Vancouver fireworks

Discussion in 'General Paddling Discussions' started by camshaft, Jul 21, 2010.

  1. camshaft

    camshaft Paddler

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    Being a newbie...
    I wanted to see if paddling to see the fireworks was a good idea ? Sounds like a great idea but my obvious concerns being the abundance of motorized boats at night.

    If any attempt was made obviously I would need to purchase a 360 light and some added reflective strips.

    appreciate any tips, comments
    thanks
     
  2. Tootsall

    Tootsall Paddler

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    Given the recent accident on Shuswap where, immediately after a fireworks show, a speedboat rammed a houseboat head on (killing the houseboat operator and putting several passengers in hospital), I've reconsidered the wisdom of being on the water when everyone's night vision is shot.... excessive speed and possibly booze notwithstanding.
     
  3. Steve_Fairbairn

    Steve_Fairbairn Paddler

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    Been there, done that many, many times over the past several years. You will find quite a few kayaks and canoes out for the fireworks. The obvious danger is the huge number of powerboats and the copious amounts of alcohol consumed aboard them during the event. The other issue is where to park and put in. I'm sure everyone who regularly paddles out for the fireworks has their own process however this is generally the process I follow based on past experiences.

    We put in at the boat launch at Kits Point next to the Coast Guard station. They close Kits Point to car traffic around 5 pm so you need to get down there before that. Parking at the boat launch can also be a bit dicey as the Bard On The Beach is also going on down there. Basically, get there early to park then take yourself out for dinner or go for a walk or whatever.

    We generally get on the water around 8pm and go for a paddle around Kits Beach and English Bay. As the power boats begin to congregate around the marker floats, we make our way across the channel and paddle around amoungst the anchored boats. As it begins to get dark and the event time approaches, we make our way to English Bay Beach and find a suitable spot next to the beach and up against the marker floats to enjoy the fireworks.

    This is where it gets interesting - after the fireworks are over, there is a mad rush for all the power boats to get into False Creek. Don't even think about trying to cross the channel to get back to Kits Point. We generally hug the north shore and paddle into False Creek, sometimes landing to stretch our legs and kill some time. As you get further into False Creek and some time has past, we cross over to the south shore when safe and then make our way back to Kits Point. By the time we finally get back to the put in, it is about 11:30 to midnight and all of the crowds have pretty much gone and you can load your car and drive away without any problem. Even if you braved the traffic and crossed over right after the fireworks ended, it would still be a good hour before you could drive your car out of the parking lot so be patient.

    Most importantly, have lots of lights. I use a headlamp and a rear deck light. A lot of people fasten light sticks all over their boats. Whatever works for you but it is imperative that you be very visible at all times.

    Have fun!
     
  4. lilydipper

    lilydipper Paddler

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    We watched the fireworks last year from Kits Point, and was amazed by the River of Motorboats heading back into False Creek. It was a gong show, almost as good as the fireworks. Steve's program sounds like a good one, be patient and stay out of the way.
    Bp
     
  5. camshaft

    camshaft Paddler

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    Thanks steve for taking the time to write out that route. Very helpful I appreciate it.
    Goes mec sell glow sticks? I did see a 360 marine light
     
  6. Steve_Fairbairn

    Steve_Fairbairn Paddler

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    Best place to get glow sticks is at the dollar store. My deck light is a Scotty Sea Light which you can get at MEC (for $36) or most kayak stores. The only problem with the deck light is that your body blocks the light so I supplement it with a headlamp.

    DO NOT USE A STROBE OR BLINKING LIGHT! Chances are you will be pulled over by the CG or VPD and told to turn off the strobe. If you cannot you will be sent back to shore. A strobe light of any colour is an emergency signal.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. lilydipper

    lilydipper Paddler

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    Location:
    North Vancouver
    Deep Cove Outdoors sells the HydroStar Deluxe light by Seattlesport. . It kicks Scotty's butt in brightness and functionality.
    Programmed SOS signal
    Strobe,
    360 White
    Red light for night vision
    LED flashlight with two brightness settings
    Sunction Cup base

    Very Bright and only $40. Unfortunately only one left in stock.
     
  8. Rrdstarr

    Rrdstarr Paddler

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    Get the glow sticks, especially when you want to be VERY visible! One on the front of your PFD and one on the back of it. That is what we did for Canada Day in Victoria for fireworks.
     
  9. wilder paddles

    wilder paddles Paddler

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    went to the fireworks last night. paddled from third beach in stanley park to jericho at around 7 then back after the fireworks

    i put glow sticks at the bow and stern as well as some tied to the rigging about halfway from bow to cockpit and stern to cockpit. also put glow sticks on my paddle just above the blades and on on the back of my pfd.

    i had a petzel headlamp that i barely used.

    from the onshore responses i was hearing, i was very visible. WAY more visible than most of the boats out there. how they get away with two little lights is beyond me.
    i passed many kayakers with just one light that i didnt know they were there until i was on top of them.

    on the way back i stayed close to shore and had no problems whatsoever. crossing false creek was the only exception.
    most boats were moving slow enough i could easily keep up with them but a few seemed to be in a hurry. i had a lot of trouble making out the boats as they came in as i was planning my cross. they are just not that visible and the city lights camouflage their lights. as it tuned out i waited about 10 minutes for an appropriate time to cross. turned on my headlamp to illuminate my boat and safely crossed.

    overall it was a good experience and a great night for a paddle.


    Rob
     
  10. camshaft

    camshaft Paddler

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    Thanks rob!

    What is the parking regulations at stanley park that time of night ?

     
  11. Byron

    Byron Paddler

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    We've gone several times plus watched from shore.

    We always buy a bunch of glow sticks from the dollar store but on water testing showed they really aren't that visible unless you are looking for them (too dull). Mainly we wrap them around the paddles and our heads/hat and and more for fun than anything else. We also bought a Scotty but returned it after on water testing...too easy to miss...not very bright with limited dispersion. Bought another version that was far better and use that (forget what brand it is...maybe that Seattlesport one Bob mentioned?).

    Eventually got tired of the parking issues in all the standard spots plus the boat traffic and now go from Jericho. No parking hassle and boat traffic is quite manageable.
     
  12. wilder paddles

    wilder paddles Paddler

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    parking was good at stanley park third beach. had to pay until 9 pm but after is free (so the sigh says) lot was deserted when i got back at midnight. car was still there

    rob
     
  13. wilder paddles

    wilder paddles Paddler

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    as for glow sticks the bigger fatter ones are much more visible. most people i talked to saw me coming from a ways away

    rob