Sunshine July 2010
Canada British Columbia Lund
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Sunshine Coast lived up to its name. I grew up on Vancouver Island and went to school in Vancouver, but never visited the Sunshine Coast or Desolation Sound.
Mid July, 2010, I traveled north from Horseshoe Bay to Langdale, to Sechelt, checked out Porpoise Bay Provincial Park, checked out ramp at Halfmoon Bay and checked into Homesite Creek campground. This campground caters to adventurers looking for Sasquatch. The adventurers sleep in the day and prowl the woods at night looking. I slept while they looked and woke at first light to launch from the Halfmoon Bay ramp. Turn offRedrooffs Road onto Fisherman Road.
Calm, flat conditions allowed paddling to Merry Island then up the outside of Merry and Thormanby Islands. Lighthouse personnel were friendly and the white with red trim lighthouse structures appeared well maintained. The white cliffs of Thormanby are visible from Nanaimo and impressive up close. Seeing how shallow the trees at cliff top are rooted it is not surprising that some fall. On this calm morning beaches on the west of North Thormanby were disserted and beautiful, while the east side was busy with people at beachside homes, Buccaneer Bay Provincial Park, and on anchored yachts. I paddled across to Secret Cove then back along the mainland coast to Smuggler Cove Marine Provincial Park. It was low tide when I reached the Halfmoon Bay ramp and an impatient boater, failing several attempts to launch from the ramp, used his 4X4 Chevy to launch from the beach. (19.5 miles paddled)
I checked out the ebb tide at Skookumchuk Narrows, and then caught BC Ferries at Earls Cove. Drove north from Saltery Bay and reached Dinner Rock Campground, late but with enough light to do a little exploring. Nice campsite offSunshine Coast Highway down a long steep paved hill. It is set up for car camping, but kayak launching is possible. It would be a good base for a circumnavigation of Savary Island. I arrived too late to get a campsite fronting the water.
Woke early the next day and reached the Lund ramp before the parking lot was manned. I did a self check in and prepared to launch. The Savary Island workboat/ferry approached the ramp and I moved a stray log out of his way. The Captain offered reward coffee, but I was packed and anxious to paddle. I headed north through Copeland Islands. Just north of Sarah Point I paddled past a 50’ cabin cruiser/tour boat with people watching eagles. Seemed like they were somehow interacting with the eagles. I’ve seen eagles fishing, always from relatively low elevation. These eagles where much higher, maybe 200 feet. They let out a distinctively eagle screech then dive bombed the water right next to the boat. I wasn’t close enough to see what if anything they got. It was impressive seeing them dive from altitude.
I stopped for lunch on Curme Island then proceeded to Roscoe Bay. (17.9 miles from Lund) Roscoe Bay is primarily for sleep aboard boats, but there is room for a few tents. At the trailhead to Black Lake there is tent space, but this is a busy spot with people doing the easy hike to the Lake. There is another spot with space for tents about a quarter mile east, but it has no outhouse.
I woke up and launched early, without seeing anyone stirring on any of the 20+ boats at anchor. I paddled down the southeast coast of West Redondo Island, between Martin and West Redondo, and into Refuge Cove. I paddled southeast, past Kingham Island, along the southeast coast of Cortes Island to a rocky crown islet, north of Twin Islands. (17.9 miles from Roscoe Bay) Nice spot with numerous relatively level rock ledges for tents or sleeping bags although access might require long difficult carries at some tides. I noticed 6 agitated Turkey Vultures making a lot of noise on the north shore of the islet, but didn’t have my camera. Later I was able to investigate and found a pile of dead Sea Stars where they had been squabbling.
I woke up and launched early, heading south west along the south east coast of Cortez Island. I could see my lunch break destination, Mitlenatch Island, in the distance. A popular translation of the word Mitlenatch is “Seems close but seems to move away as you approach.” It did seem to take a long time to paddle the 8.6 miles before my lunch break and it was getting a little bumpy. Around Mitlenatch I saw many gulls, pigeon guillemots, black oystercatchers, pelagic cormorants, seals, and a Bald Eagle. Volunteers man the island in the summer living in a driftwood cabin and tents. Each group (4 people) spends their time taking in the sights, briefing visitors, and eradicating blackberries. Much of the island is restricted access. There is a trail leading to a blind, from which I was able to spot Glaucous-winged gull chicks. A lady volunteer said the ferry from Powell River to Oyster River left a 3:00 PM, so I give up my plan to cruise the north shore of Savary and made a beeline for Lund. (19.3 miles for the day) I reached Powell River at 5 to 3:00 only to be told the ferry was leaving at 5:00 PM. Beautiful sunny day in Powell River, My fifth sunny day in a row.