Has Anyone Launched from Ucluelet for the Broken Group?

Discussion in 'General Paddling Discussions' started by Jeaniniebeanie, Apr 1, 2013.

  1. Jeaniniebeanie

    Jeaniniebeanie New Member

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    I'm not sure if this question should go in the trip reports section, or perhaps elsewhere. I apologize if it's in the wrong spot!

    I'm curious if anyone's departed from Ukee with the BGI in mind? Or even paddled out from the harbour in that general direction?

    I'm having trouble getting information about the area, all of the quide books just tell you to go from Toquart. I know it'll be interesting water, and I'm ok with that, but I'm just wondering if anyone has first hand experience with exactly how interesting it gets.

    We're leaving April 10th, and our current plan is to head out from the Harbour and go to Stopper Islands for the first night before entering the Broken Group itself. I've seen trip reports elsewhere on the internet where groups are staying at Stopper to camp so I'm hoping that's doable. On the chart it looks do-able.

    If anyone has tips or experience with this area (the Ucluelet Harbour entrance or the Stopper Islands.) Please let me know! I think it'd be great to have this information available, as people are looking for alternative launch points. Thanks!
     
  2. AM

    AM Paddler

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    Sounds awesome! I've never gone to the BGI from Ucluelet, but I've played around in Carolina Channel in April, where things can build up big. Surfers use the beaches on the NW shore of Barkley Sound, so it has exposure.

    As for Stoppers, there is an old camp in the protected waters between the two islands (on south Stopper, where the channel between the two is almost blocked by a couple of islets). Good landing. Overgrown site. I don't recommend the outhouse. :lol:

    If you get the chance, check out the cave on Bryant.

    Let us know how it goes -- depending on what happens at Toquart, more intrepid paddlers might be taking the Ucluelet option.

    Cheers,
    Andrew
     

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  3. VanIslePaddler

    VanIslePaddler Paddler

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    Hi Jeanine,

    It is easy and possible to camp at the Stoppers...

    but if you are launching from Ucluelet... thats a bloody long way in the wrong direction, to get to the Stoppers...

    It is a pretty open crossing from Ucluelet to the Broken Group... no real shelter, swell, wind etc etc...

    We are all in a bind regarding acess to the Broken group until an alternative Launch is established.

    There is a community meeting tommorow in Ucluelet, perhaps some more answers will be available than.
     
  4. Jeaniniebeanie

    Jeaniniebeanie New Member

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    Yeah! I know - I want to go more direct, but the boyfriend is extra cautious, so... better safe then sorry! Thanks for the info, and let me know if there's more after tomorrow - I'm sure that'll be an interesting meeting!!

    Also thanks AM - I will deff post a trip report upon returning. :)
     
  5. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    I share the concerns Van Isle and AM have about making any direct shot to the Brokens out of Ucluelet. THAT'S OK for many, but lots of relatively inexperienced paddlers were better off to use the Toquart Bay -Hand route to bite off smaller chunks of open, possibly rough water.

    I've scouted that camp on S Stopper, and it is meager as hell and does not gain you much. Once you get that far, if your energy is good and conditions are OK, you are better off to head for Hand, where more flat spots, better beaches, and a composting toilet will make for a better evening.

    From Ucluelet, wouldn't Clarke be the obvious target, or maybe Turret if Clarke is full up?
     
  6. bigbear

    bigbear Paddler

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    Lets be serious here. I have been going to the Broken Group when ocean kayaking was in its infancy. This is now a heavily used area with alot of people with little/no experience. Manageable out of Toquart, short stints....progress out to outer islands. Going on outside, for the experienced, or those willing to challenge themselves.
    To cross the channel from Ucluelet or from Bamfield........that is a crossing NOT for the inexperienced. If you decide to choose that option.........beware of the weather......both those channels can have HUGE seas....

    I personally would not recommend either of those options (Bamfiled/Ucluelet) unless you consider yourself experienced and able to paddle in BIG water.....
     
  7. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    You nailed it, bigbear. I hope we don't see groups of inexperienced people launching from Ucluelet for a straight shot to Clarke, etc. Could be carnage.
     
  8. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    A what if:
    I wonder about the small community halfway along the shoreline betw Ucluelet and Toquaht, Salmon Beach. Connect from Ucluelet rather than from the Toquaht road. Looks like a launch, and BlueHaven has a B&B there. If parking can be arranged with them or others nearby, it might just be an alternative.
    Paddle from the launch in some shelter behind all the small islands along Macoah Passage until crossing over to the Stoppers as usual to the BG.

    Might work, might be worth a call.
     

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  9. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    That, or possibly a spot close to the housing in the IR (west end, looks like a road headed toward the shoreline). That would reduce the paddle distance and increase the protection. I bet the locals and the guides will dose this out pretty quick.
     
  10. jk

    jk Paddler

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    I did the crossing from Ucluelet as part of a scenic tour along the north shore of Barkley Sound. It involved skirting the Vancouver Island shore heading east towards Toquaht Bay, turning right at Forbes Island and crossing to the Broken Group by jumping along the little islands (Page, Hankin) to Turret Island, which was necessary because of heavy fog. A longer route, but the general rule is it'll be nasty anywhere in nasty conditions and once you're in the cover of the outer channels and islets it'll be less gnarly. So I would not rate this any more dangerous than a launch from Toquaht Bay in reasonable conditions. Salmon Beach is my version of trailer-trash hell in the disguise of ocean view cabins, completely inappropriate development for the character of the West Coast wilderness. Because it is private property I doubt residents will take kindly to this becoming an alternative public launch for BGI, even if you could sneak in just the one time. To me the biggest obstacle of a Ucluelet launch is the return weather. If slightly adverse, usually you'll have a tailwind back to Toquaht Bay but to get to Ucluelet it would probably be against you. So getting out would definitely be more of a gamble. But if your schedule is flexible a morning crossing in light wind then skirting the shoreline is probably achievable for anyone who is capable of Turret to Toquaht. I've been in nasty conditions in David Channel south of Stopper Islands, so Toquaht is no all-weather alternative.
     
  11. Jurfie

    Jurfie Paddler

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    I was going to post the same suggestion yesterday, but was waiting for Liam to report back after the community meeting.
     
  12. ken_vandeburgt

    ken_vandeburgt Paddler

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    Its located at end of Seaplane Base Road.
     

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  13. nootka

    nootka Paddler

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    If you launch from Ucluelet, where do you park your vehicle?
     
  14. nootka

    nootka Paddler

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    Parking at the ucluelet campground is $5/ day or $25/week.
    You do not need reservations for parking.
    Campground entrance is 500 meters from the launch.
    http://www.uclueletcampground.com/
     
  15. WaterMark

    WaterMark Paddler

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    Some friends recently took a water taxi from Ucuelet to Sechart Lodge, and launched from there. They booked the water taxi through the Lady Rose office, I believe, and it ended up costing the same as taking the Lady Rose, but with more schedule flexibility.