Southern Gulf Islands

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by LAM, Jun 29, 2019.

  1. LAM

    LAM Paddler

    Joined:
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    Our vacation time seemed to sneak up on us pretty quick this year and we found that we had little time to plan a big kayak trip. We decided that we would paddle around the Southern Gulf Islands which would be a more relaxed kayak adventure than what we normally would have planned. This trip was nice as we didn’t have any really early mornings or any really long paddling days.

    Monday June 17th we launched from Bennett Bay on Mayne Island. We paddled up Navy Channel and crossed Swanson Channel. We had a brief stop for a snack at Richardson Bay on the South East end of Prevost Island then continued up the East side of Prevost to James Bay. The paddle along Prevost was nice and mellow with time spent enjoying the starfish and anemones along the low tide shoreline.
    Bennett Bay.jpg
    Break on Prevost.jpg
    We shared Prevost Island with a paddler from Chilliwack and enjoyed his company for the evening. In the morning we packed up and paddled along the West shore of Prevost as we made our way to Portland Island. The water and weather were both favourable which made for a nice morning. We waited for ferries to pass by before we were able to cross Satellite Channel and we arrived on Portland and had the Arbutus Point campsite to ourselves until the fellow we met on Prevost paddled up later in the afternoon.

    We spent two full days and three nights on Portland. We hiked the Island twice and lazed about in the sun on the beaches reading and taking many pictures. We met a fellow from Bend Oregon who was paddling from Swartz Bay BC to Glacier Bay AK. We shared 2 evenings and a few stories with him and wished him a safe journey as we packed up and moved on to South Pender Island.

    The Beaumont Marine Park has modified it’s campsite from the last time we were there in 2007. The campsites are very close together. We had the first night to ourselves but 2 other sites were taken on our last night there. We enjoyed a hike up to Mount Norman to take in the spectacular view and then a visit to Poets Cove Resort where we had a shower, did laundry, refilled water, ate Pub Food, and restocked our beer supply and I purchased a bottle of Chardonnay which I was saving for the Cabbage Island Sunsets!
    Beaumont Marine Park, South Pender.jpg
    Beaumont.jpg

    Poets Cove.jpg
    Thursday morning we packed up and moved to Narvaez Bay on Saturna Island. We paddled through Pender Canal. Once again the water was like glass, no wind and no boat traffic. A paddlers dream. We cut straight across Plumper Sound and followed Saturna down to Bruce Bight where we stopped for a snack. Continuing on we came across the feral goats of Saturna. Then Monarch Head. Such a treat. The sandstone sculptures are so cool to look at. We took our time and enjoyed this area and took many photos.
    Bruce Bight.jpg
    Doug and Goats.jpg
    Monarch Head.jpg
    Sandstone Honeycomb.jpg
    Soon we were at Narvaez Bay. We wanted to stay here as this is a newer camp site and we wanted to check it out, but also because it set us up nicely for the paddle around East Point the next morning. We went for a hike up to Monarch Head where the view litterally took our breath away. We saw a few whale watching boats heading for East Point, but no whales.
    Narvaez Bay.jpg

    View from Monarch Head.jpg



    Continued on page 2......
     
  2. LAM

    LAM Paddler

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    page 2

    Up fairly early the next morning to catch slack at East Point. Again a gorgeous morning, calm water, no wind, no boat traffic. We cruised down Saturna Island past Fiddlers Cove at an alarming 9 km/hr and were starting to get a bit concerned as we were getting close to East Point. We had planned rounding East Point at slack current and it was starting to look as if we miscalculated but then in the blink of an eye the water went from moving fast to dead slow. We got to East Point in the calmest conditions. It was pretty magical sitting there taking it all in. Boiling Reef was as flat and calm as could be. There was not another boat or human in sight. These are the moments that make packing all those ikea bags and gear up and down rocky terrain worth it.
    Clear Sailing for East Point.jpg

    East Point.jpg

    Sitting at East Point.jpg
    We paddled up the North side of Tumbo Island at a leisurely pace enjoying all the starfish in this area and reaching Cabbage Island at 9:30 am. We were the only ones there.....for a few hours! We set up camp and then walked around the island. There were a few boats moored in Tumbo Channel. We took my bottle of Chardonnay out to the West tip of Cabbage on our first night there and enjoyed a spectacular sunset.
    Doug.jpg
    Cabbage Island Sunset.jpg
    Cabbage Island Sunset 2.jpg
    Kayaks at Cabbage Island.jpg

    The next day we paddled around Tumbo hoping to spot some Orcas at East Point, but no such luck. Still it was a very enjoyable paddle and the water once again flat and boat free.

    Day 10, we packed up and headed back to Bennett Bay going through Belle Chain Islets. The sea lions were long gone but the seals did not disappoint. There were so many of them and so curious. Such fun little sea creatures.
    Belle Chain Islets.jpg

    This was truly a very relaxed kayak trip. We did not put on many miles but we both went through 2.5 books and too many games of crib. Our paddling time was kept to mornings and all days the water and weather were perfect.


    We saw some wildlife. The usual suspects on a Gulf Island Trip.
    Chickadee.jpg
    Deer on Pender.jpg
    Harlequin Ducks.jpg
    Eagle.jpg
    heron.jpg
    Raccoon.jpg
    River Otter Mom and Babe.jpg


    Lila
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2019
  3. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Astoria, Oregon, USA
    Superb trip, great report. You guys really managed that well.
     
  4. jefffski

    jefffski Paddler

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    Jan 2, 2014
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    Great story. Where did you replenish water?
     
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  5. LAM

    LAM Paddler

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    We replenished water at Poets Cove Resort. The people there were very helpful and friendly. There is a kayak/bike rental area there and the young man operating it pointed us to the hose and said fill up and come back if you need more.

    Lila
     
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  6. benson

    benson Paddler

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2011
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    Location:
    Sequim, Wa
    Thanks for sharing the great photos and report. Looks like you timed your weather window perfectly...especially for June. Poets Cove is certainly a contrast to kayak camping, but a treat after a few salty days on the water.