View topic - Lower Nanaimo River trip report and other suggestions?

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PostPosted: November 15th, 2007, 11:47 pm 
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Joined: November 11th, 2007, 11:55 pm
Posts: 5
Location: Nanaimo, BC
I am a fairly new transplant on the Island, and also have been keen on getting a bit more into canoeing. I have done a fair bit of lake canoeing, and a little bit of river canoeing. I am really keen on doing some longer trips up north, but want to hone my river skills a bit so I have been looking for easy to moderate river paddles on the Island to play around on (say Grade I to II). Information seems pretty sparse on these rivers since they are usually too "easy" for the whitewater kayak crowd.

As a starter, I had a great paddle down the Lower Nanaimo River a couple of weeks ago. It was a fairly short paddle (about 6 km), and I was just able to sneak it in after work before it got dark.

I put in just beneath the Island Highway bridge over the Nanaimo River. I had dropped a bike off at the take out just downstream of the Cedar Road Bridge. The river was fairly high (about 100 m3/s) so there wasn't a lot of exposed bar. The paddle is Grade I, but was running fairly swift. There were a few sweepers to avoid, but it wasn't too difficult, and a few higher waves (maneuvering was definitely key). It was an amazing setting. I saw a lot eagles, a couple of herons, kingfishers. The leaves were turning so it was an array of oranges, reds, yellows and greens for the paddle. Near the Cedar Bridge the salmon were really jumping too. It was probably about an hour paddle, and about a 45 min bike ride back to the car once I was finished. A nice way to have an adventure so close to home and in such a short period of time.

If anyone knows of any other good "easy" river paddles on the Island, I would love to hear about them (e.g. San Juan, Cowichan, Salmon, Woss-Nimpkish, Nitinat).


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PostPosted: November 16th, 2007, 1:22 pm 
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Joined: July 9th, 2003, 11:48 am
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Location: Back to Winnipeg
Dave,

I think the Victoria Canoe & Kayak club is just starting their beginner's whitewater courses, which I think they do on the Cowichan? Check their newsletters on their website.

And, since the river-paddling season on the island is the winter, you might want to check out Tom H's current thread on drysuits!

Paddle safe,

PY.

_________________
Learning to paddle is like learning a language:
It's easy to learn the basics, but will you be understood in a strong wind?


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PostPosted: November 26th, 2007, 6:26 pm 
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Joined: November 19th, 2007, 9:06 pm
Posts: 2
Location: Victoria, BC
Here's a couple more ideas for you:

The San Juan river from the bridge down to either Fairy Lake or the estuary. I did this years ago, and had to haul over at least one log jam. Other than that it's pretty much a float.

The Nitinat River is a nice paddle, but the access is tricky. You basically have to search for old roads heading down to the river for both putin and takeout. The river is pretty much Class I with a bit of I+. As always watch out for wood. I'd ove to do this one again sometime.

The Chemainus Estuary is supposed to be a nice paddle, but probably from the mouth up. It might look tempting to try from the highway bridge down, but from what I've heard there's a lot of wood in there. (Starting to see a pattern?)

It's a quick trip from the Duncan bridge down to the estuary on the Cowichan, but again lots of potential wood (the VCKC has run this in the spring the last several years, and both times I was there had fairly major portages over log jams)

The Cowichan from Vimy Rd down to the highway bridge is a fairly easy Class II. Wood is less of an issue here.

Like Pat said, you might want get in touch with the VCKC for more info and suggestions. Or even better, amp it up a bit and come out on our whitewater canoe trips!

Martin


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PostPosted: November 29th, 2007, 1:34 am 
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Joined: November 11th, 2007, 11:55 pm
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Location: Nanaimo, BC
Thanks for the ideas. It looks like the Victoria Club is pretty active. It looks like a good place to meet some people to paddle with. Will bear the wood issue in mind .


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