Johnstone Strait Jul29- Aug3 2005

Discussion in 'General Paddling Discussions' started by blondie, Aug 12, 2005.

  1. blondie

    blondie Paddler

    Joined:
    May 29, 2005
    Messages:
    269
    Location:
    Nanaimo
    Jul 30 to Aug 3 2005 was the long awaited Johnstone
    Stait kayaking trip. The five of us rented some
    lovely glass boats at Telegraph cove, loaded up the
    boats, and away we went. Our intended destination
    was Kaikash or farther, but with some wind, rain,
    and a sick group member we weren't making fast
    progress. We pulled into the campsite at Blinkhorn
    pennisula for a rest stop, and instead decided to
    stay for the night. We set up the tarp and made a
    comfortable camp. The sun broke through a few
    times, giving us hope.

    The next morning it was still raining and we began
    a rainy and foggy paddle. Somewhere in someone's
    mind there are glimpses of a day where we paddled
    along the straight, aiming to make the crossing to
    Sophia island to camp. But much dampened by a

    slowed paddling speed, we reached the site just
    before the Orca reserve, and after huddling under a
    tarp and emergency blanket during a lunch the
    decision was made instead to not test the limits of
    the group and camp instead a Kaikash that night.
    Mutters were made about heading home if the weather
    didn't clear, and two or our group opted to sleep
    in the ranger's cabin at the desserted site. We had
    the prime camp site, but spent most of the evening
    under the tarp. Two lessons were learned: West
    coast touring demands a wetsuit, and a full
    separate set of paddling and camping clothes. Two
    of the five of us had this. For my next trip I
    will insist all members do.

    By the morning of the third day, Aug 1, we decided
    that the first two days hadn't happened and were
    not to be spoken of. The early riser came through
    our campsite announcing 7am. After asking if it was
    raining I emerged and was greeted by a stunning
    sunrise.

    I had just come back from the outhouse when the
    call from the beach came: Orcas! Apparently,
    Kaikash is the best beach from which to see Orcas.
    They come by morning and evening, usually near the
    changing of the tides.

    After breaking camp, we headed North through
    Blackney passage where we spent a lot of time
    watching a humpback whale surface and tail flip(!)
    and proceeded into the islands, setting up camp on
    Mound island. We arrived in the area just after
    another group had arrived, and we began to do a
    little searching for campsite dance. There are two
    main sites on Mound island, and a few small ones
    around the area, but we were very lucky to get the
    shell beach Mound site which had ample room to dry
    our very wet gear in the hot afternoon sun, and
    stairs up to soft campsites. We were happy again.
    At this point we discovered someone had left their
    jacket in the cabin at Kaikash, and so much
    discussion ensued about how to recover the jacket
    without too much inconvienience.
    We did some evening paddling in the area, and a
    couple of us stayed up into the night marvelling at
    all the stars. Just before bed, we discovered
    there was bioluminescence. It has been my goal to
    either swim in, or paddle in water with
    lumiescence, but at midnight, bundled in fleece,
    and the boats already tied up for the night, I
    remained content to throw rocks and swish my hand
    around. Next time.


    The next morning we headed up to Village but didn't
    stop there, the worked our way through the islands
    back to Blackney, stopping at some nice little
    beach for a lunchtime sunning.

    Back at Kaikash, we found the jacket and even a
    decent campsite among the masses. The Orcas came,
    moring and night. Two of us again, stayed up for
    the stars and luminescence, but it wasn't as strong
    in the waters of the Strait. Temperature dependent
    maybe? The next morning as we paddled back to
    Telegraph cove we encountered a pod of orcas with
    young. We watched them play for some time and them
    headed onwards.

    It was about two and a half years ago that I first
    stepped into a kayak, and the addition proceeded
    radpidly from there. Every kayaking trip has its
    challenges, rewards, and learning experiences. The
    rewards on this trip were the Orcas and Humpbacks,
    the stars and the calm waters. The challenges were
    a few crossings and currents that had to be handled
    carefully, and were done successfully. We learned that
    even a group of experienced paddlers needs a declared
    leader, and that sunny weather is never a given and those
    with wetsuits and good gear usually have to give up their
    dry clothing to those without!

    All in all, a great trip. Now where to go next?
     
  2. Komatiq

    Komatiq Paddler

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2005
    Messages:
    152
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    blondie Sounds like a great trip, thanks for sharing.

    Bet you would have liked to have a few more days huh.

    The back side of Quadra Island is a nice area but can get a little congested mid-season. Launching from Heriot Bay or taking the ferry over to Cortes put's you in the Discovery Islands and not far from Desolation Sound. There is some challenging water but it's well worth the effort.


    Cheers,
     
  3. jurgenk

    jurgenk Paddler

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Messages:
    510
    Location:
    New Hazelton, BC
    It sounds like you made the most of the experience blondie. I have never kayaked in groups, but been involved in group/leader dynamics most of my life (team sports, military, and logging) with males, and I imagine that this can be a real sticking point in the group if it is not well set out in advance. Particularly as some males (sorry fellows, it is a generalization that, in my experience, is more true than not) have difficulties not being "alpha", and resist following.

    Are you going to put yourself up for the much coveted, and rarely appreciated, "declared leader" position next time blondie? :D
     
  4. Dave_Barrie

    Dave_Barrie Paddler

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    1,002
    Location:
    Victoria
    Sounds like you had fun despite the bad weather at the start. We must have just missed you....we had great weather :p but not so many whales :cry:

    Isn't that spot on Mound Island spectacular? It was our basecamp for the entire trip. I pitched my tent on the sheld nearest the beach...I've never slept as well anywhere before.
     
  5. blondie

    blondie Paddler

    Joined:
    May 29, 2005
    Messages:
    269
    Location:
    Nanaimo
    So I figured out how to add pics! Enjoy

    Orcas from Kaikash, West side of Johnstone Strait
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  6. DarrenM

    DarrenM Paddler

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2005
    Messages:
    3,732
    Location:
    Victoria BC
    I can't see them :cry:
     
  7. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Messages:
    9,305
    Location:
    Beautiful BC
    Nice pictures. I want to go, too. 8)

    *****
     
  8. DarrenM

    DarrenM Paddler

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2005
    Messages:
    3,732
    Location:
    Victoria BC
    Hmmm now I can :?:

    Nice! 8)