Broughtons, Boyles Point

AlphaEcho

Paddler
Joined
Jan 24, 2010
Messages
162
Location
Courtenay, BC
I was going to throw this into Trip Reports, but it's not a report, but a query for current intel on a site.

I've been invited on a trip to the north side of the Broughtons this season. Our trip planners visited Boyles Point (the mainland side of the crossing from Malcolm Island and Numas Islands) in the past, but tent spaces seemed limited at that time.

BoylesPoint.png


The BC Marine Trails notes say there are 6 tent sites, but the entry is not dated or validated.

Has anyone been by there recently and can you share any information you have about this site?
 

alexsidles

Paddler
Joined
Jan 10, 2009
Messages
531
Location
Seattle WA
I tried to land on that beach during an Inside Passage solo in 2011, but there were two black bears prowling the shore as I approached. I moved on to the next beach to the west, midway between Boyles Point and Lewis Cove.

That alternative beach was extremely rocky at all tides, with no upland campsites. I pitched my tent on a shelf of rock above the tide line. The next day, the two bears (or two other bears) approached me to within 40 yards, undeterred by my shouting and rock-throwing. They were flipping over rocks on the beach to look for prey.

In my opinion, this stretch of Queen Charlotte Strait is poor for camping. However, I came through without the benefit of a guidebook or map of campsites, so it’s quite likely I overlooked campsites, possibly even very good ones. I thought the Broughtons were poor, too, until I returned a few years later with Peter McGee’s guidebook. As always, your experience may vary from mine.

Alex
 
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AlphaEcho

Paddler
Joined
Jan 24, 2010
Messages
162
Location
Courtenay, BC
Thank-you for your comments. I do appreciate the references to various guidebooks around. As good as they are, I feel as though it would be better to be able to get regular updates in a systematic way.
 

mick_allen

Paddler & Moderator
Joined
May 15, 2005
Messages
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regular updates in a systematic way
join the bcmarinetrails as they have/are instigating a site report process - and maybe become a director and get the real background info!
 

JohnAbercrombie

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Dec 7, 2011
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3,356
Location
Victoria, BC
join the bcmarinetrails as they have/are instigating a site report process - and maybe become a director and get the real background info!
Once you join BCMTN, be sure to immediately download the info you find there. If you wait, you may find that they have 'de-listed'an area that once was available for paddling.
 

AlphaEcho

Paddler
Joined
Jan 24, 2010
Messages
162
Location
Courtenay, BC
There's reasons why sites are 'disappeared' off the map. Not saying I agree. Nor am I saying it's possible to have transparency in every situation, but it's not completely arbitrary.
 

AlphaEcho

Paddler
Joined
Jan 24, 2010
Messages
162
Location
Courtenay, BC
Update on this -- I got a first hand report from a paddling friend who visited in 2019.

This is a good example of why you cannot rely on satellite imagery. I checked on multiple mapping services with satellite views, the beaches west and east of the point appear to be sandy, but this is not the case. My source says that they are cobble and boulder at low and mid-tides, and then choked with driftwood between the high-tide line and the upland. Not a fun carry ..

If you can get through the driftwood to the uplands, they are dense brush.

The best approach is at high tide. Just inside the hook of the point on the east side there is a rock ledge which you can float over and then unload your boat. On the neck behind the point at that side is a small cleared area in the upland that has room for 2 tents.

That may not sound appetizing, but as @alexsidles found, it may be the best of a very short list of options.

Bonus -- apparently there are two (cast iron?) tubs on that beach. A local outfitter told my friend that when they visit, they fill the tubs with water, light fires under, and enjoy a hot soak.

I'll let you know what I find when I get there.
 

AlphaEcho

Paddler
Joined
Jan 24, 2010
Messages
162
Location
Courtenay, BC
Paddlers exploring the northern reaches of the Broughtons should mark Boyles Point at the mouth of Wells Passage as a potential point to rest or take shelter. In good conditions, it is a site that can be bypassed by strong paddlers. In poor conditions, it is at the top of a very short list of options for landing and shelter.

Navigation - Whether traversing northwest to southeast or vice versa, paddlers will find miles and miles of steep rocky shores with few options to stop and get off the water. From the NW, there are no verified good sites for landings or shelter between Blunden Harbour (off the map below) and Boyles Point (marker [0] below), approximately 12 NM (4 hrs) paddling. From the SE, it is roughly a 3.3 NM (70 min) crossing from the Polkinghorne Islands campsite (marker [1] below) across the mouth of Wells Passage. If crossing Queen Charlotte Strait south to north, it is approximately 9 NM (3 hrs) non-stop from Bere Point on Malcolm Island or 4 NM (80 min) from Numas Islands (marker [3] below) if resting there. If coming from Wells Passage, it is 5.3 NM (1.6 Hrs) from Cane Point (marker [2] below).



Approach - Although Boyles Point stands out clearly on a chart, the location is not easy to find from the water. Paddlers and other boaters approaching from any direction are well advised to have a GPS on board to guide you to the correct point amongst the many other points of land, islets, and boomers. There is no light or other man-made navigation marker on the point. Still, the point is an important point of navigation for vessel traffic approaching or leaving Wells Passage and paddlers should be wary in fog and other conditions where visibility is limited. The SE facing cove is a lee-shore in a SE wind and paddlers must take care to find the sand in the center of the cove (marker [3] below) as that is the only real landing option in dumping surf.

Landing - Immediately west of the point is a pocket beach (marker [1] below) which is choked with driftwood and boulders. West of that is high angle beach (marker [2] below) around 150 meters long composed of boulders and driftwood at the high tide line. This beach is guarded by boomers close in and rocky islets further out. East of the point a long cove stretches around 400-500 meters. A rocky reef guards the south side of the cove, standing out around 20 meters from the point. The shoreline of the cove is boulders from the low tide line all the way up to the high tide line. The exception is a sandy strip (marker [3] below) around 25 meters wide that angles into the beach from the northeast. This strip allows landings at all tide levels, though in a SE wind, the surf might be daunting.

Campsite - The current logged coordinates for Boyles Point on the BCMT map (yellow marker below) describe the original campsite, which is now overgrown with salal. Any attempt to clear that site again will require a chainsaw to first clear a safe path through a 10 meter wide drift of logs clogging access to the upland. A new campsite (red marker below), accommodating 2 tents, now exists on the same side, but closer to the point; approximately 30 meters back from turn in from point. Paddlers on a high tide can access it by following the shore from the point back to an indentation in the shore where a buoy hung from a tree marks the access to the campsite.

Other - There's no water at the site. Be sure to bring your own. The nearest is about 30 min paddle north: Kenneth River (but I didn't see it first hand). I didn't find the tubs. I didn't look too hard because I was trying to straddle the last of the ebb and the start of the flood in crossing QC Strait back to Malcolm Island.

Frankly, I think some further exploration and development could be done. The site sits at an important crossroads and offers safe landing and shelter in an area where there aren't many other options. I doubt I'll get back up there again this year, so maybe someone else can step up and take a look.




Approaching Boyles Point from the east after crossing the mouth of Wells Passage. The Point is center frame with the reef/boomer clearly visible just to the right. The islets standing outside the cove to the west are visible on the left.


Pocket cove just west of the point.


Beach west of the point. Note exposed reef to left standing off shore at high tide.


Landing at extreme low tide at the point. Facing east across the mouth of Wells Passage towards the Polkinghorne Islands and Broughton Island.


Reverse angle to the above. A break in the rock on the left leads up to an opening in the trees. At high tide paddlers can access the upland and campsite by landing at that opening.


The top of the band of sand visible in the satellite images. This is the best bet for landings in a easterly wind and accompanying surf. Note there driftwood barrier extending around the north side of the cove. If you can get through it, the upland is dense salal.


The yellow box highlights a rope hanging above the original campsite, now overgrown.


A hanging set of buoys marks the entrance. Note the distance to the sandy landing behind and the boulder field between.


Reverse angle to the above. This is the first tent site. The 2nd tent site is out of the frame on the right, set behind a log.


Launching at low tide off the point. Note potential sites where shrubs could be cleared for more tent sites (with nice views).
 
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