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 Post subject: 20 Reasons not to go to the Deer Group
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2007 4:45 am 
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Having just spent the past 12 days paddling around the Deer Group in Barkley Sound I feel qualified to tell you -- DON'T GO THERE! It's awful. Really awful. You won't like it. Seriously. You won't. It's best to leave this place off your list of locations to paddle and just go somewhere else.

So here's my 20 top reasons for not going to the Deer Group. This is just my interpretation, your mileage may vary.

Reason #1
The road to Bamfield is not paved with gold. In fact, it's 80 plus kilometers are not paved at all. Your car will get dirty. Very dirty. If you got here, you need to like washing your car.
For those of you who read our Bowron Lakes trip you know that my kids did the "moose" thing by holding their hands like antlers at the side of their heads whenever their photo was taken. For this trip, whales were the theme and dorsal fins were the order of the day.

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Reason #2
Caves, tunnels, and water. A noisy combination. Earth shattering loudness as swell surges in and out. If you value your hearing, you'll head back now.

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Reason #3
Awful campsites. Who needs white sandy beaches like this one at Stud Islets? Sand gets everywhere! In your tent, in your sleeping bag. In your shoes and in your kayak. Dreadful stuff.

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Reason #4
Creatures crawling around in the bushes. Making quite a commotion, this black bear created a lot of racket as it feasted on berries while we paddled past. It even fell down out of the bushes once. Sure, it was kind of funny, but no one needs to see this.

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Reason #5
Creatures crawling around on rocks. Lots of mink inhabit the islands. This little fellow was the resident caretaker at Ross Islets campsite. He'd just prance around, rolling in the sand, walking through our campsite like we weren't even there. Quite rude actually.

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Reason #6
Stuff stuck on rocks. Everywhere you look, something is alive and clinging to a rock. Messy stuff should you put your hand somewhere without looking.

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Reason #7
Lots of stuff stuck on rocks. You're out of luck if you like plain old ordinary uncovered rocks.

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Reason #8
The crowds of people you meet. We met a couple from Oregon and they agreed that this was an awful place too. Leaving the kids behind at the camp, we went out for an evening paddle to explore some caves on Fleming Island just to make sure that we had assessed the awfulness of the situation. It was bad indeed.

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Reason #9
Whales. Have you ever had a humpback whale swim past your campsite at 6:00 AM? The noise from their blowhole can really interupt your beauty rest.

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Reason #10
The solitude. Paddling up Useless Inlet we determined that there is just far too much space per person. If you're big on the city, you might as well stay there because this place is not for you.

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Reason #11
Birds! They're everywhere... chirp, chirp, squak, squak. Flying here, flying there. What an annoyance.

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Reason #12
Terrible beaches like this one on Edward King Island. More sand. Nothing more needs to be said except to say that there were lots of oysters in the shallow water that you could step on and twist an ankle.

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Reason #13
Overcrowding. Just cram them in to the smallest spot possible. What's with these barnacles? It's not like there's a shortage of space -- some life forms just like that closeness that being right next door to your neighbour can bring. Not for me.

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Reason #14
Obstacles to trip over. Stuff is all over the place. No one picks up objects that are lying on the beach. You could easily step on one of these -- believe me, it's a lot less painful to step on a piece of Lego. Ouch.

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Reason #15
Swell. Up and down, up and down. Crash on the rocks, make lots of noise. Trying to keep things on the level here? Forget about it.

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Reason #16
The red light district. A visit to the Bamfield Cat House will surely convince you of the vices that are only a short paddle away.
The cats are strays that are fed daily by the owner of the art gallery.

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Reason #17
Afternoon blindness. Ever walk out of a bar at 2:00 in the afternoon? Then you know how bad coming out of a darkened environment into a bright environment can be on the eyes. Hang out in this dark cave on Edward King Island for a while before heading back out and you'll be feeling those 2:00 squinting eyes all over again. Make mine a double.

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Reason #18
No good place to sit. Try finding a comfortable place to sit and watch the setting sun -- good luck pal. There's nothing but rock here. No lazy boy recliners, no leather ottomans. Just rocks.

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Reason #19
Over ambitious children. When your kid starts saying things like "Dad, can we go out in the kayaks so that you can show me how to do a high angle braced turn?" you've got to start worrying. Now all she wants to do is show off.

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Reason #20
Sunsets. You have to wonder what the hullabaloo is all about -- it's just a big ball of fire setting below the horizon. Find a good vantage point and then the waiting begins. Wait for it, wait for it... wait, here it comes. OK, it's gone. Big deal. Time for bed.

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Honestly, if you're looking for a stress free escape from the rat race, don't visit the Deer Group -- there's just far too many things that you need to worry about.

*****

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2007 4:52 am 
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Terrific photo essay, Dan. All the wonderful things I treasure about the DG. What a place. Oh, what about the surge channels? Awful things, running back and forth, never getting anywhere. A regular roller coaster ride.

P.S. Was the Ohiat caretaker in evidence?

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2007 5:03 am 
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Good! Well, I was thinking "damn, I could'a been there!" until I saw these and now I feel better!
Signed,
Green with Envy
:D

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2007 7:19 am 
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ok, i'm not going there....

dan, you need a new camera the pictures suck :wink:

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2007 7:24 am 
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funny stuff Dan!
welcome back

:lol:

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2007 7:30 am 
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Nice pics! Looks like it was a blast!


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2007 7:35 am 
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Thanks for the warning Dan. It really is best that people don't go there. Too bad it didn't work out for you, but that's the West Coast - better to just stay home....
Against all advice, I'm heading up to the Charlottes in 2 days. I'm sure it will be just awful. :)


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2007 7:36 am 
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haha! too funny!! :lol: :lol:

great shots! 8) but i dont care what u say.. i'd go! :P :D


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2007 7:54 am 
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A very well documented warning. Nice job.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2007 8:00 am 
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One can only hope the children are not permanently scarred by such a dreadful experience......... :shock:

Nice shots Dan, thanks for posting them. :wink:

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2007 8:02 am 
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I consider Dan's overview as a personal challenge to find 25 reasons not to go to the Deer Group.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2007 6:26 pm 
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Well, after having had to endure such a dreadful place & those awful conditions I'll bet you just can't wait to get back to work :roll:
As usual my friend.... fabulous photos, even though the subjects were pretty mundane :wink: ... welcome back :)
D & A

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 Post subject: Re: 20 Reasons not to go to the Deer Group
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2007 8:50 pm 
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Dan_Millsip wrote:
Image


VERY nice pictures, Dan! You really have an eye for the photo-ops in everything. I'm jealous.

Perhaps this one would make a good October...

:wink:


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2007 7:55 am 
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question.. do u actually paddle thru that channel in that 2nd pic? thanks.. :)


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2007 8:46 am 
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ruthk wrote:
question.. do u actually paddle thru that channel in that 2nd pic? thanks.. :)
I have, a couple times, Ruth. Not OK at low water or when there is a sizeable swell on, but fun, otherwise. A couple in a large decked canoe bounced their bow off the inshore wall one time, just after I had run it, so you do have to be careful and time it right.

There is another fun arch on Effingham, in the Brokens, that can be run when the swell is OK, also.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2007 9:05 am 
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Thanks Dan

I'm visiting my folks in the UK. They have never really "got it" when I talk about kayaking.

Just showed your photo essay to my father. NOW he does.

PS Stunning photographs. The kayak silhouette with the mist behind has just become one of my all time favourites.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2007 12:27 pm 
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Awful trip report! Terrible photos!!

Can't wait not to go there...


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 Post subject: Re: 20 Reasons not to go to the Deer Group
Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2007 9:24 am 
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I wrote:
Perhaps this one would make a good October...


Wait...I mean September! I keep forgetting which month it is for some reason... :?


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2007 9:39 pm 
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WOW.........awesome pics Dan, just like you described it. Don't think I would ever wanna go there.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2007 9:21 am 
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God, it looks awful! You poor guy. Sorry. Thank heavens I can go stick my head in an oil slick! Yay for urban paddling.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2007 4:47 pm 
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Dan's skill with the camera never ceases to amaze me.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2007 9:36 pm 
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These pics make me think twice about going again! Great shots and story.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 3:17 am 
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G'day Dan,

amazing piccies mate. thank you or sharing!

I now have 20 new screensavers. :D

If I do nothing else in my life, I want to paddle your waters!

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 Post subject: 20 reaseons not to paddle the Deer Group
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 7:15 pm 
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I've been out to the Deer Group twice. Just like Dan the first time was awful, so was the second. There's nothing "Deer" about this group. It should be called the Godforsaken Group. :wink:


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Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 12:32 pm 
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Great pics Dan. I have been out there before and these photos make me want to go again. You forgot about the porpoises that race past you and make you feel really slow; they are such show-offs. :lol:

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