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 Post subject: WHERE DID YOU PADDLE - September 2011
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 2:15 pm 
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beat you to it Maddie :lol:

Paddled the Squamish River on Sunday, Sept. 11 from Ashlu Bridge to the Estuary in Squamish. River conditions are fantastic right now and with the Salmon run on there is lots of wildlife to view. Pictures will be forthcoming once my bow paddler/photographer sends me some pictures.


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 Post subject: Re: WHERE DID YOU PADDLE - September 2011
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:56 pm 
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Location: Prince George, BC
I paddled in Wells Gray Park Sept 1-4th, doing the west side of Clearwater Lake and then the south side of Azure Lake. I would love to post some photos, but unfortunately my camera lies at the bottom of Clearwater Lake. There are some photos of the area (not mine) in Google Earth. It was quiet most days until the Saturday of the long weekend when many powerboats suddenly appeared on Clearwater Lake. The lakes are at lower elevation than the nearby Murtle Lake area, so the feel of the lakes is distinct. If you are going to Wells Gray, I would suggest Murtle Lake as a first priority.

The most important info for paddlers doing both lakes is the stretch of the Clearwater River connecting the two lakes (see below). Normally the river is too swift to paddle, so there is a portage route about 800m upriver from Clearwater Lake. It is a rough trail about 1km long, and not suitable for a cart. Carrying the kayak (or even a canoe) is not much fun. Apparently if the water is low enough in late summer, it is possible to paddle up the entire stretch to avoid the portage. I couldn't do it on this trip- I got stopped by the current just below where the river from Hobson lake joins the flow (it has been a wet summer, so the water level is higher than normal). It is no problem to run downstream though, so at least it is only a 1-way portage.
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File comment: Google Earth picture of the river connector and portage area
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I didn't see a lot of wildlife- I did pass close to a pair of Otters fishing in a small bay, and there were many ospreys fishing over the lakes. The operator mentioned some bear issues near Rainbow Falls, but no-one I talked to had seen anything while I was there. The largest numbers of users on the lakes are the fishers. Motor boats are allowed on the lakes, and they can travel up the river to Azure Lake.

As usual on mountain lakes, wind can be an issue. Not too bad the days I was there. We did get hammered the first evening by a large thunderstorm that left snow on the surrounding mountains. There are designated camp sites along the lake shores, with outhouses and bear-proof storage lockers. I can recommend the camp at Osprey Point on Azure Lake, which is designated for paddlers only.


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 Post subject: Re: WHERE DID YOU PADDLE - September 2011
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 11:34 pm 
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Don't post much here but this was my fun September paddle...

Moon Water Cool

They say there’s no water on the moon; it must thirst for living water. And on a clear full-moon night the surface of the Salish Sea scatters a fully golden radiance – no gibbous half-hearted light – searching from a 403,048 kilometres away. Hitting the water, parched from late summer heat, sweat dripping from my nose, I too looked for quenching upon the surface waters…

I’d meant to leave on the weekend but I just couldn’t shoehorn myself into my Nordkapp anymore; at 230 pounds, well, things were getting tight. Pulling out the Alderson Forager off the fence rack, the load-carrying, deeply-V’d stitch n’ glue of peerless build-quality, still needed a better seat – and a skeg-cable repair. Using an older Necky seat with an inflatable bladder under the molded seat cover, I sat high enough that the low-profile deck actually had merit. While the epoxy dried on the skeg-fin cable-hole, I mounted a Henderson foot pump in the front bulkhead recess. And tried to find all my gear.

Finally, Monday, September 12th 5:00 pm Yvonne’s dropped me off at Cherry Point. I passed Separation Point with the ebb building against a stiff breeze, grateful for the working skeg – my first trip of significance with a skeged kayak. The rips were building already between Grouse Hill and Sansum Point. With 30 years of hard-core paddling an opposing tide just means a nicer workout, though I hugged the Musgrave Point side along Saltspring Island using backeddies, stern wind waves, and strong strokes to thrust me through the narrow channel. Travelling unusually light for me, I’d forsaken my wetsuit, rather wearing quick-dry shorts and a poly tank top – and copious amounts of cold water thawing from days in the freezer, chewing on beef jerky to fuel the long night ahead. No immersion apparel meant no playing in the rip and careful navigation though not much phases me anymore, inured to most threats in those adjacent waters.

There was a bit of a push to clear Bold Bluff Pt. as the sun evaporated behind Vancouver Island, the setting sun igniting the ridgelines of Saltspring Island – Baynes Peak aglow for a short time with eventual dying embers. Deer stood proud at the point. I pulled the Pentax out of my new Aegir deck bag but the battery was dead. Crossing straight to Maxwell Point, I did veer shoreward a little to avoid some of the opposing tidal forces. Stopping near Erskine Point for relief, I donned my rain pants. My Seaseat would abet any capsize recovery with efficiency and elegance but there would be wind chill factors to think about, even considering my fattened state. Without the now-tight wetsuit I’d been dealing with the past summer, I moved quickly through the water without impeeding musculature, each paddle stroke a joy. I’d chosen to employ my Lendal carbon ergonomic paddle, it’s bent shaft helping somewhat to alleviate recent difficulties with carpal tunnel syndrome – a paddle that had sat dormant for 13 years.

Passing under the shadows of Mt. Erskine, heading straight for Dock Point, it had gotten rather dark. With the wind on my back neck, wearing my minimalist Mustang inflatable…I was so very cool. Yes, I was running cool. Finally. After guzzling more fresh, cool water, I placed a glow stick on the back strap of my headlamp and checked my high-output handheld flashlight, clipping it to the vest. Vesuvius Bay and the active ferry dock lay near to my path of travel. Suddenly, a searchlight beamed across Booth Bay, instantly disarming my sense of anything that powerful being man-made. Silly man, it was the full moon, neither waxing nor waning. I turned just in time to see a huge evergreen atop Erskine, perfectly silhouetted before the ascending globe rose higher into the dark night sky.

The glow from Crofton was annoying and ugly so I made a beeline for Parminter Point, spotlighlighting occasionally along the shoreline to foresee any shoals and preserve night vision. My headlamps red-LED setting illuminates the chart just enough to confirm my navigation points. Passing Idol Island, the sea surface became silky smooth. A phosphorescence glow emerged to port and starboard of the bow, disappearing lines of bow wake with each human stroke, surreal, otherworldly. I wished my sweetie could be here to share these moments in time, moments she may never get to experience depending on treatment outcomes. All we get are the moments though and they have been rich ones for us both for so many years…

As I passed Grappler Rock and Southerly Bay I wonder how happy the home owners are along the shoreline of this prime real-estate area. Failed relationships, failing health…what does bring happiness in life? Running steady and running cool. Un-phased, the cool night air was embraced. At Southerly Point I made a beeline for Jackscrew Island, to line me up for landing at Secretary Island across from Chivers Point on Wallace Island (places that in mid-summer can be hard to accommodate one’s tent but, not mid-September). The plan to commando-camp at Walker Hook much further south on Saltspring Island wasn’t looking good; the new seat was cutting some circulation and I didn’t want to cramp-up paddling into the flood and southerly night winds. Looking down Trincomali Channel, the full-moon reflection spanned the entire width it seemed, a molten surface ruffled by the forces acting upon it. It was time for prudence and time to crawl into shelter. 11:00 pm.

Tuesday’s trend was toward cooler temperatures with cloudy skies and it was a definite change of weather for southern Vancouver Island. Leaving by 10:30 am, I pushed against the remaining flood, passing the Pacific Grace near Panther Point on Wallace, then on toward Nose Point still under flood conditions, which seemed like a long run down, though I suprized a seal sleeping on the rocks, his little flippers twitching as he dreamed about big, bad Orcas. Putting in at a shell isthmus on Prevost Island it was time again for paddling pants and then a paddling jacket too. Southerly winds were funnelling up Captain Passage from Swanson Channel and I was maybe a little too cool. Too kewl for school? I knew it was time to lose some weight so things like cockpits and wetsuits might fit again.

After a stretch break near Bear Point on Saltspring at Ruckle Park, I left Beaver Point behind and landed at Arbutus Point on Portland Island at 5:00 pm. The shell midden point is a perennial favourite and there was again, no one there. Dinner was served up on my new Bruton Vapor AF All Fuel stove, the Dal Tadka lentil curry and Palak Paneer cottage cheese in spinach sauce dishes going down smooth. In my wet shorts and damp shirt, I needed something hot.

Wednesday morning proved a nice run with the ebb to Sidney for pickup by my honey despite her chemo week of sickness. I didn’t need to monitor Channel 11 as I shot past incoming ferry traffic and then on through Page Passage. Nick from Active Seakayaking was attending to a swarm of girls from a private school headed to Rum Island, launching from Lochside Drive, singles and doubles and blue paddling jackets everywhere. They all looked ready to paddle and with more southerlies on the way, hopefully in for some cool running.

Doug Lloyd

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 Post subject: Re: WHERE DID YOU PADDLE - September 2011
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 1:24 pm 
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Awesome trip report, Doug.

Regards,
Andrew


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 Post subject: Re: WHERE DID YOU PADDLE - September 2011
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 8:43 pm 
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I hope you don’t mind someone from the US posting a few photos, but WCP is a great site, and southeast Alaska is very similar to BC. It’s rare to see humpbacks bubblenetting near Ketchikan, so this was a nice treat on Saturday. These were taken with a little Pentax Optio W80, but the image quality was reduced to make them faster to upload. I wish I could share the sounds the whales make, so if anyone knows of a decent waterproof audio recorder please post a note.

Mark


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whales lunging 9.17.11 2.JPG
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 Post subject: Re: WHERE DID YOU PADDLE - September 2011
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 6:26 am 
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markh wrote:
I hope you don’t mind someone from the US posting a few photos, but WCP is a great site, and southeast Alaska is very similar to BC. It’s rare to see humpbacks bubblenetting near Ketchikan, so this was a nice treat on Saturday.


WOW, awesome photos, markh! Most of us have never seen bubblenetting in person, so this is a nice treat indeed.

Welcome to the site! We have members from Canada, the US, Austria, and Australia (among other places, I'm sure, but that is all I can remember at 6:20am), so your contributions are more than welcome. Keep 'em coming! I've only paddled once in Alaska (on a lake), but fantasize about it when I've been there (3 times, thus far). :big_thumb

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 Post subject: Re: WHERE DID YOU PADDLE - September 2011
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:17 am 
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http://www.flickr.com//photos/65009403@N03/sets/72157627597395933/show/

Couldn't edit my original post for some reason, but here are the pictures from my recent trip down the Squamish River.


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 Post subject: Re: WHERE DID YOU PADDLE - September 2011
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:29 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 11, 2009 2:08 pm
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Location: Victoria, BC
Paddled out of Port Hardy into God's Pocket for 7 days in sunshine and fog.
Rounding Balaklava one day, we came across this guy/gal in Browning Passage, hunting in 3 feet of water.

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Later on Vanssittart, we found this fellow, taking a short rest from hunting.

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 Post subject: Re: WHERE DID YOU PADDLE - September 2011
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 7:23 am 
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Sweet pictures Gary! I've never seen an octopus in the wild, heck beyond the one at the Vancouver Aquarium I've never seen one outside of TV, very cool! :big_thumb


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 Post subject: Re: WHERE DID YOU PADDLE - September 2011
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:12 pm 
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Thanks Marc. I've seen many octopus while SCUBA diving. But have never seen one this close to the surface.
It looked like an out of place bit of red kelp. So I waited until it revealed itself by displaying a few suckers.
Then I beckoned the group and Mody took the photos. Thank you Mody!

When the water is clear as gin, it is sometimes best to simply 'hover'.

Gary

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 Post subject: Re: WHERE DID YOU PADDLE - September 2011
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 8:40 am 
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Nice Gary! And awesome movie you made of our trip to God's Pocket ...and beyond! Every trip always has a new element or angle to it, this one was definitly the beauty of underwater!

Mody


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 Post subject: Re: WHERE DID YOU PADDLE - September 2011
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 6:22 pm 
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Mody wrote:
Nice Gary! And awesome movie you made of our trip to God's Pocket ...and beyond! Every trip always has a new element or angle to it, this one was definitly the beauty of underwater!

Mody

OK, c'mon Gary, we need to see this video. :D

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 Post subject: Re: WHERE DID YOU PADDLE - September 2011
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 10:59 pm 
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Found myself in Tofino and had a few extra days to amuse myself from the 20th to the 24th. Rounded up a friend with last minute flexibility and headed off to play. Weather had been beautiful, but was about to change. Knowing wind, waves and rain were forthcoming we headed for the Broken Group - one of those heavenly places where wonderful protected paddling coexists so sweetly with the exposed.

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Things quickly changed and the rest of our trip took place mostly in, as well as on, the water...

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Rain is a fact of life paddling on the wet coast, however, especially in the shoulder seasons. And let's face it - gray does make for some great mood lighting.

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While the trip was one of the wettest I have ever done, the rewards were also there. Good food, good company, good paddling, lots of laughter, and many encounters of the natural kind.

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And then this guy decided to join us on land for a day. He crawled out onto the same beach we were camped on, spent the whole day sleeping hard, barely opening an eye when I took to the water for a mid-day excursion or when I returned. He was still there when we made an impromptu evening exit to another island, though at this point he appeared to be waking up and took more interest in the goings on. Too bad I was more concerned with packing the boats at that point than taking pictures. And unfortunately once he was prone all my pictures became vague brown lumps that looked more like driftwood and rocks rather than an up close and personal sea lion.

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It took a week to get the gear all dry and put away (hooray for understanding partners who put up with wet gear draped all over the house), but I'll take torrential kayaking any day.

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