Kayak trip on the BC coast Sept 2019

Discussion in 'Outings, Trips & Expeditions' started by Red Yeti, Sep 9, 2019.

  1. Red Yeti

    Red Yeti Mostly Harmless Hobbyist Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    In August and September 2019 my wife and I enjoyed 10 days of seakayaking on the Coast of British Columbia. It was an area we have visited in the past, known as God’s Pocket. A remote group of islands a short distance north of the north end of Vancouver Island. The lore of the area says the name comes from the idea that if you have made it there through some notorious big water, you were safe in God's Pocket.

    I started out our trip with a little repair work on the tailgate in the line waiting for the ferry. A little needle and thread to replace a button. I keep a pretty well stocked repair kit on these trips.

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    After a couple days of travel, we got to our launch site. Everything packed and ready to go!
    Launch.jpg

    We were paddling 2 wooden singles that we built a few years ago. It's funny, but the more I look at this picture, the more it looks like the kayak in the foreground was photoshopped in. I know it wasn't, but something about the lighting and shadow look funny.

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    We had some nice weather for paddling much of the time. Most of the coastline in this area is very rocky and usable landing spots are relatively rare. You always keep an awareness of the closest landable place.

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    There are extensive patches of bull kelp here, a marine algae that can grow a foot a day in the summer. Good places to fish for cod.
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    Here's a lunch stop on a pretty little beach.
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    Our first camp. Got a little rain that night. BCO Tarp kept us dry for cooking.
    Camp 1.jpg


    This was a more relaxed trip for us,fewer miles, more layovers and a good bit of time just chilling out in beautiful places.
    Chilling at Bell Is.jpg

    We felt a little sluggish at times. We had good company- lots of big banana slugs
    slug.jpg

    More to come.

    :38:
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
  2. Red Yeti

    Red Yeti Mostly Harmless Hobbyist Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    My kayak is made from cedar strips, fiberglass, carbon fiber and epoxy. It is the hull shape of an Aleutian skin on frame kayak. It includes a number of customized features that fit my needs.

    Solander.jpg

    here's the deck arrangement. Navigational charts are essential. I use the GPS on long crossings and in fog and occasionally to just confirm position. Deck compass is an important backup. A bottle with trail mix for quick energy, and the yellow pouch is my fishing kit. Deck.jpg


    Here’s my kayak fishing set up. I used to use a rod with a holder on the deck behind me, but I found it just got in the way much of the time. It is a hassle to troll a line while paddling, so I stop and fish at certain places. I have gravitated to using a handline and jugging. I used to use a yo yo reel, but I like a flatter line holder for more compact storage on the deck. I carved the raven head piece for a stringer and scavenged a piece of net for a keeper bag.

    fishing gear.jpg


    A few times I did a little jigging and got rockfish for super.
    caught cod.jpg

    Our favorite recipe: coconut cod

    coconut cod.jpg

    There are some really giant barnacles on the outer coastlines here called haystack barnacles. This is a pretty common size shell to find. Supposed to be good to eat, but I have never sampled them.
    Barnacle.jpg


    We had some unusually calm sea conditions during our time out which made for some nice paddling. We’ve seen this area with some much more intense seas, so this was very nice. Good for viewing widlife like this sea otter. We also saw gray whales, stellar's sea lions, porpoise, river otters and others.
    Otter.jpg

    Did a little spoon carving while hanging out on the beach

    Spoon 1.jpg

    Spoon 2.jpg

    more to come
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
  3. Red Yeti

    Red Yeti Mostly Harmless Hobbyist Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Tides can be a very big deal on a seakayak trip.
    Were paddling at the time of the new moon which brings more extreme tides as the low tides were getting lower and the high tides were getting higher as the trip progressed. The highest tides of the day were coming in the middle of the night. At some locations, the only practical place to set up the tent was on the beach so we had to consider our tent site carefully to not have a wet surprise in the night. We ended up at a site that had the most limited tent site and the highest tide. This night we were going to see a high of 16.8 feet above mean sea level at 2 AM.

    Wishart Is Camp.jpg
    We build up a little of a tent platform and did our best to guess exactly where that water level would be. In the end, the water came to within 2 feet of the tent. In this picture, the water came up to the level of the short straight white stick along the brown drift line. This was at 2 am the previous night.


    6 hours later, the low was at 1.5 feet.

    looking out from this same location at the low tide in the morning. wishart Beach .jpg


    The distance out to the water is farther then it looks. Can you see the tiny me standing near the waters edge? That is a long way to carry over some slippery rocks if you want to leave in the morning.

    Low tide.jpg

    same photopoint in the mid day high tide. This is still about 3 feet lower than the night high tide.
    High tide.jpg


    Here's a little tarp set up we made for hanging out in the fog and drizzle.
    Beach Tarp.jpg


    Here’s an overview of the camp kitchen. One of the things I really like about traveling by kayak is the ability to carry decent food and cooking gear.
    camp kitchen.jpg
    We carry some things like cocoa powder in plastic bottles. Most other things in ziplocks and vacuum sealed
    pouches.

    The MSR whisperlite white gas stove has been my standby for many years. I have been experimenting with the Biolite twig stove on some recent trips too.

    Biolite.jpg



    Here’s a little fire kit that I threw together to try on this trip. These items fit into this watertight box well and seemed to cover the bases.

    Fire Kit 1.jpg

    Fire fit 3.jpg


    Fire Kit 2.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
  4. Red Yeti

    Red Yeti Mostly Harmless Hobbyist Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    I decided to make a fire reflector/windbreak one afternoon using driftwood and some rope I found washed up.

    Fire refl 1.jpg


    Fire refl 2.jpg

    Cooked up some biscuits on the coals

    Biskies.jpg

    Another day, another meal out of the skillet. here's some potatos, peppers, eggs and bacon.
    eggs.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
  5. Red Yeti

    Red Yeti Mostly Harmless Hobbyist Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Some more pics from another camera we used.

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    A group or stellers sea lions. These guys are huge and seemed pretty PO'd

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    This is a big bunch of big California mussels, most over 8 inches long. Lots of barnacles too. It is tempting to feast on shelfish here, but there is a possibility of toxic algae, so we just enjoy with our eyes.

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    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
  6. Red Yeti

    Red Yeti Mostly Harmless Hobbyist Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    replenishing water supply
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    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
  7. NWPrimate

    NWPrimate Supporter Supporter

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  8. Red Yeti

    Red Yeti Mostly Harmless Hobbyist Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    We had some heavy seafog for parts of most days and this came along with some significant open water crossings. The paddling on these crossings was pretty straightforward, but the visibility at times was very low and no landmarks could be seen. Had to rely on the GPS alone and keep ears open for any vessel traffic. We were crossing shipping lanes that make up the inside passage, so cruise ships and other large vessels were out there in the fog too. Can you see the top of the cruise ship in the fog bank behind the paddler?



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    Thanks for looking!

    :38::38:
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
  9. NWPrimate

    NWPrimate Supporter Supporter

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  10. Tor Helge

    Tor Helge Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Great report.
    Awesome area.
     
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  11. Kona9

    Kona9 Supporter Supporter

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    That’s a dream trip for me. Hopefully one day I can get out there. Thanks for posting all of those great pictures!
     
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  12. HeadyBrew

    HeadyBrew Fully vaccinated Supporter

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    Man, you’re trips are the absolute definition of epic. Very cool. Thanks for sharing it!
     
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  13. KFF

    KFF Lady of the mosquitoes Supporter

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    Thanks for sharing!
    If I were the type to be envious, this would be the time, but instead I'm glad you had a great trip together and got to see wildlife!
     
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  14. badglide9705

    badglide9705 Hobbyist Hobbyist Supporter

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    Great report on a great trip! I'm not a paddler but when I daydream that I am, your the kind of paddler I dream to be! Thanks for sharing.:D
     
  15. M.Hatfield

    M.Hatfield Midnight Joker #42 Lifetime Supporter

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    Amazing. Simply amazing! :cool:
     
  16. Jim L.

    Jim L. Guide

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    Epic awesomeness! Beautiful scenery and weather. Thanks for tow lining us with you.

    It never ceases to amaze me how much gear you can pack into a tiny boat like that. I half expected chairs and a table.

    Do you have a type of warning or signal system for approaching boats/ships or do you rely on enough speed and evasive maneuvering to avoid collision?
     
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  17. JerseyDevilJeeper

    JerseyDevilJeeper Professional Guide Supporter

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    Absolutely amazing, epic adventure-

    I am in awe of you guys.... AWE!
     
  18. pellegrino

    pellegrino Much to learn... Lifetime Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    That is really awesome, Red Yeti. Thanks a bunch for sharing.
     
  19. alukban

    alukban Guide

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    I enjoyed that a lot @Red Yeti !

    Thank you sooooo much!
     
  20. Red Yeti

    Red Yeti Mostly Harmless Hobbyist Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Yes, you can carry an amount of equipment to be very comfortable in a kayak. We used to take more including a cast iron Dutch oven. I have been working to pare it down. You still have to lug all that stuff up and down the beaches, so not taking the max you can stuff in is good. Makes packing easier as well which is nice. We can take some redundancies for safety ( like a marine VHF and a separate weather radio) which is nice since we are self supported.

    We don't have a lot of options for detecting other vessels in fog. We use our eyes and ears. Large ships are supposed to sound a fog horn. Smaller ones are usually loud enough to hear from quite a distance. We don't have radar which is the best way to do it. We can use the marine marine radio to monitor activity and announce our presence if needed. The best approach to me is just to think like a 'defensive driver' and be on the lookout, keep the exposure as short as you can and try to be close to obstacles other vessels will avoid.

    Our large kayak has a radar reflector built in the sail mast, so it is maybe a little more visible, but that is not workable on the smaller singles.

    :38::38:
     
  21. Jim L.

    Jim L. Guide

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    Ever use an air horn?
     
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  22. beacon

    beacon Simul justus et peccator Supporter Bushclass I

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    Those kayaks are stunning! And getting to enjoy a trip like that with your best friend...a dream come true. Thanks for sharing.
     
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  23. Red Yeti

    Red Yeti Mostly Harmless Hobbyist Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    I used to carry one. I think it died from salt water exposure. Could be a useful way to alert other smaller vessels. I guess I never missed it. We usually are not crossing shipping lanes, esp not in fog, but sometimes the situation comes to that. Horn is a good idea though. We do always have whistles, but an air horn would be louder....
     
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  24. Red Yeti

    Red Yeti Mostly Harmless Hobbyist Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    I hope you do get the opportunity to paddle that coast sometime. I feel very lucky to have it within driving range. Have done a number of trips there over the years.

    :38:
     
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  25. Flint_2016

    Flint_2016 Rusty Hobbyist

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    Amazing trip.I paddled on the east cost,Assategue state park,Cape Cod,and New Jersey,not to mention the Adirondacks.How is the balance on narrower kayaks?Is it tricky?
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    Assategue State Park.I stopped by this duck blind to check it out
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    View of Meddybemps Lake in Maine.We stopped there on our paddling trip for the night
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    Bass River State Forest,a view from my kayak
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    Ducks in flight I got on film from my kayak
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    I kayaked out to a narrow strip of beach.The surf was just 200 feet or so to the east
     
  26. Gruxxx

    Gruxxx NRA En. Life Member GOA Member Supporter Bushclass I

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    What an epic adventure! Doing a trip like that is on my bucket list. Your photos are fantastic and I love your baidarka! Thank you for sharing! :dblthumb:
     
  27. riverrunner

    riverrunner Scout

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    Awesome trip! Thanks for sharing
     
  28. Scotchmon

    Scotchmon Supporter Supporter

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    Those are some beautiful boats! Thanks for sharing your awesome trip!
     
  29. Red Yeti

    Red Yeti Mostly Harmless Hobbyist Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Thanks folks for following along. I hope everyone can get out there somewhere while there is still a bit of summer in the air!

    :38::38:
     
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  30. Red Yeti

    Red Yeti Mostly Harmless Hobbyist Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Nice! thanks for sharing your pictures. It is amazing all the kinds of places a kayak can take you. Our boats are around 24-26 inches wide. I forget exactly. 18 and 19 feet long. Pretty typical for a touring seakayak. They are not really very tippy, esp when loaded, but it is possible to capsize if you don't watch what you are doing. No mishaps on this trip. We practice rescues before every long trip.

    :38:
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
  31. OutnBacker

    OutnBacker Guide

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    An outstanding After Action Report. I sit here, ashamed, thinking that I just spent a night on a cot in the back of my truck.
    Glad you ad the Mrs. got back safe. See you at Millersylvania.
     
  32. Red Yeti

    Red Yeti Mostly Harmless Hobbyist Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Thanks Brother,
    No shame! any night out is a good one in my book. Just get out there!

    :38::38:
     
  33. rbinhood

    rbinhood Scout

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    Loved your TR. I dream of doing a trip like yours.
     
  34. wannabee

    wannabee Supporter Supporter

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    Wow great trip
     
  35. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue —- Roughian #7 -— --- Graybeard -— Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Wonderful report Paul. Thanks for taking us along.

    Is the bull kelp the stuff the Indians made rattles from?

    That guy with the white beard looks like Santa! :p The beard is epic too.
     
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  36. Red Yeti

    Red Yeti Mostly Harmless Hobbyist Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Thanks Ken!

    I have made some rattles from that kelp when it is all dried out in the beach. It is hollow inside. I don't know if that is a truly traditional use. The natives did use it as a long tubular storage container for some rendered oils and such.

    Yeah, the beard got pretty long and was starting to get in the way a bit. I was doing some historical reenactments earlier in the summer and it was part of my persona. I trimmed it back to a more normal length when I got home. :)

    :38:
     
  37. Red Yeti

    Red Yeti Mostly Harmless Hobbyist Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Thanks! I hope you do get out to do a trip like that sometime. I don't think you will regret it !

    :38::38:
     
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  38. NWPrimate

    NWPrimate Supporter Supporter

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    Third time and meant every one...:)
     
  39. Red Yeti

    Red Yeti Mostly Harmless Hobbyist Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Thanks friend! Keep smiling! :)

    :38::38:
     
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  40. Seahunter

    Seahunter Supporter Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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  41. lonegunman

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    Absolutely amazing!
     
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  42. Trojan

    Trojan Tracker

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    Im speechless - I now have lake envy !
     
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  43. OutnBacker

    OutnBacker Guide

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    Yeah, Paul. That beard. You tend to practice high risk behaviors.
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  44. Red Yeti

    Red Yeti Mostly Harmless Hobbyist Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    That is NOT my beard smouldering there....:)

    :38::38:
     
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  45. backlasher

    backlasher Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Great TR!!! Looks like an epic trip. Thanks for the pictures.
     
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  46. Cueball77

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  47. plantedtao

    plantedtao Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Nice trip report! Really enjoyed seeing the coast through your pictures... Really makes me want to get back out there. I haven't camped out on a PNW beach in awhile and that has to change in the next year. Such a beautiful area!

    Great details on your load out. Thanks for sharing. Cheers!

    Jason
     
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  48. Red Yeti

    Red Yeti Mostly Harmless Hobbyist Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Thanks Jason!

    Yep, it's worth the time to get out to those places and always a nice experience what ever the weather. Olympic coast is pretty accessible...

    :38::38:
     
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  49. Cascadian

    Cascadian Guide

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    Rock fish is just about my favorite. Very under-appreciated.
     
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  50. glen1100

    glen1100 Supporter Supporter

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    Nice trip report , love the north end of the island .
     
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