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 Post subject: Broken Island Group mid May 2009 -- (many photos)
Unread postPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 7:08 pm 
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Mick, myself, and Ricky (a friend from Oregon) started out early Saturday May 9th to travel to Ladysmith for a quick stop at the Vancouver Island Paddlefest and then head to Toquart Bay to spend a week in the Broken Group. We would encounter good sunny days, rainy days, and certainly no shortage of windy days during our eight day trip. For two days we would experience 45 knot winds. We had one day of hard rain and another day of showers. All in all, and although most of our gear was a bit damp, we had enough great weather that the poor weather didn't make much difference to us.

Our first night was on Hand Island where we shared the campsite with a large group of very friendly travelers from Vancouver, Merit, Whistler, Saskatchewan, and Norway. Part of this group would also head to Clarke Island, where we would share a campsite for a couple more nights before they left. We would then have Clarke all to ourselves for the next 3 nights before paddling back to Hand the night before we left the Brokens.

This was my second time to the Brokens, and it won't be my last -- what a fantastic place to paddle!

Packing kayaks at Toquart Bay - it's always amazing that all this gear will fit in the boats:
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A bald eagle watches as we prepare for our trip:
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Camping on the beach on Hand Island:
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Leaving a food dry bag unattended for a mere few minutes, Ricky discovers that the mice on Hand Island are quick little fellows:
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Paddling to Clarke on Sunday -- it was a little bit lumpy:
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We arrive on Clarke to find our camp mates from Hand Island already set up:
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A great bunch of people to share a campsite and island with:
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Eagles everywhere. It seemed that there were eagles at every turn during the entire trip:
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Lots of robins too:
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The beach at the campsite on Clarke:
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Looking across Coaster Channel towards Effingham Island (right side of the photo) from Clarke:
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We were expecting lots of rain so some precautionary measures were taken during my camp setup:
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Our kitchen on Clarke:
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Heading to the Tiny Group for a day paddle:
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Somewhere along the shoreline of Turret Island:
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Ochre stars:
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Marine life in a small cove on Turret (the flowery looking creatures are orange sea cucumbers):
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Stopped on the beach at Dodd Island for lunch:
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Mick:
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The Tiny Group:
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Heading back to Clarke on the outside of Dodd and Willis Islands:
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Sunset on Clarke:
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Mmmm... Mick baked some muffins:
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Morning view from our kitchen:
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Gulls:
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Lots of crows throughout the Brokens -- you really need to watch your food -- leave it for a moment, and these smart guys will be in it before you know it:
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Moon snail casing:
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Another day of wind and swell:
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Ricky paddling around Benson Island:
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Between the last photo and the next photos, we paddled close enough to the exposed outer shoreline in two meter-plus swell that it was a bit gnarly so I didn't get any photos. As we came around the backside of Benson we stopped on the beach, took a look around the campsite, and then did some exploring in some great tidal pools.

Black turban snails:
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Sea sacs:
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Limpids (and a lone black turban snail):
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Sculpin (about 2 1/2 inches long):
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Sea anemone:
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Waves on the leeward side of Benson:
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Dandelion and Indian Paintbrush on Benson:
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Beaches on Benson:
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Does it get any better?:
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Twisted:
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Mink on Benson:
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Heading back to Clarke from Benson:
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Foam. Lots of foam:
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Mink on Clarke:
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Beach on Clarke in front of our campsite:
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Looking towards Loudoun Channel from Clarke campsite:
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Mmmm... freshly caught crab makes for a good pre-dinner appetizer:
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Deer on Clarke:
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Another bald eagle:
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Oyster catcher at Hand Island:
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Looking down Sechart Channel towards the Deer Group:
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Paddling in the Pinkertons:
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Deer on Hand Island:
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Batstars -- lots of them in about ten feet of water along the shoreline of Hand Island. They covered the sandy bottom for a distance of roughly a hundred meters:
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Sunflower star in the Stopper Islands:
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Painted star in the Stoppers:
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Back at Toquart Bay -- loaded up and ready to head home after a terrific week:
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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 7:14 pm 
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Wow, thanks for sharing the pics. I've fond memories of a couple of trips there. I bet you escaped the crowds of midsummer as well. Good times...


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Unread postPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 7:18 pm 
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On two days we were 3 of only 4 people in the entire park. Other than the group that we shared campsites with on Hand and Clarke, we only saw about a half dozen other people until the second to last day which was the beginning of the long weekend when we saw about a dozen other paddlers.

We even had a very pleasant surprise visit from ken_vandeburgt on our last night on Hand Island.

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Unread postPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 8:17 pm 
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Thanks for sharing those outstanding photos, Dan. After breaking my back bending over the build for four hours this evening I needed another reminder of "why".

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Unread postPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 10:19 pm 
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Dan, thank you for the photos! Wonderful as always, and making me wish again for more free time....

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 10:29 pm 
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Awesome photos as always :D I am definitely heading there some time this summer.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 11:20 pm 
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Great photos of your adventure! Thanks for sharing!!!

John

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 11:24 pm 
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Thanks for the kind words everyone.

I should mention that Benson Island is closed to camping for the year. It was unclear as to the actual reason (we were told a few different stories) and there are currently no signs telling you that you cannot camp there. The park attendants told us that day visits are fine -- they also said that signs announcing the camping closure will most likely be posted on the island before summer.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 8:02 am 
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Thanks for all the great photos! :D

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 7:01 pm 
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While in Tofino I read in a local paper about closing Benson for camping also. Still open for day use,yes. As to reasons, they mentioned something about native heritage and something about reducing impact.


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 Post subject: Re: Broken Island Group mid May 2009 -- (many photos)
Unread postPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 11:22 pm 
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Beautiful pictures! I can see MANY strong contenders for a future wallpaper, but the colour of the water in this one makes it my favourite:

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun May 24, 2009 10:49 pm 
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Wow. Love the photos and the narrative as well, Dan. Got the heavy Jones to get back out there. Couple questions:

1. Couple years ago Parks closed Benson during an archeological assessment. Might it be they found some sites they want to protect from encroachment or potholing?

2. Also, back in 2005 (I think), wolves had apparently reduced the deer populations to near zero on many of the larger islands, Clarke excepted (Benson, also, I suspect). We saw loss of browse developing, to a level never before seen, on Gilbert and Effingham that year, and spotted wolf track on our beach on Gilbert.

Did you see any signs of wolves anywhere? Did it appear the extant deer were keeeping grass and other browseable greenery down?

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun May 24, 2009 11:28 pm 
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Astoriadave wrote:
Wow. Love the photos and the narrative as well, Dan. Got the heavy Jones to get back out there. Couple questions:

1. Couple years ago Parks closed Benson during an archeological assessment. Might it be they found some sites they want to protect from encroachment or potholing?

That could very well be, Dave. I really don't know -- I was in contact a while back with Parks Canada when I first heard about the possibility of Benson being closed -- I'll get back in touch and see what they're saying.

Quote:
2. Also, back in 2005 (I think), wolves had apparently reduced the deer populations to near zero on many of the larger islands, Clarke excepted (Benson, also, I suspect). We saw loss of browse developing, to a level never before seen, on Gilbert and Effingham that year, and spotted wolf track on our beach on Gilbert.

Did you see any signs of wolves anywhere? Did it appear the extant deer were keeeping grass and other browseable greenery down?

Ricky and I both saw wolf tracks on different beaches on Clarke. There was also a doe and a fawn on Clarke -- I assumed it was the same two that we saw there last summer as the fawn was a bit bigger. Grass was nicely manicured. I didn't get to Gilbert, but Mick and Ricky paddled there one day -- they didn't say anything about signs of wolf when they returned.

We also saw a deer on Benson and on Hand.

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 Post subject: Great Photos - What Camera?
Unread postPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 3:51 pm 
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Hello and thanks for sharing the great photos.

I'm about to begin my second season of kayaking and I'm really looking forward to it because my wife has decided to join me this year. I got her a poly Necky Eliza last week, to go with my Necky Chatham 16 that I got last year. I'm sure we're going to have some great times this summer :D .

I like to document my trips as much as possible too and after viewing your photographs, I have to ask, what type of camera etc. do you use?

I got an Olympus SW 850 last year because it was waterproof / shock proof and it worked well but the image quality was mediocre. Your images are fantastic. If you don't use a waterproof camera, what do you do to protect your equipment from the elements :?: ?

I'ld like to have an idea of how much my lack of photography skills have to do with my less than great photos as opposed to maybe my inferior camera.

Cheers,
Daniel


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Unread postPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 8:53 am 
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Thanks for the report Dan.
It's good to keep up on paddling areas on the West Coast.
I am attempting to experience each region seperately...it's good to read people's experiences in areas I haven't been to yet.
The info is great for future planning.

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 Post subject: Re: Great Photos - What Camera?
Unread postPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 9:10 am 
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Gollum wrote:
If you don't use a waterproof camera, what do you do to protect your equipment from the elements :?: ?

Here's what I use:

Image

A Canon S3 IS point and shoot with two 52mm lens adapters, a 52mm Raynox DCR 6600PRO wide angle converter, a polarizing filter (linear polarizer works fine with the S3), a haze-1 filter, 2 sets of 4 AA rechargeable batteries in storage cases (plus one set in the camera), and 3 - 2 GB high speed SD memory cards.

I keep everything in a Underwater Kenetics waterproof box (#5010). I've modified the box by adding a lash tab on each side (to attach to my deck rigging).

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 7:00 pm 
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Re: Benson Island Closure
Benson Island is the Origin Island of the Tseschat First Nation, and home of the Village site of Ts'cha (spelling?).

Due to the recent signing of the Ma-nulth Treaty (5 Nuu-chah-nulth bands have signed on to this treaty)there is a new relationship between Pac Rim National Park Reserve and several Nuu-cha-nulth First Nations.

Benson Island is being closed as it will soon be managed cooperatively by both Parks and the Tsechat.


*Note: The Broken Group is part of the Pacific Rim National Park RESERVE. The word 'Reserve' is highly important. Until recently no Nuu-cha-nulth First Nations had ever signed a treaty with the Provincial Government (no treaties that were broken, no treaties that were unfair, no treaties that were not lived up to, simply NO treaties). Therefore, the Pacific Rim area (Broken Group, Long Beach, and West Coast Trail) were designated a National Park Reserve as opposed to simply a National Park. This is in recognition of the federal governments desire to designate the area a National Park, but in recognition to the prior legal title held by First Nations which have never been ceeded to the crown.

Hopefully this lengthy answer answers some questions.

:)


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Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 7:45 pm 
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Welcome to the site, VanIslePaddler.

Benson Island is not closed, you're able to stop there and do whatever you like, you just can't camp there anymore (for the time being anyway).

If you do some searching on this website, you'll find a very lengthy discussion regarding the Ma-nulth treaty.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 8:20 pm 
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Wonderful photos Dan!
Wooden kayaks look so beautiful on the water!


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 1:01 am 
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Dan_Millsip wrote:
Welcome to the site, VanIslePaddler.

Benson Island is not closed, you're able to stop there and do whatever you like, you just can't camp there anymore (for the time being anyway).

If you do some searching on this website, you'll find a very lengthy discussion regarding the Ma-nulth treaty.


Thanks Dan, yeah your right, sorry I did forget to mention it is open for day trips.

Closed for Camping.
Open for Day Trips.

After I wrote this, I did read more regarding the Ma-nulth treaty on this site. All 6 pages of it... I found it highly disconcerting (for reasons I wont get into in this thread).

Great photo's of the BGI's... I think you truly captured what a trip there can be like. Beautiful weather (albeit windy sometimes), beautiful scenery, and nice people.


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 Post subject: broken group
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 6:32 pm 
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Awesome pics!!! The Broken Group are on my list, especially the outer islands. Is that a shearwater from clc boats that Mick is paddling???


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 Post subject: Re: broken group
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 8:33 am 
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magnus wrote:
Is that a shearwater from clc boats that Mick is paddling???


no. it's a stitch&glue Guillemot, designed by Nick Schade, built by me.

Daren........

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 Post subject: Re: broken group
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2010 9:00 pm 
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DarenN wrote:
no. it's a stitch&glue Guillemot, designed by Nick Schade, built by me.

Daren........


Thanks for the info. Looks like a great job Daren!


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 Post subject: Re: broken group
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2010 9:06 pm 
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magnus wrote:
DarenN wrote:
no. it's a stitch&glue Guillemot, designed by Nick Schade, built by me.

Daren........

Thanks for the info. Looks like a great job Daren!


It's been a while since I've been on the clc website. It's nice to see some new kits available. I built my arctic hawk about 6 years ago and swear by it! Have a good one.


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 Post subject: Re: broken group
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 2:24 am 
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magnus wrote:
It's been a while since I've been on the clc website. It's nice to see some new kits available. I built my arctic hawk about 6 years ago and swear by it! Have a good one.


that S&G Guillemot was not a kit. i built it from plans that Nick Schade made available online, free of charge.

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