    We have 3 weeks to make it back to the States from the Brooks and as I'm doing the chart work I'm having mixed emotions about rushing our way past all these awesome places. I think making alternate pick up plans at Nootka sound or Tofino are in order so if we decide like slowing down and taking in the sites we won't feel like we didn't make goal.
    So Mark, Just so I don't paddle past it :), which surfing beach puts the biggest Smile on your Face!

    Dave R
     
  9. Mark_Schilling

    Mark_Schilling Paddler

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    Re: Brooks Peninsula To Port Renfrew, Whats your favorite Sp

    Tofino has hands-down the best beaches, but since it's all vehicle-accessible, there are surfers everywhere so it's tough to find an area that involves no risk of hitting others. So, for me, a close second would be Cow Bay on Flores Island, about a day's paddle north of Tofino. Long sandy beach which is very camping-friendly, with a good sized stream coming out in the south corner for fresh water and washing etc. Very picturesque. Obviously any surf trip is subject to the size and direction of the swell, but Cow Bay is about as good as any, especially if the swell has a southerly component (SW being about the best). For those epic surf days, it's still a great beach as the size of the surf decreases around the sides and is usually biggest in the middle. There are also a few trails leading off the beach for exploring the island etc.

    We've found a few good potential surf beaches up and down the coast over the years, but usually when we arrive the surf is pretty small; Cow Bay usually has at least something going on. I've heard of surfers getting a water taxi out to Cow Bay for a few days of surfing and camping, but I've have never had to share the 1km+ beach with any other visitors, except for the occasional wolf or a few grey whales feeding in the bay. Having been 'weathered in' there for a 5-day gale one June, the place is still very special to me.
     
  10. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Re: Brooks Peninsula To Port Renfrew, Whats your favorite Sp

    Dave R,

    My sample size is miniscule compared to Mark's, but after Cow Bay, Ahous Bay or Mels Beach on Vargas might also offer decent surfing ... and are substantially closer to Tofino if you need a spot close for those last couple days.

    My son, who is a boardhead not a paddler, likes a beach on Nootka, which has a very tasty rustic surf camp/lodge nearby, but I can not recall the name of either. Someone here will know it.
     
  11. Cdog

    Cdog Paddler

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    Re: Brooks Peninsula To Port Renfrew, Whats your favorite Sp

    North of Ahous Bay on Vargas there is a beach unnamed on the chart and often referred as "Paradise Dunes". The surf can build up quite fast. It is also a beautiful spot to camp. So if the surf is not happening at Cow Bay try there. I've had better luck there than Cow Bay during summer months.
    Also good surf south of Rugged Point if you're coming down from the Brooks.
    I've been hiking and paddling the West Coast for over 35 years and every place is indeed special. What often makes it very special is the combination of good weather, wild life encounter and amazing campsite with no one around. These 3 factors have a lot of variable to make you enjoy a distinct area. Just be there and explore. Yes, the Bunsby Islands, Spring Island, Catala Island, etc.. are all beautiful but it's often the little coves or pocket beach with a small waterfall that we discover along the way that makes our trip unique.
    Enjoy your trip!
     
  12. nootka

    nootka Paddler

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    Re: Brooks Peninsula To Port Renfrew, Whats your favorite Sp

    probably Beano Creek
     
  13. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Re: Brooks Peninsula To Port Renfrew, Whats your favorite Sp

    Yeah, I think Beano is correct.

    Agree surf on the "Paradise Dunes" beach Cdog references can build quickly, based on the three days we went past it. Seemed like bigger surf than beaches to the north of there. We were hiking two of those days, and mostly a closeout, IIRC.
     
  14. explorer777

    explorer777 Paddler

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    Re: Brooks Peninsula To Port Renfrew, Whats your favorite Sp

    yup probably Beano...the Tatchu wilderness surf camp is at Beano but it's like $1,200 for 4 days...not many surfers have that kind of $... Nootka Air drops surfers off at Calvin Falls for surfing too - there is a little surf shack in the forest on the north side of Calvin Creek but it is a very rustic shelter...probably only good for cooking under cover if it's raining...
     
  15. dvfrggr

    dvfrggr Paddler

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    Re: Brooks Peninsula To Port Renfrew, Whats your favorite Sp

    Wow! Thanks guy's for the Surf spots, My new trip boat is a Sterling Grand Illusion and I'm really looking forward to getting it in the surf :)
    It's really loose compared to the Explorer so I'm anxious to see how it works for me in the Waves.

    So In the BC Coast Explorer, John Kimatas writes of a paddle through cave on Thomas Is, John said he had not heard of anyone ever running it, Any WCP paddlers have first hand knowledge? I've done a few paddle through caves at Cape Flattery and Tatoosh Is., they always get my adrenalin flowing and they were tested caves, not so sure about pioneering caves on the isolated West Coast.
    Thanks again for the feedback!
     
  16. Cdog

    Cdog Paddler

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    Re: Brooks Peninsula To Port Renfrew, Whats your favorite Sp

    Hey Dave, I've taken my Grand Illusion for a West Coast trip every summer ever since I bought it from Sterling 7 years ago. 2 summers ago we did the Brooks with an Icekap, a Reflection and my Grand Illusion. Loaded, the GI had the fastest touring speed. You've got volume for touring and a fun play boat at the same time. Surf as good as the Reflection.
    We stopped on Thomas Island on our way down to Spring Island but there wasn't enough water in the cave. Back in my youth in 1982, I did give it a try with a plastic river kayak but got stuck in the middle.
    There is a much better cave if you follow the coast south of Malksope Pt, one you can enter on one side and come out the other way. Helmet recommended, not a lot of head room at the turning point and timing the swell is important.