-- Last Updated: Dec-07-12 8:54 AM EST --
On Oct 7 String asked about BC paddling destinations and got good answers. I bookmarked the thread. I'm planning a trip out there in July to paddle the Bowron Lakes. After that, my canoe partner and I would like to go out to Vancouver Island, rent a little cabin, poke around the coast and also do some kayak day trips. We will have to rent kayaks, of course. So here's the question: where should we be looking to do paddling day trips in relatively calm waters? (The calmness versus wildness of the water was not addressed in answers to String -- only the scenic beauty.) My emphasis is on protected waters because my canoe partner is not very comfortable in a kayak (prefers a double with me in it), though she's a highly competent canoeist on lakes (learned in Minnesota). We don't need a lot of excitement -- just a beautiful place and the opportunity to paddle out on quiet waters. Thanks for any suggestions you can give me.
This will be our first trip out there and I don't know a thing about the coastal paddling. I did check out some trip reports on PNet and need to go back and look at those again. Some useful ones on Bowron Lakes.
Touring Kayak Paddles
|Table of Contents|
|Messages in this Topic|
Broken Island Group|
Posted by: old_user on Dec-07-12 12:52 PM (EST)
Posted by: gingernc on Dec-07-12 3:25 PM (EST)
I've talked to a friend about the Broken Islands. On her chart they looked great.
procedure at Bowron|
Posted by: northyak on Dec-07-12 3:28 PM (EST)
If you are planning a morning departure to start the first portage at the Bowron Lakes loop, try to watch the mandatory movie and do the weight check-in the evening before. That way you can get a nice early start the next morning, and have the hard work done before it gets too hot.
Borken Island option|
Posted by: northyak on Dec-07-12 3:33 PM (EST)
The only "cabin" that I know of in the Broken Group would be Sechart Lodge. You can stay there quite comfortably and be able to cover the entire Broken Group in day trips if you decide not to go camping. To get there one normally takes the ferry from Port Alberni.
Paddling in BC|
Posted by: WestCoastPaddler on Dec-07-12 3:34 PM (EST)
Here's a link to a trip that my two kids and I did on the Bowron's a few years ago -- it's a fabulous trip that I'm sure you'll enjoy:
2nd the above|
Posted by: WaterMark on Dec-07-12 3:51 PM (EST)
Plus you might want to check out Paddler's Inn in the Broughton Islands - sounds like it meets all your criteria. Again check out westcoast paddler for more info.
Broughton Archipelago and Broken Group|
Posted by: WestCoastPaddler on Dec-07-12 3:47 PM (EST)
If you're looking for cabin-based trips in an area that is fairly sheltered, I'd suggest the Broughton Archipelago, and specifically The Paddlers Inn -- it's a fantastic place that I've stayed on several occasions that makes a great base for exploring the area. You can expect calm flat waters for the most part in the summer months in the Broughton.
Another Broughton trip report|
Posted by: WestCoastPaddler on Dec-07-12 4:00 PM (EST)
Check out Telegraph Cove|
Posted by: jackl on Dec-07-12 6:34 PM (EST)
In Johnston Straight.
PNetters, you are wonderful! Thanks!|
Posted by: gingernc on Dec-08-12 9:06 AM (EST)
Great info and advice, and I will take it all re Bowron Lakes, West Coast Paddlers and destinations on the coast. You have given me a place to focus my research, which I really needed. Thank you, each and every one, so much! PNetters always come through.
Paddling with whales|
Posted by: WestCoastPaddler on Dec-10-12 12:59 AM (EST)
While you may see orcas at any time in and around Johnstone Strait the very best time to see them there is from the end of July and through August and September.
Posted by: mrmannerz on Dec-08-12 12:42 PM (EST)
Sechelt is nice and protected...with boat only provincial campgrounds (its on the mainland north of Vancouver). Also, check your tides and currents. Pacific Northwest tides can be quite irregular compared to other places (the two highs or lows can be very different). There are tidal rapids in places (the Sechelt rapids is a big boat sinker, FYI), and currents that you will want to time. You can get the current charts at most any marine store when you figure out where you are going.
southern gulf island|
Posted by: kanaka on Dec-10-12 11:36 AM (EST)
Saltspring island, portland island, russell island, off of Vancouver island such as maple bay, cowichan bay. Check out Provincial Marine Parks which includes Gulf Island, some of which have camping: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/recreation/marine_parks/marine_parks.html
Renting on Vancouver Island|
Posted by: BigandSmall on Dec-10-12 6:31 PM (EST)
Thanks for specific tips where to rent |
Posted by: gingernc on Dec-10-12 10:08 PM (EST)
Kayaks. And to see orcas. Appreciate all suggestions.
Posted by: ppine on Dec-12-12 6:34 PM (EST)
Aren't the Broken Is on the nwest coast of Van IS? That is hardly protected. Maybe the Gulf Islands would be a better bet. The big challenges in my experience on salt water in the San Juan Is, WA are the tidal rips between islands that can have velocities much higher than you can paddle against and standing waves. Bring a tide table. There is also barge and ferry traffic with very large wakes and cables to worry about. There is a lot of fog. I would avoid anyplace with the name "Straight" after it. That usually means a lot of fetch and wind driven waves. It is a very "dynamic" paddling environment and shuld be approached with some caution especailly given the water temp. Dress for immersion.
More protected than you might think|
Posted by: WestCoastPaddler on Dec-13-12 2:03 AM (EST)
paddling in the salt|
Posted by: ppine on Dec-13-12 12:59 PM (EST)
Re : kayak rentals |
Posted by: trout on Dec-13-12 11:00 AM (EST)
Hello..i was just on VI in Oct .....I believe there is a place on Rt 4 ( Alberni HWY ) heading west towards Coombs & Cameroon Lake and the tall pines of Cathedral Grove state park area (recommended) . I forget the name unfortunately, of the business that rents them but they are on your left as you head west on 4. Cameroon Lake is beautiful. Google other places for rentals. no shortage of water on VI .