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Nuchatlitz Put-In


Nov 24, 2007
Nanaimo, BC
Looking to head to Nuchatlitz shortly and wondering about the best place to start. Toss up right now between Zeballos and Little Espinosa Inlet. Are there any other put-ins I should consider? Has anyone had any issues lately leaving their vehicles at LEI unattended? Much current to worry about where LEI meets Espinosa? Any help/suggestions appreciated.
Been years since I looked at that LEI put in. Word was it was doable, but having a swiftish current on the full ebb. Not treacherous, but requires care. I saw it running a couple knots, and it looked OK. I also worried about clouting of my vehicle, but saw no evidence. That was 1997. I expect you need more recent info.

Zeballos is a long inlet away from the main Esperanza fairway. Probably still make Garden Point in a day, if you launch early, ahead of the westerly push of the afternoon.

Google up an outfitter that serves the area and ask them.

We used a water taxi out of Zeballos to finesse these issues, got dropped off at Catala. Do not recall the name.
Launched at Little Espinoza Inlet last summer. Plenty of cars parked there. We added 4 and had no problems. Expect a very dusty vehicle when you return! Under most circumstances it's easy enough to load, launch and line your kayak to calmer water but not as much fun. I assume that is where you are expecting current. At the end of LEI where it meets Espinoza there is some current but not like the launch. Expect wind!
We paddled in from Zeballos 2 years ago. With a boat that was heavy with gear & food, it was a loooooong way - for me anyway! We left too late in the morning and although the tide was under us, the headwinds were epic. The 30km paddle took us just over 5 hours including a couple of short stops. This is me when we finally arrived...at least I am still holding onto the boat!

Leave early! The flip side is that on the way back we were doing 6-7 km an hour without the paddles even being in the water!



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Thanks for the advice all. I think we'll grab a room in Zeballos the night before launching and then head to LEI bright and early. As the tide will be flooding the morning we leave we'll at least try and beat the wind. Rachel, I think that pic might have had a little something to do with the final decision. We were hoping to get right out to either Rosa or Island 44 the first night so putting in at LEI makes it a little more realistic. Thanks again and I'll let you know how it goes when we get back.
That is one of my favorite areas to paddle - love it up there. LEI is my preferred launch - get on the water early to get a jump on the wind coming up Espinoza later on.
Unless the conditions are nasty, Rosa or Isl 44 is quite doable from LEI in a day. As a side note, using a wind paddle will really speed up the return trip if the winds are right. We traveled up Espinoza at 7-8 km/h with a decent tailwind.
Little Espinosa is where you want to be. Launch from the 'Causeway' as its called.

Current... not an issue. The only current swooshes back and forth under the bridge at the causeway where you launch, but you can easily avoid it.

No current of any note where LEI and EI meet.

We launched from LEI at the bridge/tidal rapid in 2012. Very dusty cars upon our return.
There is a Forest Service campsite a couple clicks down the road, at the very end of LEI...back towards Zeballos.
We camped there the night before our launch. Pretty little site. Long drop toilet in very poor condition.
We were up with the sun, packed up and on the water soon thereafter. Beats a somewhat longer drive from Zeballos on "launch day".
Winds were kind to us. We planned for Garden Point but made it to Rosa the first day.
Island 40 North is a good place to stay, if you like an evening breeze and very few mosquitoes.

Have a great trip.
Alright then...since we're on the topic and there looks to be a fair amount of experience out there....how about favorite camping sites and must-sees in the area?
Thanks again,
well, if you need to rinse off...

keep an eye out for this cave:


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Catala Island is worth doing if you have the time....some great campsites..outside or Rolling Roadstead.
The cliffs and sea stack on the southeast side of Catala are a good place to visit. There is a rock formation at the water edge that looks very much like a giant skull.
A few photos.


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Thanks everyone for the tips. We put in at LEI and had a great trip. No problems with the truck when we returned. Will post a trip report shortly.



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