Looking to Rent Two Tandems in June

cougarmeat

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By “boat name” I meant model - like Fathom LV, or Mariner XL. That type of name. But if you have a special name for your boat, go for it. You might look for cougarmeat and calliopal’s shingle with the Fathom and Mariner mentioned.

For camping, I’ve never had a problem with people at Chivers Point - but it’s easier going if you can plan arrival/departure at high tide. The good news (except to the raccoons) is the raccoons are gone. I wonder how they did that? Seems those rascals are gone from Jones Island (San Juans) as well.
 

AM

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Here are the public (BC Parks) water sources that I know of in the Gulf Islands. All locations are approximate. Anyone know any others?

Ruckle (Saltspring):

There’s one in the campground, but the landing can be rough in wind:


This one is not on the park map, but I’ve used it a few times. I like the landing better.


Montague Harbour (Galiano Island):

This one is right off the south beach:


Dionisio (Galiano Island):

This one has a boil/treat water advisory, as they don’t check it often enough to guarantee it is potable:


These are all the public sources I’ve used.

Cheers,
Andrew
 

AM

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AM - when you announced your Portland Island/SaltSpring crossing, did you just say, “I’m here, going there.” or did you prefix it with Securite, Securite, Securite?
Securite, Mayday, Pan Pan are for channel 16. On the traffic channels, you are talking directly to the traffic operator, so it’s “Victoria Traffic, this is [my vessel], over”. Once they respond, you have your conversation. In a busy place, like the southern Gulf Islands, you might have to wait for them to get back to you since they are talking to a lot of people.

I recommend that anyone camping at Arbutus Point on Portland Island sit in their chair on the point and listen to channel 11 for an hour or two. That was my best education in how use a VHF (after I got my ROC, of course, as per Philip’s advisory above). Victoria Traffic (11) is one of the busiest vessel traffic services in the world, with deep sea ships, ferries, navy ships, and pleasure craft all navigating a very complex waterway.

You can do the same in Vancouver harbour on channel 12. It’s still Victoria Traffic, but the channel is specific to the Vancouver area. I will often turn my VHF on when I’m having a snack break while paddling. It’s interesting to hear who’s out and about. Whenever I see RCM-SAR or CCG on the water, I tune into channel 16 to listen to what they’re up to. Recently I listened in on a very complex rescue coordinated between CCG, Transport 951 (the big red “Surveillance” plane that flies over the harbour most days), VPD, and Border Services. A sailor had fallen off a deep sea vessel and all stops were pulled out to find him.

As I said, it’s all part of the education.

Cheers,
Andrew
 

Kault316

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Jul 12, 2020
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Cultus Lake
Here are the public (BC Parks) water sources that I know of in the Gulf Islands. All locations are approximate. Anyone know any others?

Ruckle (Saltspring):

There’s one in the campground, but the landing can be rough in wind:


This one is not on the park map, but I’ve used it a few times. I like the landing better.


Montague Harbour (Galiano Island):

This one is right off the south beach:


Dionisio (Galiano Island):

This one has a boil/treat water advisory, as they don’t check it often enough to guarantee it is potable:


These are all the public sources I’ve used.

Cheers,
Andrew
Thank you, Sir
 

JensVS

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Jun 17, 2021
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New Westminster
Hi all,

So many great information in here that make me feel more beginner the more I read. We had a similar paddling plan for two weeks from now and I hadn't considered so many safety aspects.

1) so far we just paddled in swim wear. Reading this here sounds like it's a bad idea. Would you wear shortie or a long neoprene in summer? I don't yet own a dry suit.

2) water Intel is really useful, we thought about that trip because we hoped not having to haul water

3) can anyone recommend a UHF radio and do I need a license to operate one?

4) we have two singles advanced elements inflatable kayaks (one advanced frame and one expedition). My impression is those would work but I want to make sure we're not complete idiots getting ourselves into trouble.

Thanks already
 

JohnAbercrombie

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2) water Intel is really useful, we thought about that trip because we hoped not having to haul water
Unless the trip campsites were at commercial campgrounds, I wouldn't trust water to be available where I expected it.
So I would always carry a few days of water with me.
3) can anyone recommend a UHF radio and do I need a license to operate one?
For marine frequencies, VHF is what you will be using. The two most popular brands I see are Standard Horizon and Icom. SH tend to be less-expensive, so more popular. A good starting point for comparing specs and pricing is https://www.gpscentral.ca/
You can mail-order from them (which I have done several/many times) or look locally once you have an idea of what you want.
Standard Horizon radios tend to be 'on sale' at a discount more often than Icom.
You don't need a license to listen to the weather forecasts on VHF.
You should learn how to use the radio to communicate, so it will be useful in an emergency. The VHF course leading to the license is the way to do that - it's usually just a few hours.
@kayakwriter here at WCP teaches the VHF course (online), so contact him for more info.
 

CPS

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BC
1) so far we just paddled in swim wear. Reading this here sounds like it's a bad idea. Would you wear shortie or a long neoprene in summer? I don't yet own a dry suit.
Depends on the conditions and how much trouble you'd get into in an 'out of boat' experience. On my last paddle in the Gulf islands I was just wearing thin wool layers. But it was so hot out that I determined risk of hyperthermia was greater than hypothermia, particularly given how infrequently I would be in the water.

2) water Intel is really useful, we thought about that trip because we hoped not having to haul water
Probably best to have a bit of water in reserve. I usually aim for about 3 litres per person per day, sometimes 4 is weather is hot and I'm rehydrating meals.

3) can anyone recommend a UHF radio and do I need a license to operate one?
As John mentioned you probably want VHF instead of UHF for kayaking. The courses mentioned are great. I use a small, waterproof, Standard Horizon radio and find it adequate.

4) we have two singles advanced elements inflatable kayaks (one advanced frame and one expedition). My impression is those would work but I want to make sure we're not complete idiots getting ourselves into trouble.
Neither boat has the gear storage capacity nor the seaworthiness for long distances or significant crossings. I generally feel like a 14' hardshell (non inflatable) kayak is about the lowest viable for multiday tripping on the ocean.
 

kayakwriter

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You don't need a license to listen to the weather forecasts on VHF.
Fun fact: Industry Canada considers just turning on a VHF to be "operating" the radio, and that therefore requires an ROC (M), whether or not you're transmitting. As a practical matter, I don't think you can detect a VHF that's simply receiving, except perhaps from a few feet away where you'd be able to hear the speaker anyway. And I've never heard of anyone being charged for just listening.

In the last course I ran, one of my students was telling me about renting a VHF from a kayak outfitter on the island, with no verification she had an ROC (M) (she did not at the time). I suppose the outfitter could argue they intended the radio to be used only for receiving weather forecasts. And it's also true that when folks without ROC (M)s have transmitted seeking help in genuine emergencies, the Coast Guard doesn't seem interested in prosecutions. But as John mentioned, if you take the ROC (M) course, you'll understand the protocols and procedures and be able to communicate any situation more quickly and clearly.

You should learn how to use the radio to communicate, so it will be useful in an emergency. The VHF course leading to the license is the way to do that - it's usually just a few hours.@kayakwriter here at WCP teaches the VHF course (online), so contact him for more info.
Thanks for the referral. Great timing, as we've just added a course on August 24.
 
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cougarmeat

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To help decide on clothing, pick a day when it’s a little windy - so you don’t have just “flat lake” conditions and tip over with your paddling partner nearby. See how long it takes you to empty your boat and get back in. It will also give you an idea of how your gear might shift around if your boat is loaded.

My experience is the waters around the Gulf Islands are unusually warm. But I’ve visited SeaSide Oregon and gone in up to my ankles. I’m not sure there is any truth to the rumor that the scientific community uses the water off SeaSide to calibrate their Absolute Zero Kelvin measuring instruments.

On water sources - remember, anything in print was written at a point in time, and that time has passed. For example, I’m sure that googling around, you can find posts that describe the water source on Wallace Island - a source that is not longer available. And because of the Virus, various other water sources were turned off (I’m thinking about the San Juans). So it’s a treat when there is a “on land” water source - but I would never count in it.
 
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JensVS

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Neither boat has the gear storage capacity nor the seaworthiness for long distances or significant crossings. I generally feel like a 14' hardshell (non inflatable) kayak is about the lowest viable for multiday tripping on the ocean.
Thanks for your insights. The expedition is advertised as longer trips and we've used them for as two night trip in Indian Arm and Widgeon Creek with more storage space available, but we did have a dry bag mounted to the deck.

If our idea of a longer route sounds too sketchy/ stupid, is there a good place to set up base camp and paddle around a few Islands without hauling gear?

Or other locations, e.g. Sechelt inlet?
 

AM

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Jens, I see two issues with your Gulf Islands plan:

1) Inexperience, which you have admitted. (Well done for being self-reflective.) On the Swartz Bay-Nanaimo route you will cross ferry lanes and you will transit one area of current. Ferry lanes are not only a question of danger (imagine a huge ship moving at 20 knots, while you sit, invisible to radar, in its path), but of social responsibility: should a couple of kayakers cause a BC Ferry slow down/divert? Think of the ripple effects on the 1000s of people depending on that ferry schedule.

As for current, well, unless you know at least a little…don’t.

2) Storage. You can take whatever minimal gear you want, but one thing you can’t minimize is water. Cougarmeat’s 3-4L/day is a good rule of thumb, though in the heat we’ve had you might bump that up to 5L/day. Can your boat hold 3-4 days of water (say 15L)? How would that concentrated weight affect the performance of your inflatable?

So you can proabably do this trip. But I would advise against it at this moment in your paddling career.

Alternatives that will get you on the water and enjoying your boats:

1) Car camp at Porpoise Bay and explore Sechelt Inlet.
2) Push up Sechelt Inlet to camp at one of the marine sites. But watch for inflow winds: inflatables don’t do well in wind.
3) Base camp on North Thormanby (bring lots of water, as there is none).
4) Car camp at Montague Harbour and explore north and south along the coast of Galiano. Or paddle 2-3 hours to Wallace Island and camp there.

Cheers,
Andrew
 

AM

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Oh, one more location, though it requires 2 ferries:

5) Drive north of Powell River and base camp on the Copland Islands. Great gunkhholing, swimming/snorkelling, and sunsets. Again, bring water!!
 

Kault316

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Jul 12, 2020
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Cultus Lake
Hey, All. Just checking in. This trip was completed between June 18-26th. It was fabulous. We actually got off the water the day the Thermal dome started - it was 35C paddling from Pirate's Cove to Nanaimo. We had the best weather of any kayak trip I've ever done. I'll try and write up a trip report next time it rains : )
 

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cougarmeat

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What a nice tandem! I hope by the time you take your next trip, Sliva Bay’s restaurant will be open. It’s a treat, after a few days on the water, to have a shower, laundry, and meal at a real table.
 
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Kault316

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Cultus Lake
What a nice tandem! I hope by the time you take your next trip, Sliva Bay’s restaurant will be open. It’s a treat, after a few days on the water, to have a shower, laundry, and meal at a real table.
Oops - the tandem in the pic was the rental our friends used. Here is the Osprey double I completed in time for this trip.
 
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