Howe Sound sites — wow!!

AM

Paddler
Joined
Jan 30, 2006
Messages
951
Location
Vancouver
I decided to check out a couple of the new BCMTA sites in northern Howe Sound today — Islet View and Thornborough Channel. Wow — these are great sites with fabulous infrastructure! Composting toilets, bear bins, picnic tables...the works. Plus, the landings are marginal enough that only paddlers are likely to visit.

A big thanks to Mick and all the others (Nick, Steve, et al) who have worked on these sites. I have promised my daughter a kayak trip this spring and I have found the destination.

A couple of photos: the first from Islet View, the second from the bluff at Thornborough.

Cheers,
Andrew

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AlphaEcho

Paddler
Joined
Jan 24, 2010
Messages
152
Location
Quadra Island, BC
My old stomping grounds. Thanks for the photos. Miss those sites. Also +100 to Nick H, Steve B, and all the volunteers who participated in getting these sites set up.
 

mick_allen

Paddler & Moderator
Joined
May 15, 2005
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3,363
SKABC took over stewardship of these sites and Steve Best and Nick Heath spearheaded multiple initiatives with grants and monies from BC Marine Trails, SKABC, Trans Canada Trails and Rec Sites & Trails [government]. It was thought that if careful, covid provide a big work window to get a whole pile of stuff done. They put in tent pads, toilets, vaults, trails, etc, etc. And if any have been paying attention, initial work is being done on trails up and thru a planned [to a significant extent by us] future campground at Apodaca Park.

My [shared and enabled obviously] dream has been simple opportunites and connections from the backyard of the lower mainland to the whole extent of the BC coast. With these, plus the few original established Howe Snd sites, and others coming in the future, this essentially is all now there. Amazing work by everyone!
 

jefffski

Paddler
Joined
Jan 2, 2014
Messages
108
Islet view is a wonderful site. Launching from Porteau cove and then heading south to cross to Anvil, paddling along its south side before crossing to Islet View makes for a pleasant trip. On the return, paddle along Anvil's north side and then head south to shorten the crossing before heading north again to Porteau, completes the trip in a nice manner. Beware of afternoon winds in Howe Sound!
 
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Nick Heath

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Mar 27, 2008
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31
Thks for the kind words. This would have been impossible without SKABC's selfless (almost) commitment to public rec and their windfall funds plus their several fundraisers. Support your local club. They really do support your sport. Shame on those that do not.
I and maybe Steve could be looking for brawn in early Sept when we plan to move lumber by water taxi for several additional tent platforms.

Also what do you folks like? We could build 10'square (e.g. Twin Islands), 12' square (Thornbrough Ch), or 10'x12' (Zorro Bay) rectangular designs. What works best for you?

Part of the secret of 5 of these 6 sites is that they do not boast friendly landings for users of larger boats - it is a delicate balance to be accessible to paddlers without being challenging/hazardous yet being visibly un-accommodating to those using most powered craft. BC Parks and RSTBC too often have made the mistake (IMHO) of putting in expensive docks where none were really needed. For the price of a simple float, ground anchors, gangway, railings and shore pivot, many more sites like these could be built for paddlers in quite marginal locations.

There are still a couple more such locations left in Howe Sd, so we ain't quite finished here, either...
 

sofstu

Paddler
Joined
Jun 14, 2021
Messages
88
Location
Kootenays BC
Please let us all know when you are doing the work Nick,
I may have the time off work and be up for something different.
 

mick_allen

Paddler & Moderator
Joined
May 15, 2005
Messages
3,363
I somehow think that 10' x 12' might 'fit' into differing land contour situations better plus a sprinkle of 10' x 10's.

although 12' x 12's would be better for more tent configurations, I like the idea of covering as little of the landscape as possible.

**

now I know it's a stupid idea, but some landscape pavers allow grass/flora to grow thru: are there any 'boards' out there that allow light or even some vegetation to grow thru or on? Like what about 'moss' boards or screening over large gapped boards.
 

cougarmeat

Paddler
Joined
Sep 17, 2012
Messages
854
Location
Bend OR USA
Someday the border will open again and I may paddle this stretch of water. If you are constructing sites here is one flight of fancy … at various locations in the San Juan Islands, it seems some people have taken it as a matter of pride on how they’ve fixed up the compost toilets. I’ve seen a range from a basic linoleum floor with slate like graphic print to shelves holding a vase with dried/cut flowers and a side rack for magazines/newspaper. Maybe a stained glass (probably plexiglass) window or two.

it seemed the more work that was put into, the more respect a visitor would have. Not that’s not always the case, but thankfully it’s usually the case.

Of course having adequate food storage options and platforms to minimize ground erosion (save some trees for hammocks) are a priority. On site setting, if possible, it is nice to position any picnic table between two trees. That way, if it’s raining, it’s easier to rig a tarp over the table. It can be suspended by other means - poles and such - but it’s nice if it lends itself to just suspending a ridgeline around a tree.

Just a thought.

Please remember to save some trees for hammocks.
 
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jefffski

Paddler
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Jan 2, 2014
Messages
108
I love the idea of rough(er) landings to discourage powerboaters. Bishop Creek on Indian Arm is a good example, though they do land there occasionally.
 

mick_allen

Paddler & Moderator
Joined
May 15, 2005
Messages
3,363
I love this shot of the start at Tantalus Landing: It took a lot of man days, chain hoisting, and come alonging:

Futility.jpg

Reed Clarke and Nick Heath [and me taking those 'important' photos, heh heh]
 
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