My Gulf Island Trip

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by thunderseed, Aug 10, 2014.

  1. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    I think the part of thunderseed's trip report which fascinated me was her visit to Shingle Point and its graveyard. There is a hollow history there begging to be filled. The photos of abandoned houses, one modern, one old; the tumbled and fallen monuments and tombs. They all tell a story, but the narrators are gone, I suspect. A people lived there, and many remain after death. Would new people come to settle those grounds, make children, harvest food, and light their lives with joy? Or, not? I have not visited Shingle Point, but I have passed it half a dozen times. And I wondered then who lived there, why did they leave, where did they go, and why?

    The Gulf Islands have a marbled history, from native times to the present, with some unusual people who occupied some of the islands. But Shingle Point seems as if it could be repopulated fruitfully, not with McMansions, but with homes and clotheslines and runabouts and a dock or two. Perhaps some older folk who lived there once, and new ones to tend the graves, dig the wells, till the gardens, and make it a living place again.

    I like that kind of enigma. I'm glad it was brought to us.

    PS as for the rats and mice elsewhere ... ewwwwwww! Don't like em! :wink: :lol:
     
  2. Kathryne

    Kathryne Paddler

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    Honestly, I don't see where you were cut down by any poster. After commenting on the tone of the report (which I was also suprised by), both offered encouragement, suggestions, and further clarification of the reasons why they got the impression that you didn't really enjoy your trip.

    I've been to most of the places in your post and have a very different impression, so it is interesting to read your take on it. I don't think that's nitpicking. It's just interesting to try to reconcile mine and other people's impression of the area with yours. If you post it, it is an invitation to comment on it. I think everyone who commented here and on your prep thread have been very supportive and encouraging - perhaps maybe a bit confused by tone and some of the harsh (ugly, desolate, boring, disgusting, vile, etc.) descriptions of what you experienced. Most people tend to focus on the things they loved about their trips while simply noting a few drawbacks, so it's unusual to see those types of descriptions in trip reports especially since you do clarify later that you did enjoy the challenge and are proud of yourself for perservering.

    I loved the photos and congratulations on completing your adventure without any major mishaps! It's a big deal, and you should be proud of yourself. You took on some water and weather conditions that I would probably call as a no-go, and I have been on a lot of extended trips. I think the experience you gained is invaluable and it will inform your judgement on future adventures.

    PS: If you do end up in the Broken Group, there are mice on Gibralter. My husband I had fun laying in our tent watching them run between our tent and the fly over top of us. We narrated what we thought the mice would say while they were scurrying around! Every time I have been there, we've experienced this. You might fare better with your hammock!
     
  3. Kathryne

    Kathryne Paddler

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    Agreed!!!! Very interesting part of this report.
     
  4. Rodnak Kayak

    Rodnak Kayak Paddler

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    Thunderseed, here is my take on one of my first trips to that neck of the woods..You will see the comments from a few other paddlers...
    viewtopic.php?f=11&t=4340&p=57370&hilit=Blackberry+Point#p57370
    Yeah the rock faces are indeed cool, maybe I just like "alien". We have run across quite a few seals in our travels, also cool, although some are indeed poisonous! :shock: :wink:
    I think you had a tough go first time out... did you go without a sprayskirt? :shock:
    Also, I did explore Shingle Point also, kind of cool history, and it is indeed a shame if it has been further vandalized. It did not seem so bad when I was there, a while back. One of my fave spots, although it can get a bit crowded, as it is so nice...
    That is the Gulf Islands, and that is the less populated area, Saltspring, Wallace and Galliano (which I also loved) are a bit more crowded, but it is because it is so nice!
    I am sure you will have better trips, as you gain confidence and experience. So try to stay away from Portland Island, Darcy Island (see paddling locations, it is deemed to be haunted! :shock: As they are even nicer and therefore more people paddle there to enjoy them!
    Do not give up on that part of the world! It is a gem to be treasured.
    Remember, try to join us for the WCP Spring Campout next April on Portland, as usual to meet all of us curmudgeons
    Well done, for a first adventure. I am sure your next report will sound more positive, as you gain more experience, and bring more sunblock!
     
  5. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    Yes, quite disturbing. There's some remediation that is required there also.

    **

    Sabrina you chose a long trip to start off - and there might be all kinds of interesting approaches and ideas that you might pick up if you can get out with one or so more experienced ppl that kayak. Maybe join a club and tag onto something where you can observe how others handle situations and maybe jump into a few different kayaks that may perform differently than yours. In my case, I often paddle along almost scraping (actually often rocks etc) the shoreline - as often there are all kinds of interesting things that occur on the sea/land interface.

    I still remember vividly Steve from this site giving me a handlful of trailmix near the end of my first day that changed my whole attitude from run down to invigourated again (and now always carry a little something to munch when getting bagged out). I firmly believe that the most amazing piece of camping gear is a headlamp as that makes it irrelevant what time one arrives at a campsite. One of the most fun times I have camping after I arrive at a campsite late at night is stumbling along pathways with a filled plastic wineglass looking for this or that location to hang my hammock and make my camp. The little critter's eyes in the trees and the odd deer become magical beings that peer and disappear at me as I travel along. If one takes care with food storage (something always happens sometimes tho' - its part of the situation), that can become a feature. I just can't help think of Arthur Rackham's wonderful illustrations as I move thru the experience. Anyway, there's a possibility of magic everywhere.
     
  6. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Wow, those Rackham prints will be giving me nightmares tonight! :D

    Incredibly well done, though.
     
  7. thunderseed

    thunderseed Paddler

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    I love history like that; it's the whole reason why I changed my trip to see the northern side of the gulf islands. My uncle told me the little cemetery was there. Apparently there used to be a no trespassing sign there, but it wasn't there when I went.

    It sounds like the reserve doesn't mind people using the beach, (according to the people I talked to there) they even put in a new outhouse, but they don't want people walking through the graveyard like I did *tsk tsk tsk*.
    It's just to stop the people who damage the graves and they have been damaged considerably already.
    Kind of strange but I also saw some weird blue towels amongst the gravesites, I wondered what those were doing there. Seems like the last place I'd decide to have a shower LoL. Maybe some weird campers.
    It makes me wonder if the people who damage gravesites ever fear being haunted. Probably not, they probably don' t have much of a conscience at all anyway.
    I was afraid of being haunted for taking pictures LoL.

    It really made me start thinking more of my ancestors and what life was like back then. And if life was always about survival, did they ever have time to follow their dreams, and what was the point to their lives?

    If anyone does decide to move into one of those houses, fix it up maybe, they'd sure live on a piece of land with lots of history and right in a beautiful spot too, because the view from there is amazing, you'd see the sunset amazingly. I wouldn't want to live there though, considering people say it's haunted and they hear weird noises at night. LoL but I wonder if someone was to fix up the cemetery and give it some tender loving care if that would stop.

    LoL yeah, mice and rats *shudder*
     
  8. thunderseed

    thunderseed Paddler

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    I'll have to call you Willard from now on LoL, Jk.

    That's funnier than the guy who said I lovvvee being woken up by wildlife. I really hope you guys are just puffing out your chests and aren't for real.

    But if by chance the bragging about loving rats and mice is for real, just please be careful of catching diseases, they probably come over on the boats from cities, you can never know where they've been. FYI a tent has shelter, a hammock doesn't. Mice like to climb trees at night as there are predators on the ground, you do the math. A hammock has a lot of advantages over a tent, but dealing with mice is not one of them!

    Some other points:

    1. Pretty sure you should have been expecting my trip to turn out a lot worse than it really was IMHO due to my lack of experience LoL. Really nothing to surprise you there...

    2. Even my family thought his comment was harsh. Wasn't really nice. Someone else said my essay was odd. Thank you so much for the compliment *sarcasm*

    3. You have a very different view than I on what encouragement is. Dave is a good example of an encouraging person in my eyes.

    4. People shouldn't be writing bias reviews. A good review covers both pros and cons.

    5. I don't know any writer who would ever describe cliffs as "pretty".

    6. Even if I had the worst experience imaginable, why would you want to make me feel bad about it?

    7. A good rule of thumb is if someone posts it, feel free to comment on it, but don't be a jerk.

    8. You said you think my trip report is interesting so you can compare your experiences with mine. Please don't. I'm not interested in competition.

    9. FYI Nitpicking is the act of picking out one tiny word amidst a thousand. So yes, it was nitpicking. He or you didn't even touch on anything else that was positive in my experiences, you just nitpicked about the negative. If you had read all of it, you would have seen that I did focus on all the things I loved.

    10. I clarified in the very beginning of my post that I enjoyed my trip. Okay, I know I'm not incapable of writing so it must be that you misread a lot of my trip report or skimmed it.

    11. While I was there, there were wind warnings fairly often. I kayaked anyways LoL. Not dead yet haha.
     
  9. thunderseed

    thunderseed Paddler

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    Thank you very much for the encouragment. What do you mean by seals being poisonous? Like actually poisionous if you touch them?
    Yeah I went without a sprayskirt, not a big deal. It would be if it was cold out. I've ordered one so I can go paddling in colder weather though, because man did my kayak ever get swamped sometimes, especailly kayaking in the conditions I went through.
    At least my kayak stopped doing that annoying thing where it was turning all the time before.
    Yeah the destroyed tombs are very sad. I liked Saltspring, Galiano, and Wallace, did not like Decourcy at all. Granted, I didn't stay there long, so I didn't really get to see all over the island. A few locals I talkted to by the cut said they didn't have rat infestations there but it is pretty notoriously known for terrible mosquito clouds day and night. Galiano had 0 mosquitos.

    D'arcy Island is one of my goals for when I get more experienced! I just love the morbid history of it. Lepers! How aweful, but it would be so intriguing to go see. I'm sure that would also be quite a thought provoking trip. I had no idea it was supposed to be haunted, but a friend from victoria said there's supposed to be burried treasure there? Or was that another island?
    It's just such a long stretch and long paddle that I'd be afraid to do it anytime soon. That's a long ways.

    You know, I also have injuries. I have a lower back injury and shoulder injuries so I can't do as much paddling as most people, although I guess I probably overdid it a little. The cool thing is my hammock really helped my back, 0 pain there during my entire trip. As soon as I stayed the nighta t my parent's, bam, the pain came back! So I'm even ordering a hammock to use inside my house.
    Anyway, kind of sucks that D'arcy gets populated, maybe I'll save that one for a time of year that is cold, so that no one will be there. I like my privacy. I become very much like a hermit.

    Don't know anything about the other places you mentioned.

    My other goal is to go up the River in Farley Mowats book No Man's River. I might end up having to get another kayak to do that though. Hard shell, river kayak.
    Then when I get even more experienced I want to make a very long trip into the arctic! Surely, I might die during that one :D . I've always wanted to kayak along icebergs though.

    Welll... I have given up on that part of the world, but there are many other parts of the world I'd like to explore. But I would prefer to see more... rural... parts of the world. I'd like to go somewhere where no one else is.
    I don't think I'd ever be the type of person to explore the same place twice anyway, I want to see new things. And it's just not at all what I was expecting. When I read the gulf islands book, it made it sound like it was still a wilderness, but it's really not. There are houses everywhere, it's like camping in someones backyard, but it still happens to be just rural enough that you could die out there and nobody would know, yet you can still hear ambulances and vehicle traffic from Wallace, and besides the seals, the only wildlife there are things you can also find in your backyard at home in the city. I liked seeing lots of seals though.
    I'd prefer to see bears, wolves, cougars, elk, mountain goats, whales and porpoises.
    To each his own. I guess a lot of people here like that, but I would much rather prefer going somewhere where there are no houses or other people at all.

    Yeah, I'm sure as I get more experienced my trips will be better and better.
    Or they might get worse LOL. As I get more comfortable, I might do even more dangerous things.
     
  10. thunderseed

    thunderseed Paddler

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    Just don't run into a Minotaur. :eek:

    Seriously though, I learned lots of things.

    Why arrive at a campsite late at night? Intoxicated? Doesn't seem safe. At all. Hopefully you're with other people! Being solo, that could be dangerous! I hope you're not offended if I don't take that advice. Besides, no drinking for me, I'm a recovered alcoholic.
    Oh I had lots of trailmix, made my own, put in some of those yummy yogort covered raisins, it was very good. I ate very well on my trip because I invested in one of those woodburning campstoves, the biolite kind. So I always had fuel.
     
  11. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Those small woodburning stoves are well suited for the Gulf Islands, with all the small woody debris about. Longtime buddy Ann used hers at Montague, likely very close to where you camped, one very cold May trip, ten years ago. No partyhardies in May, or raccoons for that matter. Seems odd, that.

    So, what's the next adventure, thunderseed?
     
  12. Kathryne

    Kathryne Paddler

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    Perhaps one day you will learn to value feedback of others as a means of growing and learning. Good luck.
     
  13. thunderseed

    thunderseed Paddler

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    Feedback yes, jerky comments no.
    Maybe you were never aware of my first thread, but the only reason I was able to go on this trip was because I did take the feedback of some very helpful members here, and that thread was enormous with feedback that I learned from. They helped me prepare for everything. Without them this wouldn't have been a reality. I literally knew nothing before I had decided to take on this venture, I thought I could just paddle on merrily through dangerous passes and I had wanted to because they had shorter distances between them. I'm sure that the people who taught me would be very interested in knowing of my "drawbacks" because they spent so much time trying to prepare me for my trip. I'm sorry you didn't like my trip report and that it wasn't up to certain standards but I wanted to be honest.
     
  14. thunderseed

    thunderseed Paddler

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    Nice, yeah they are pretty handy. But I had some issues trying to light mine a lot, even though I followed the instructions, I had to go through quite a lot of cotton balls. And I was wondering, a lot, why it is so easy for forest fires to spread when I could barely light a fire in the middle of the summer LoL.
    Montague was my favorite campsite, it was very well kept.

    Well, in the near future I want to find a big lake somewhere around here, bigger than Comox Lake to explore. I'd like to paddle in freshwater for awhile. All that saltwater was aweful on my skin and hair.

    Then I'll do the Broken Islands, when the weather is colder, maybe next fall but I'd also like the challenge of doing something in the Winter.

    D'arcy Island is still one of my major goals, but the long stretch of ocean between it and Victoria intimidates me. It seems like it has a very delightfully dark history there.

    Working my way up to an ultimate goal of taking a trip to the Arctic. You know way past campbell river where those boats go through, all the way up to the Arctic and past to where there is absolutely nothing. I need to get way more experienced to do that though.
     
  15. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    I apologize for those allusions . . . . I was trying, but failed, to convey magic, separation, and otherworldiness.
     
  16. thunderseed

    thunderseed Paddler

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    Oh I see, I just didn't want you to be falling of a cliff or something, but yeah, being out close to nature is very magical.
     
  17. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    I think all your posts are magical Mick, and this one hits the mark -- as does Kathryne's sage advice.

    Thunderseed, I don't see where anyone has given any "jerky" or "harsh" comments -- what I've seen are honest replies and observations to your report. The people who have responded merely have a different perception of your report than you do -- much the same as you seem to have a different perception than probably everyone else here about the beauty of the Gulf Islands.

    One comment about your plans to paddle the Broken Group -- if you don't appreciate the natural beauty of the Gulf Islands, you're likely not going to enjoy the Brokens -- it too is just a bunch of rocks with long stretches of absolutely nothing in between.
     
  18. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Dan is waxing ironic here. He knows the Brokens are intolerably scenic.
     
  19. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    Perhaps a bit more scenic than the Gulf Islands. But essentially, it's still just a bunch of rocks surrounded by salt water.
     
  20. tiagosantos

    tiagosantos Paddler

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