Late Sept: Brokens or Bunsbys?

Discussion in 'General Paddling Discussions' started by DavidB, Aug 24, 2015.

  1. DavidB

    DavidB Paddler

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    New member, newish resident of the Olympic Peninsula (between Sequim and Port Townsend). Wife and I have been up the east side of Vancouver Is. but not the west, and we have a week or ten days in late Sept and early Oct. We've wanted to see the Brokens, but friends tell us they're so crowded nobody goes there anymore. Go to the Bunsbys, they say.

    Where should we go? (We're not experts, but we have touring experience, solid rolls on both sides, and good nav skills.)

    Thanks in advance.

    David
     
  2. Tatlow

    Tatlow Paddler

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    David: you can't go wrong on either choice imo...but let me add a 3rd twist by preference....1. Hot Springs Cove 2. Bunsby 3. Brokens. Order is based on: (all paddling versus boating or flying in) 1 trip to HSC; 1 to Bunsby; and 4 trips to the Broken Group. The first two remain more novel for us. For each at this time of year you will likely experience fog banks that settle in extensively. Enjoy whichever destination you choose to explore.
     
  3. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    David,

    you can't miss with any of those choices. The only caveat might be the greater difficulty escaping the Bunsbys if a high energy system squats on you come time to leave. The Brokens can be escaped within a 2 or 3 hour window, if you are on the beach and ready to boogie. Not the case for the Bunsbys, because of the greater exposure to prevailing storm winds. Taking the inside route from Hot Springs likewise has more protection than exiting the Bunsbys.

    August, early September, not to worry.. Late September, your chances of getting stormbound are higher.

    The other difference is traveltime. If you just have a week window, travel up island from your location may chew up a sizable chunk of that. Perversely, we got hung up on a return from VI in Victoria because the Coho was full up for two days. in lieu, we did the Swartz Bay Tsawassen escape, but with a penalty in added travel time, which nonetheless got us home ahead of waiting in Victoria. We never set ferry reservations on the return, because of the uncertainty of getting out.
     
  4. DavidB

    DavidB Paddler

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    Thanks, folks. Dave, thanks for addressing the combined issues of seasonal weather and escape. Tatlow, thanks for giving me a third option. Since I do want to see the Brokens at some point, and I assume they must be less crowded the later in the year one goes, I'm going to plan in that direction but research HSC, as well.

    Best,
    David
     
  5. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    I agree with Dave's comments on the Broken Group being a decent spot in stormy weather, with quick escape to the relatively nearby launch spot a possibility.

    I've only been kayaking in the Broken Group once, at the end of April last year. Then, we had 'the place to ourselves', seeing one group (who were leaving) on Day 1, and another group of 3 paddlers launching as we left the take-out. Perhaps we were just lucky, or the autumn may be be more crowded. Contacting some of the companies who take guided parties into the Broken Group would give you more accurate info than my kayaking 'single data point'.
     
  6. Rachel_M

    Rachel_M Paddler

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    We've paddled the Broken Group at the beginning of July, beginning of September and towards the end of September. The last trip around 17th September was VERY quiet. 2 campsites completely to ourselves. When we spoke to Parks rep, he suggested there were only approx 20 paddlers in the islands.

    Lots of options if the weather turns bad, as others have suggested. If time is more important than money, you could also use Toquarht water taxi to return you to shore if the weather is rough and you need to get out.

    Rachel
     
  7. DavidB

    DavidB Paddler

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    Looks like the weather is going to cooperate for a trip to the Brokens, starting this Thursday or Friday. Just one more question: while we're bringing enough water for the trip we're planning, it occurs to me to ask if it is possible to re-water at Sechart Lodge, if it were desirable for some reason.
     
  8. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    David,

    The lodge's web site says no, but perhsps you can charm them.
     
  9. DavidB

    DavidB Paddler

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    Ah, well, if that's all it will take... :D

    Thanks, I should've found their site.
     
  10. sludge

    sludge Paddler

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    I have visited the Brokens twice in the month of September. As it happened, we enjoyed great weather both years. There were relatively few other kayakers out there. Boating population was even a little lower late in the month, from about September 24 to 29, but still a comfortably low number once you get past Labour Day.
     
  11. DavidB

    DavidB Paddler

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    What a trip! What conditions! What solitude!

    /takes a breath/

    I'll post a quick report and a link to some pics on the Trip Reports forum.

    Thanks for all your input!