Princess Royal Island

Outsider

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Joined
Sep 8, 2013
Messages
156
Location
Vancouver, B.C.
Hey Guys,

I have recently returned from a month long trip through out Queen Charlotte Sound among the islands and inlets. Most exciting and spectacular thing I have ever done.

I had never kayaked solo before even though I have paddled much of the outside coast of Vancouver Island and other exposed areas on the west coast with others.

I did it this time because no one wanted to join me. :cry:

My paddle style is to find a new beach/campsite and stay there for more than one night.

I am not keen on hauling out, putting up my camp, lighting a fire, eating and going to bed
and then undoing it all and getting out on the water for my next destination early in the next morning before the winds come up.
I prefer to do all of the above but allow an extra day, or even two, to explore my location, clam dig, berry pick, listen, explore and learn.

I am as much about the wilderness and the animals as I am about being on the water.

Having searched for some time for a partner with the same attitude, I am OK to go solo but it would be great to find a soul mate with similar interests.

This trip, this summer, was the most spectacular thing I have even done.
I am going to do something at least this amazing if not more for all of August 2015.

I have been reading Wild Coasy 2 by John Kimantas (again). I used this info as well as some detailed info from charts that some friends provided for me after they did a similar trip a few years ago. Helped me to find places to camp and, more importantly, places to find water.

I want to do another trip up in the central coast/spirit bear area this coming August.

I am hoping take photos and videos of a kermode bear.

I want to circumnavigate Princess Royal Island and explore the islands along its west coast. I know that this is a major trip and I don't doubt that few people would want to do this.

However, if anyone has been paddling in this area or has circumnavigated Princess Royal and can help me with information on places to haul out, where I can find water and where the coolest scenery and wildlife is, I would certainly appreciate this.

Outsider
 

mick_allen

Paddler & Moderator
Joined
May 15, 2005
Messages
3,488
Get John Kimantis' books and as well keep an eye out on the bcmarinetrails.org site to see when and if more sites get shown. Right now there are about 30 'hidden' sites that we have some information on solely around the island itself.

here's a small look for the general idea:


Let us know if you decide to go and we can provide site information as well as on site questions we would like answered. And as Nick Heath says:
"Photos are welcome of any sites - showing landings or camp areas rather than pretty views and (pretty) people!
If there is imporant access news, we'd like to hear that too so please post here (or in the BC Marine Trails section)!"

Mick Allen
BC Marine Trails Network Assoc. director
 

Outsider

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Joined
Sep 8, 2013
Messages
156
Location
Vancouver, B.C.
Hey Mick,

I mentioned earlier that I do not spend only one night at each campsite that I find. Sorry you missed this part. It's important I think.

On my last trip I spent at least two full days in each site and 3 and even 4 days in many.

There is no possibility that I would confuse the photos with the places I have camped at. I check out each place big time. I photo the beach area, the campsite, the back woods 'emergency' sites, the trails as well as the sources of water and food such as berries, clams and fish.

My photos are in dated order so even if I was wrong, the photos would sort it out.

I was wondering what you mean by an 'email loop'.

Do you attach/give credit to the photographer along with each photo that you use?

I think that my photos would be good.

How do I send them. I don't want to send them as a group without any explanation about each photo.

I would like to attach comments about each site as many are not known and I would like to provide info on the sites that I don't think are known.

What info do you guys provided about each site?
Is it just where the site is?

John Kimantis stuff never mentions water sources which was an extremely important part of this last trip. Do you?

I would like to offer my experience and my photos but would like to know more as I am not keen on giving away my secrets. :)

Outsider
 

mick_allen

Paddler & Moderator
Joined
May 15, 2005
Messages
3,488
Hi Outsider,
In my private message to you I was just asking if you minded if I include Nick Heath in the information (email) exchange as he is our section head for that part of the coast. Do you mind?

Information has been transferred to us by many means, so whatever works for you, works for us – but email seems to be one of the better means as a dialogue can occur if there are questions about particular site info and pictures. Or if you don't wish that, just plonk the info and photos on a post to the BC Marine Trails Network section of this forum.

We find it is very helpful to us if the information that we are given is readily connected to a specific geographical location. With previous submissions from others, it sometimes has been confusing and so we ask for some measure of certainty, that’s all.

No credit is given to those who give the information or the pictures, but we do keep internal records of who and when the groundproofing is done in the database so that we know if different information supercedes the initial info. This really helps in some situations.

If you go on the website you will see that all kinds of information is given for each site (if we know it), landing photos, camping photos, info landing angles, materials, number of campsites, water, often small maps showing private/public land – virtually anything that we know that might be useful.

And if you don’t want to give any info away and keep the secrets, that’s perfectly fine, too.

Regards,
Mick Allen
BC Marine Trails Network Assoc. director
 

Outsider

Paddler
Joined
Sep 8, 2013
Messages
156
Location
Vancouver, B.C.
Thanks Mick,

Originally I posted in the hopes that I could find someone who has paddled in the Princess Royal Island area .

I am fairly sure that this is where I will go this coming summer for at least 4 or 5 weeks.

I like to explore the coast in great detail and use all of my skills and background to challenge the elements. That's why I photo everything about my campsites. Every angle, from every distance with all of my gear set up.

I am hoping to find someone as interested in the natural world to help provide me with information about my next adventure if not share the experience with me.

Thanks again,

Outsider
 

alexsidles

Paddler
Joined
Jan 10, 2009
Messages
531
Location
Seattle WA
Outsider (and Mick),

I would love to go on a trip like that, but unfortunately can't get the time away.

What I can do, however, is give you some sites and info for the west coast of Princess Royal. These are based on an Inside Passage solo I did through the area in 2011. I can't provide coordinates of campsites, because I didn't save any at the time, and I don't want to try to estimate the coords now for fear of misguiding you.

I can show you on the map roughly where I camped. The photos of each site are the only ones I have, because I was new to photography at the time.



I was traveling south to north, so the first site is on the southeast side of Lady Douglas Island. There is a small, lovely sandy beach there, but at higher tides it probably disappears. The brush above is impenetrable. There were tracks from wolf, bear, deer, and mink:


The second site is Grant Anchorage on the southwest coast of Swindle Island. This beach is rocky and unpleasant. I saw Ancient Murrelets in this area, one of the few places they breed south of Alaska. I also saw an enormous rorqual whale, either a Fin Whale or Blue Whale. Campsites in this area are hard to find and of mediocre quality:


The third site is an unnamed rocky beach on Princess Royal itself, approximately two miles up the coast from Dallain Point. This is a horrible rocky campsite. I anchored my boat rather than carry it over the slippery rocks, and it flipped over at night, ruining some of my food that I had in bear barrels. There is a beautiful view of Aristazabel Island from here:


The fourth site is a beautiful sandy beach, again on Princess Royal, just east of the Duckers Islands. There were many Humpback Whales in this area, as there were throughout this region. Salmon were jumping all over the place in mid-June:


The fifth site is in Cameron Cove on Princess Royal. There is a giant floating resort called King Pacific in this cove, and the staff will give you gourmet food and soft drinks if you are cool. They'll also let you recharge your electronics. Don't think about staying there, though; rooms start at $9,000 a night (not a typo) and go up from there. For that price, they have a helicopter on standby to fetch you wine from Prince Rupert if the kind you want is not available in the lodge.

One of the lodge's guides, a local from nearby Hartley Bay, told me about a First Nations cabin in the cove where I could stay. It was great to get out of the rain and have my own little castle in the woods for a couple days. The bay is peaceful and still, despite the lodge and the many anchored sailboats. Campsites are limited because the cove is lined with rocky shores:


The sixth site is Home Bay on the northwest corner of Princess Royal. There is a giant pebble-and-sand beach here, but it totally floods at high tide, so pitch near the tree line. The low-tide carry is a very long one; I used a cart, but it was slow going through the sand. There is a freshwater stream here. This is a beautiful and scenic area:


The seventh site is Sainty Point on the mainland, just around the corner from Hartley Bay at the southern entrance to Grenville Channel. This beach is rocky and floods totally at high tide. Not a pleasant site:


Those are the seven sites I used around the west side of Princess Royal Island. Doubtless there are many more, including some nicer than these. I found these myself with no guidebook, so a well-studied traveler could surely do even better.

Alex
 

Outsider

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Joined
Sep 8, 2013
Messages
156
Location
Vancouver, B.C.
Jeez Alex, you are absolutely the best!

I can't thank you enough for all the info and photos that you provided.

You're the guy I was hoping to find.

I think that I can use your information, along with other sources, to form a good basis for putting my trip together.

I'm a lucky guy :)

Outsider
 

alexsidles

Paddler
Joined
Jan 10, 2009
Messages
531
Location
Seattle WA
I'm glad I could help, Outsider. I admire your style of kayak camping, where you spend at least a few days at each location. I like to do that kind of thing myself. Princess Royal will be a good spot for that, and if you poke around the stream estuaries long enough, you might see a Kermode bear, which I never did.

Hey, good news: I see on the internet that King Pacific Lodge in Cameron Cove has dropped their prices. They are now a mere $1,100 a night if you commit to a stay of three nights or longer, although at that discount bargain price, the free helicopter is no longer included. Still, think of the savings! Condé Nast Traveler rated it in 2011 as the #1 resort in Canada and #4 in the world.

Alex
 

mick_allen

Paddler & Moderator
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May 15, 2005
Messages
3,488
Hi Alex, do you know which of these bays on the S side of Lady Doug Island that the picture is taken of?
 

Outsider

Paddler
Joined
Sep 8, 2013
Messages
156
Location
Vancouver, B.C.
Hey Alex,

Thanks for the update on King Pacific Lodge pricing.

However, seems a tad rich if the 'copter' isn't included, eh?

Outsider
 

alexsidles

Paddler
Joined
Jan 10, 2009
Messages
531
Location
Seattle WA
Mick,

I'm afraid I didn't record campsite coordinates in my trip notes. I wouldn't want to try to guess the coordinates now, years after the fact, for fear of steering people wrong. From the overhead imagery you provided of Lady Douglas, I can't say conclusively which exact tiny cove the beach is on.

I think any guesses I made about site locations would be good to within one mile, but it seems like the BC Marine Trails project is aiming for a much higher level of precision, and I can't provide that. My photos and trip notes were intended as nothing more than personal mementos.

Outsider,

Yes—no helicopter, no deal.

Alex
 

mick_allen

Paddler & Moderator
Joined
May 15, 2005
Messages
3,488
No problem Alex - at least we know something worth checking out is on the South side of Lady Douglas.

For your Duckers Island east campsite - that we call 'Duckers Island Inside' (and have hidden until more info from such as you), do you have any further comments to what we have other than landing being a sandy beach at this tide level - and do you mind if we use this photo?

here's what we have so far for that:
 

alexsidles

Paddler
Joined
Jan 10, 2009
Messages
531
Location
Seattle WA
Mick,

Sorry, I don't have much information beyond what you already have. My notes mention the Humpback Whales and salmon in this area, and also remind me that I didn't get much sleep that night because of "worries that the high tide might swamp the campsite."

There's also a note that I only paddled 20 miles (32 km) out of a planned 25 that day. The Duckers Island beach was of such high quality that I decided to stop there when I discovered it, in the expectation that any other beaches in this area would not be as good as this one. I don't remember if that expectation turned out to be true.

If you like, you may use the photo in this post for the BC Marine Trails project.

Alex
 

Nick Heath

Paddler
Joined
Mar 27, 2008
Messages
38
Outsider likely deserves a fuller answer as perhaps he has not already been using the BCMTNA site map information that is already in place for some other areas, but not yet displayed for Princess Royal Island.

A faily typical set of site data would be as for, say, Shelter Bay in Q Charlotte Strait
This and many other sites can be viewed at:
http://www.bcmarinetrails.org
There is a useful site name search function, too.

Shelter Bay
<photos image shows landing beach, and preferably indicates tide height at the time>
Primary Campsite
Coordinates - lat 50° 58.612' lng -127° 27.657'
Land Tenure - Provincial Forest
Landing Comments - Easy, white sand/mud beach in protected cove accessible at all tides. Kelp.
Camp Comments - Camp on good sheltered white sand beach E of Wescott Pt at most tides or in cleared sites in forested upland. Some fire pits.
Tent Sites - 10
Other Comments - Water at creek. Important site on route to Cape Caution. Intertidal life. Some commercial use. Some lands are 'designated use area'. Anchorage.

If availalbe, we would add photos of the camping area and high water vs low water landing conditions. Some sites files display up to 5 photos.

As you can see, we try to give information about fresh water sources - location (if not obvious) and how reliable (seasonal or year-round) they are. However, many of the displayed sites show nothing about fresh water, suggesting either that there is none there or maybe that we don't have clear information about any nearby source. We are not currently collecting information about water sources away from camping or day use sites - paddlers might find CHS charts or topo maps useful for that.

The land tenure is usually not clearly known by the paddler who visits adn then reports on a site, but we can do that research at later date. The crucial thing is to be certain where the site is and that any information about the site is objective, collected methodically and specific to that site.

Good sites that have safe all-weather landing areas, good tenting capacity for a small group and some weather protection may be named as Primary campsites if they are on what is currently public land and there are no other complications such as sensitive archaeological or ecological values. Smaller and more marginal sites may be called Alternate sites, but this will depend also on what the other sites in an area are like. In some places, good sites are much scarcer than in other areas. Assumptions are that the sites are suitable for paddlers (canoe, kayak, SUP and rowboat) who carry everything ashore rather than those who anchor small vessels. They sleep ashore in small tents rather than in tree-borne hammocks or rather than afloat in their vessels and they cook on backpacking stoves, although some may light fires for cooking. They carry a water supply that will last several days. They can travel about 10 nm or more each day. These typical use patterns might change over time, so site requirements might change, too.

The purpose of gathering all this info is not to put guidebook writers out of business - far from it - we love them and use their fine products. Our map data will never amount to a replacement for the best guidebooks. Instead, we are working (slowly but steadily) at securing the long-term use for recreation purposes of many hundreds of informal paddlers' campsites - not to develop them but to ensure as far as we can that they will still be available and usable 50 to 100 years from now, or even further into the future.

Paddlers have already seen many great sites lost to other purposes. If there are good, secured sites all along our coastlines at reasonable intervals, paddle touring in BC waters will continue to be world-class and, as we humans stomp on more and more of our planet, we might even have here one of the few places where that freedom to navigate anywhere by small boat can still happen.

Sorry too be so wordy.
Anyone with a keen interest is welcome at our AGM and Task Force meeting this coming Saturday 25 Oct in Nanaimo BC.
Nick
groundcheck@bcmarinetrails.org

(If the attached photo displays, pl forgive the fact that it refers to a different site - Polkinhorne Island.)
 

Outsider

Paddler
Joined
Sep 8, 2013
Messages
156
Location
Vancouver, B.C.
Thanks for filling me in Nick.

I am organizing my photos and attaching coordinates for 5 or 6 sites and other info regarding my trip this past summer.

I'll pass this on as soon as I can get my lazy ass off the couch.

I didn't realize that you don't have much info on areas north of Bella Bella.

My planned trip to circumnavigate Princess Royal is a long one. Based on the distance I prefer to paddle each day, it would take me 40 days if I paddled every day. As I mentioned earlier in my correspondence with Alex, I stay two or even three days at each site so that I can explore everything.
Might have to trim this down somehow but still keep my odds high of photographing a Kermode, my main objective.

I have no photos from the last week or so of my trip. I dropped one of my cameras on a rock on Triquet and it suffered a concussion. It is now confused and operates only when I smack it.

I am going to post regarding info on obtaining a new camera. I have a digital still camera, a Sony Cybershot, but it is not sea worthy and I don't use it while I am on the water for fear of drowning it.

I also have a Sony HDR-HD11 digital video camera but again, am afraid to use it while on the water.

I'll be searching for a camera(s) that is water proof that I can use anywhere without fear. I hear Sony has a new video camcorder that has a water proof case. Maybe some others can advise me.

Outsider
 
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