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 Post subject: Sechelt Inlet, 2005
PostPosted: July 28th, 2005, 12:49 am 
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(For a version of this trip report with pictures, go to:
http://www.clubtread.com/sforum/topic.a ... C_ID=12444 )

Sechelt Inlet canoe/kayad trip, July 23-25. We went with my wife's sister and her husband from Alberta. They had a rented double kayak from Paddles & Pedals, and were new to kayaking. The tailwind heading for 9-Mile Point was enough to be a problem keeping the canoe going straight, but the kayak's rudder prevented any problems for the others. At 9-Mile we decided the crossing to Kunechin Point looked just too rough, so we pulled into the cove on the north side of the point for lunch.

An hour later it looked like it had settled down some, so we started out. Before long, we were having problems with the canoe and moderate quartering wind from behind on the left side. It got to the point where I was doing nothing but sweep strokes on that side, and with my wife either drawing on one side or prying on the other, the canoe was still being forced around to the left, into rougher conditions and sideways to the waves.

The canoe had no problem coping with the waves, but we just could not go where we needed to go. So we signalled the others we were turning back, and returned to the point. As we got there, it looked calmer, so we tried again. Got farther this time before the same thing happened again. Then my wife's hat blew off and we had a surprisingly hard time retrieving it. It took three tries, and we could only line up on it by broaching upwind and letting the wind push the canoe sideways toward the hat. After proving we could take the waves and wind in any direction, but not manoeuver well, we again returned to the point. Through all this, the novices in the kayak reported no problems.

We decided to try doing an arc east up Salmon Inlet to avoid the worst wind and waves. This started by heading for the blue fish farm building on the north side of Salmon Inlet, and gradually turning to approach Kunechin Point from the east. This worked out just fine although the whole time we could see and hear the breaking waves and wind west of us. At Kunechin, we found a group of about a dozen women waiting for the wind to die down before they crossed Sechelt Inlet to Halfway beach campsite. For our part, the wind had ended any thoughts about us continuing to Tzoonie Narrows on this trip. After the kayakers left, we had this magnificent place to ourselves for the rest of the stay. I found a couple of tent spaces I hadn't known about, so the capacity at the point is 6-7, with two on wooden pads.

Suppertime brought the discovery that I'd left the gas tank for the bbq in the car, and it was our only stove. Luckily it was good conditions for a small beach fire, which acted as a focal point and was washed away by every high tide.

We used a new setup for hanging our food. This consisted of a climbing pulley slung over a branch, and a loop of painter rope through the pulley. A car roof rack strap secured the lid of the cooler, and it plus the food buckets were soon and easily hoisted high off the ground.

Kunechin is an amazing place for bioluminescence, so we waited patiently for dark, then took to the boats for a magical tour of Kunechin Islets. As usual, the wind died around 7:00pm. As we paddled about, the paddles created showers of light, water dripped off the paddles like sparks, and we could see things glowing underwater. At one point my brother-in-law remarked that our canoe gliding along and lit up from underneath as though suspended on sparkling light was the most amazing thing he'd ever seen. We went back past the campsite farther along Kunechin Point before returning to the campsite around 11:30pm, just as the moon was rising to wash out the stars and bioluminescence.

The sun on the tents and screeching oystercatchers got us up the second day. We headed east up Salmon Inlet, new "water" for us. The wind picked up as we travelled, and in fact we turned around and came back a bit to have lunch. During that time, it calmed some, so we went as far as a point across from Black Bear Bluff, then decided it looked too risky to continue to Mid Point. The trouble with the Sechelt/Salmon/Narrows Inlet complex is that there is no local marine weather forecast, and the topography is so different from the adjacent areas that their forecasts are of limited value. During the day a couple of people in a powerboat stopped to talk, and it turned out to be the local park warden, Dennis. After about 6 trips in the area, this was the first time we'd met a warden.

Back towards Kunechin, we made another unhurried stop at the campsite at the east base of Kunechin Point. A nice place with room for 5 tents. There is supposed to be an old trail across to Storm Bay in Narrows Inlet from here, but I couldn't find it. Then back to the campsite, supper, and an even longer night cruise in the bioluminescence. We looped through and around the islets, all the way back into the bay where the second campsite is, then returned to the point.

One thing we noticed both nights at dusk around the tents was a robin-size bird. It was shaped, flew, and caught insects just like a swallow, but I didn't know of a swallow that large. This probably was a swift, and this is the first time I can recall noticing one. Anyway, it provided some entertaining, if not disconcerting, moments as it swept through camp in the dim light. Noticably absent on this trip were large numbers of seals. There were a few, but not many.

Another fine night, and an unhurried packup Monday morning. Then we crossed Sechelt Inlet to the west side, and turned east to the campsite and fine beach at Halfway. After a few hours lazing about there, we continued towards Sechelt into gradually diminishing wind and waves, then made the final crossing back to Tillicum Marina. After a nice supper at Mollys Reach, we caught the ferry. It was delayed by some sort of problem, making me think that BC Ferries' moto should be: "We apologize for the delay."

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PostPosted: July 28th, 2005, 8:26 am 
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One thing we noticed both nights at dusk around the tents was a robin-size bird. It was shaped, flew, and caught insects just like a swallow, but I didn't know of a swallow that large. This probably was a swift, and this is the first time I can recall noticing one.

Swifts are smaller than a robin.
Night hawk?


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 Post subject: Sechelt
PostPosted: July 28th, 2005, 1:49 pm 
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Thanks so much for posting the trip report. Must have caused you to consider the advantages of a rudder, say on a Sea-l hybrid type canoe?


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PostPosted: July 28th, 2005, 10:22 pm 
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Cool, I love canoeing but in the ocean, or with no portages kayaks are the way to go.

Last summer I went from the ferry dock @ saltery bay to princess lousia and back in 10 days.... never would have been able to do that in a canoe.... spent some time playing in skook too....

Right on giving it a shot though... :D :clap:

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 Post subject: Re: Sechelt
PostPosted: July 28th, 2005, 11:11 pm 
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sludge wrote:
Thanks so much for posting the trip report. Must have caused you to consider the advantages of a rudder, say on a Sea-l hybrid type canoe?


Absolutely. I have seriously considered this before, and friends of ours have a Clipper Tripper like ours with a rudder. They use it for sailing, and even without the sail it saved their bacon in the Queen Maude Gulf.

I've asked the people who make the Clippers why they don't make a tandem hybrid version of the Sea-1, and they said either a seagoing canoe with spraydeck or a double kayak should be sufficient. Probably it wouldn't sell enough to make it worthwhile.

As someone who has espoused not being impressed by kayaks, I had to be impressed by how it behaved in those conditions. I'll have more to say on the steering problem later, because I suspect we could have been doing something better.

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PostPosted: July 28th, 2005, 11:13 pm 
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Krusty wrote:
Quote:
One thing we noticed both nights at dusk around the tents was a robin-size bird. It was shaped, flew, and caught insects just like a swallow, but I didn't know of a swallow that large. This probably was a swift, and this is the first time I can recall noticing one.

Swifts are smaller than a robin.
Night hawk?


I think you're right. I noticed that when the bird landed, it seemed to be laying on the ground, just like a picture of a night hawk I found. They certainly are amazing flyers.

Of course, on these trips we see lots of starfish. Turns out starfish are pretty special themselves. No brain, just a neural net. No eyes or ears. They have sensors to find food. Apparently they never die, and can regenerate severed limbs, or completely from a tiny fragment. Move using hundreds of hydraulic/muscular tube feet. Trap prey using the legs and tube feet. Have two stomachs, one of which can be distended into prey such as shellfish. Can open shellfish using the tube feet, which also have suction cups on the ends for adhering to smooth surfaces. Have a variety of strange things on top, including tiny but powerful pincers. They extract oxygen from water both through things on their skin, and the tube feet water system. Sped-up photography shows they socialize, fight and hunt as purposefully as mammals, just extremely slowly.

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PostPosted: July 29th, 2005, 4:18 pm 
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Great trip report SGrant! As I mentioned in the Desolation Sound posting, we also paddled on the ocean recently with two solo kayaks who were barely affected by the wind and waves while we struggled to keep our mighty Frontiersman going straight and upright. After an hour or two of hard slogging like that, I find paddling becomes less and less enjoyable. It is amazing what we will endure to bring beer and chairs! :wink:

My boyfriend and I paddled our canoe in the Sechelt Inlets on July 17, 18, and 19th. We had a friendly tailwind heading north from our put-in at the P&P launch and a smooth ride to Kunechin Point, which we were told was a must-see destination. Unfortunately, when we arrived it was packed and from the only empty site all we heard for the twenty minutes we were there was a woman complaining non-stop about who-knows-what. We just couldn't imagine listening to her all night so we checked out another campsite about fifteen minutes east of the main site (is that the same one you refer to?) but it was taken, too.

It was 8:00pm but the conditions were good, so we decided to cross to Halfway Beach and I'm so glad we did. What a great spot! Beautiful beach and nice tent spots in the trees. It was so nice that we decided to stay there both nights. We paddled back to the put-in on Tuesday into a ferocious headwind and two-foot chop. C'est la vie.

Would have loved to see the bioluminescence - we keep looking for it but haven't been lucky so far... the seals put on a great show for us both nights with their tail-slapping antics!


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PostPosted: July 30th, 2005, 12:38 am 
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Usually on these trips we head for Tzoonie Narrows the first day, so we don't camp at Kunechin. I've never seen it full, but have seen it full at the Narrows. Odd there was no one else at Kunechin this past weekend. The wind seeemed to be causing problems for everyone, as we saw no kayaks moving until after the wind died down.

Halfway beach has its own hazard. A wind out of the east funnels out of Salmon Inlet and can dump large waves on Halfway, stranding you there until conditions change. We've seen powerboats flounder trying to leave Halfway.

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