A lap of Galiano island

CPS

Paddler
Joined
Oct 27, 2020
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279
Location
BC
Last year around this time I did a Quick trip around Salt Spring Island . This year I thought Galiano would make a good trip.

I've been paddling my Valley Rapier a fair amount lately, and wanted to put it to the test on something a bit more involved than the local lake.
Accompanying me on this trip was a co-worker who borrowed the boss's S18R. We were both quite curious to see how these racing styled kayaks would behave with a load of camping gear.

We left the car at Tsawwassen and took the ferry over to Sturdies Bay.

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We opted to avoid a dock launch and just haul the kayaks down the rather steep path to the beach. Here we disassembled the carts and packed the kayaks. We neglected to adjust the foot board on the S18R, so had to make a quick stop to adjust things before setting off. We were a bit ahead of schedule so there was still a bit of current passing between Galiano and Gossip island, but nothing too significant. Soon enough we were through and making our way up the coast.

The Rapier handled fairly well in the swell, though it remained a bit of a handful, as it always is. The S18R, loaded with a water bladder (not needed as the well as our intended camp is in good order) and camping gear was rock solid. It was awesome to watch that boat slice though the waves.
My friend felt so stable that he was able to paddle knees up quite comfortably, allowing him to fairly easily outpace the less stable Rapier. I'll have to try loading more weight in the Rapier to see if it can similarly settle down. I sort of doubt it.

After a while the swell lessened and the cruising became really nice. Conditions were gorgeous. My only complaint is that I haven't put together a good summer paddling outfit, so was sweating litres in a drysuit.

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We reached Dionisio in the evening, where we set up camp. I continued my weird 'anti-tent' trend, though the mosquitoes had me considering a hammock again.

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Dinner was a bit of a flop (pesto was forgotten) but we've vowed to redeem ourselves next time.

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The next morning we were out on the water a bit before 7, enjoying a bit of textured water in Poirier pass. The trip down the inner side of the island had less swell, and a mild headwind. We saw a few blows from whales (species unknown) as well as a porpoise (ditto).

We carried on fighting a mild headwind for a few hours and stopped for a brief rest and snack at Montague Harbour.

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I figured slack in Active Pass would be at 1:45 ish, but as it was only around 10am at this point we decided to just peek into Active Pass and decide if we wanted to wait for slack. The current was probably around 3 knots by the time we got to the entrance.
Feeling bold we elected to just wait for a glut of traffic to clear and then charged into the pass.
Listening to channel 11 was helpful so we knew when we were clear to push ahead.

Almost immediately we found ourselves paddling hard into some strong current, with some sizeable standing waves to contend with. At this point a whale watching boat pulled up to ask if we had seem anything. Somewhat mystified at how oblivious to our current effort (pun intended) they were, we politely told them no and continued. Due to the shape of Active Pass we were able to push through the rough stuff to relative tranquility and continue working our way up. There were a few more spicy spots with some pretty large waves, but we were able to cope with it all.

We stopped briefly at a beach to answer nature's call and wait for another ferry to pass. Once the wake had settled down we were on our way again, reaching Sturdies Bay by around 1pm or so.

We decided to upload at the dock for a change of pace. It's quite a tall dock, so I'm not sure it's much better than the trail down to the beach.
Needing to kill some time before the ferry we popped over to grab a celebratory pizza and a beer.

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Then it was just a matter of waiting for the ferry and heading home.

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As a side note: I finally treated myself to a C-Tug cart after having borrowed and older one in the past. It tucked away very nicely in the rear compartment of the Rapier. It's gotta be my favorite cart for trips like these.
 

AM

Paddler
Joined
Jan 30, 2006
Messages
1,045
Location
Vancouver
Nice! You guys made good time on that stretch from Dionisio to Active Pass. I’m curious if you saw any other paddlers on the outside coast.

Cheers,
Andrew
 
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CPS

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Joined
Oct 27, 2020
Messages
279
Location
BC
My watch is out of commission so it came as quite a surprise when we checked the time at Montague.

We saw no kayakers along the exposed coast.
There were a few that we saw on the water, generally within sight of a launch site.
 
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