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 Post subject: Trip to Gulf Islands, BC
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 11:35 pm 
So, after some delays, Willi finally arrived from Austria to Shirley's cottage in Brentwood Bay on Vancouver Island. This time his extended holidays will last until October or so, unlike his usual three weeks stay here. It is worth mentioning by the way, that it is his twenty second trip to western coast of Canada.

After quick assembly of his K-I and shopping for provisions, we departed from Sidney. The scenery quickly changed from urban to idyllic. In Canoe Pass we found some of the most beautiful boats ever built, quietly relaxing on their mooring buoys. This two sisters, designed by local resident William Garden long time ago, have been recently launched:


Another boat, English Channel pilot cutter, built in England over 100 years ago, serves a residence to John and his female friend Rosemary:


Canoe Pass is close to my heart; I've spent many years here messing about boats, old and new, before moving to the great city of Victoria.

Anyway, we had to move on. Soon Shute Passage opened up, with its summer ferry traffic:


Those monsters require lots of respect, but it is so nice to ride through the swell they create.

Portland Island was our destination for the trip. We used this inukshuk to guide us to the Arbutus Point:


I generously offered Willi my usual spot on the grassy point for his henessy,


while my tent rested among the trees:


Willi right away took off for a quick paddle around Moresby Island, while I tried to negotiate terms of peaceful coexistence with the local residents.


This fellow wanted my food, while I tried to persuade him that flying rocks cannot be that beneficial to him. Soon his family arrived and I slowly got used to their presence.

The following day Willi and Richard (new arrival) paddled to the local market in Ganges for ethnic shopping, while I went around Portland twice: by means of floating, then walking. Both ways have their merits. Ocean is very rich in wildlife there. I do not know how all the resident otters and seals coexist in harmony. It must be abundance of seafood there, as this couple can attest:


One of them caught a good size salmon, but could not lift him off the water and therefore had to swim to the shore. His companion watched patiently for the leftovers.

Walking around Portland is very pleasant experience. Topography changes constantly: from rock outcrops to grassy meadows, to dense forest, quiet bays with a few sailboats on their anchors, and surpraizingly few kayakers staying overnight.


Later on another paddler and his girlfriend arrived. They experienced some heavy weather on the opposite side of the island with gale force winds and 3' following seas. However, nothing like that was visible at our campsite.

The next day we decided to treat ourselves with fish burgers on Saltspring. With wind and tide on our side, we reached Fulford Harbour after a couple of hours of easy paddle. Fulford is a tiny community with funky little boutiques and restaurants:


Here Willi demonstrates that he'll never part with his newly acquired Werner Athena paddle. As some of you probably realize, these go for the price of gold (once for ounce). I use one of those as well, and fully appreciate his dedication to such beautiful piece of paddling equipment. Anyway, we did not buy anything there, as we could not predict our womens' waist sizes after our return from the trip.

Here I'm pretending that female wardrobe does not interest me:


On the way back we stopped on a tiny shell beach of Russell Island. That little island used to be a residence of hawaiian family, before it was donated to the government and became a part of Gulf Island National Park:


That day, at one of the lowest tides of the year, I found this creature well hidden between the rocks:


On the last day Willi took off early as he wanted to visit a few other islands in the area - Rum and D'arcy islands. That required about 22 nm of paddling and so I decided instead to spend another relaxing day on Portland, before departing to our pick-up point in Sidney.

After a couple of recuperation days at Shirley's cottage, Willi went to pick up his newly purchased kayak trailer and soon departed for a maiden trial trip:


Next week we're off for Broken Group on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Full report to follow.

PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 2:36 pm 
Sweet report, awsome pictures!

PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 4:23 pm 
lord high faltbotmeister
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Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2007 6:30 pm
Posts: 681
Location: Stone Mountain, Ga. U.S.A.
Great report Gregn,

Just days away for us ( Chris, Gerry, Kevin & Paul ) aka: Kayakamper, K7Baixo, Bill the Duck, Brazil-Brazil and our trip to the Rio Negro and Amazon rivers.

We all head that way this week and will return about mid month. Full report to follow. I am happy to be the Feathercraft K-1 representative as well.

We are all anxious to see your next post.


"No matter where you go, there you are."

Wilderness Systems Cape Horn 150

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