Favorite Day Paddles In Vancouver Lower Mainland

Discussion in 'General Paddling Discussions' started by WaterMark, May 13, 2011.

  1. WaterMark

    WaterMark Paddler

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    Where are your favorite places for a day paddle in the Vancouver lower mainland?

    I'm collecting paddling ideas for the summer. :D
     
  2. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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  3. rider

    rider Paddler

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    Whytecliff park to Point Atkinson and back is a nice paddle. From Ambleside to Granville island and back is not bad either, nicer on medium-high tide with some westerly/northwesterly wind if possible. You can also paddle around Bowen island in a day. And Britannia Mines marina-north till you get a view of the Chief. Ambleside can be good fun,on strong ebb by the beacon on the river bar, or at med tide at the bottom of the Cap. Nanaimo harbor is also a nice paddle if you wanna wheel your kayak onto a ferry in horseshoe bay.
     
  4. WaterMark

    WaterMark Paddler

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    Thanks for the link, Dan. I hope one day to have those all checked off my 'done' list. :)

    I'm also interested in why different paddles are favorites of different paddlers. Whether the draw is historic, wildlife, scenery, convenience, conditions....
     
  5. WaterMark

    WaterMark Paddler

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    Rider, thanks for the tips. Jericho to Atkinson Pt. has been one of my staple paddles (and sometimes a bit further N to Grebe Islets), but I've never done Granville Is to Ambleside. Are kayaks allowed to paddle close enough to the bridge to cross from Ambleside to Stanley Park?

    Britannia mines-Chief and Whytecliff-Atkinson sound like great paddles I'd like to do this summer.
     
  6. WaterMark

    WaterMark Paddler

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    Rider, when you paddle around Bowen, do you take the ferry over, of launch from Whytecliff?
     
  7. rider

    rider Paddler

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    Good question, having done this great many times and having never been pulled over by the harbor patrol, I assume it's OK to do,just stay WELL clear of the bridge and moving freighters.
    Bowen island, the only 2 times i did a complete paddle around was during the Round Bowen Challenge races in 2009 and 2010, and I did take the ferry over, but I've done numerous paddles to Bowen with launch at either Horseshoe Bay or Whytecliff. Round Bowen alone is 20 miles, so make sure you have the energy for the additional 2 miles there and 2 miles back if you go from Whytecliff.
     
  8. Roy

    Roy Paddler

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    I've paddled from Dundarave pier to Granville Island many times with no problems and only a couple of inspections (one by the Coast Guard and one by the Vancouver Police marine patrol). Remember that you're crossing a busy shipping channel and be aware of big ship traffic at all times (those big beasties can overtake you much faster than you might think). I also recommend carrying a marine VHF and monitoring channels 12 (ship trafiic) and 16. In the final analysis though the biggest threat is small power boats (and the Ambleside Express can be fun). :)
     
  9. Byron

    Byron Paddler

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    The Vancouver Harbour Operations Manual defines the westerly limit of the First Narrows restricted area as the line running from Navvy Jack Point down to Ferguson Point off Stanely Park. This is much further west than Ambleside and even Siwash Rock.

    However my marine chart shows the restricted area to be not nearly that far west (from the Green Light at the mouth of the Capilano River and a point about halfway between Siwash Rock and Prospect Point). Significant because both agree on the eastern most edge of the restricted area (Burnaby Shoals and due north). So why do they disagree on the western boundary? I have no idea. The western definition would preclude sailing out of the Hollyburn Sailing Club at Ambleside so it really doesn't make a lot of sense (unless they have a specific exemption not mentioned).

    The Harbour manual states no vessel without adequate mechanical power can operate in this area. Mechanical power isn't defined in the definition section but elsewhere is used to mean at least rowing/paddling (but not sailing). Given that paddlers should be good. However another section states no vessel under oars shall transit the Narrows. Presumably "transit" just means no paddling THROUGH First Narrows but this could be debated.

    Given all that, Dundarave Pier to Granville Island is perfectly fine but Ambleside to Siwash Rock could be open to interpretation (but I believe still OK). Much closer to Lions Gate (ie Green Light at the mouth of the Capilano and eastward) and you are definitely in the restricted area for no paddling and will probably get cited.

    Some may question the wisdom of paddling north/south through the official shipping lanes in such a congested area but that's a completely different issue! :D
     
  10. Roy

    Roy Paddler

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    Hence the need to monitor ship traffic on VHF
     
  11. WaterMark

    WaterMark Paddler

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    What sections of the Fraser do you all recommend paddling, or avoiding?
     
  12. lilydipper

    lilydipper Paddler

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    I had spoken to the Harbour Master and he referred to east of the green navigation light on the west side of Lion's Gate bridge as being the start of restricted area.

    My Faves:
    Breakfast at Honeys, Deep Cove to Twin, lunch, swim snorkel, beers at the Raven Pub afterwards....good day eh!
    Deep Cove to Admiralty Point near Barnet Marine Park and hopefully catch some tugboat waves
    Stearman Beach east of Lighthouse Park in West Van to Horseshoe Bay, Lunch and paddle back
    Porteau Cove to Nexen Beach, need to shuttle cars, great for surfing with a following sea, big inflow winds
    Paddling off of Ambleside anytime there is a tide rip.

    I've heard Bunzten Lake is nice
    I'd be interested in paddling around Ladner and the bird sanctuary. I've heard that when the tide goes out, it really goes and and the marshes drain very quickly resulting in a muddy slog

    My one experience on the North Arm of the Fraser was terrifying, squeezing between tug boats pulling barges with massive wakes and log booms, first and last time, cut my day trip to a 1 hour "fight and flight"
     
  13. lomcevak

    lomcevak Paddler

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    I once did a trip from Porteau Cove to Pam Rock, and the Christie Islets (with almost guaranteed seal viewing) via the east side of Anvil Island. I then went around the west side of Anvil Island and back to Porteau Cove. The entire trip was 31km, but should be a fair bit less if you don`t circle Anvil. I`d do it again.
     
  14. rider

    rider Paddler

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    ...... :wink: and then there's whitewater kayaking which I am starting to discover, high grin factor and close to home.
     
  15. kate

    kate Paddler

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    My fave is west coast of bowen to the paisley islands,

    Only when calm....
     
  16. Steve_Fairbairn

    Steve_Fairbairn Paddler

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    I spent the day yesterday exploring all the various tributaries of Widgeon Creek, one of my favorite day-paddling locations. The water is higher than I've seen it in 10 years and I was able to access many channels and sloughs that were previously inaccessible - nothing like paddling through a field of tall grass!

    While a bit noisy, it was also fun to watch a plane practicing aerobatics directly overhead for a couple of hours! Our own private airshow...

    Now that the canoe/kayak rental place is shut down, the long weekend crowd was MUCH smaller than usual.