Weather delay at James Bay

kayakwriter

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Feb 27, 2006
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On October 25 we caught the ferry from Tsawwassen to Long Harbour on Salt Spring Island. Our band consisted of myself and my friends Mike, Paul and Nessa (the latter 2 kindly gave me permission to use some of their photos in this posting).

Smarts and Charts (2).jpg


Even with the afternoon arrival at Long Harbour, the steep put-in on the far side of the spit, and early nightfall, we made it to James Bay in plenty of time make camp by daylight. It got down to near freezing soon after sunfall, but we were warmed by generous layer of clothes, copious food and lavish quantities of wine.

big shelter.jpg


dinner.jpg


Our original plan had been to paddle to Portland Island on the Saturday, but the updated forecast suggested the crossing to Swartz Bay on Sunday morning might be a bit sporty, so we decided to remain where we were and just do exploratory paddles around Prevost.

The next day, we had a huge breakfast, did light local paddling and generally lazed about.

HDR into the bay.jpg


stove testing.jpg


Sunday morning, just before dawn, the wind arrived with a vengeance. I added additional lines to the Twin Brothers Shelter I was sleeping in, and we wound up breakfasting in there, out of the wind. By the time we'd finished eating, there were fully developed seas between us and Saltspring, so we decided to stay an extra day for safety's sake. The danger zone was only several hundred yards, but with 35 knot headwinds, even assuming we could make progress, we'd have been in the exposed area for a good long while. As we proceeded to call/text our various folks back in Vancouver, you could practically hear the raised eyebrows. "What are you talking about? It's beautiful here!" Good thing we took video to convince the skeptics.

wavey point.jpg



We spent the day exploring on land. Though I've camped at James Bay many times, I'd never actually followed the trail out to the tip of Peile Point before, so that was interesting.
In the woods.jpg



drying bags.jpg


tree bridge.jpg


watching the waves.jpg

sailing past.jpg


We hadn't planned on having Sunday supper in camp, so it was a bit of a Spartan affair, with only two FD chicken dishes, as much rice as anyone could manage, leftover eggs, veggie bacon and sausage, more chocolate than we could eat, assorted nuts, the dregs of the red wine, and a hipflask of Chivas Regal. Les Stroud would have been proud of our survivor mindset.

on the beach.jpg


We were up early Monday morning, breakfasted on instant oatmeal, and hit the water. Though the wind had reduced, the seas were still pretty lumpy in the crux zone, and we felt vindicated not to have attempted it the day before.

hitting the waves.jpg


As soon as we were fully in the lee of Saltspring, it was beautifully calm, so with time to kill before our midafternoon ferry, we paddled down to the end of Ganges Harbour and raided a bakery for sweet snacks. Even with the detour, we were up on the land in plenty of time to dry our tents, tarps and bags before we caught the sailing home. Always a bonus not to have sprawl gear around the house to dry.

towards safe  harbour.jpg

sail up.jpg

the Captain's greeting.jpg

The Captain.jpg

Ganges.jpg
 
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AM

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Jan 30, 2006
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Vancouver
Thanks, Philip, for the entertaining report and photos! Given the rips off both sides of the channel, that crossing could have been really dangerous. Glad to hear your larder had stores enough for an extra day...

Cheers,
Andrew
 

kayakwriter

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AM said:
Thanks, Philip, for the entertaining report and photos! Given the rips off both sides of the channel, that crossing could have been really dangerous. Glad to hear your larder had stores enough for an extra day...
Glad you enjoyed it, Andrew. Yeah, I've run those rips in much lighter winds, and they are worthy of respect. I always make sure I have food and water for an extra day or two so I'm not making dumb decisions based on fears of hunger or thirst.
 

Tsunami

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Joined
Nov 13, 2013
Messages
161
Wow the 15th pic speaks to me. knowing I will be heading out into that this coming summer in a kayak just gives me a thrill.
Tsunami.
 
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