Allan, I have returned from Sept 14-17 Circumnavighation of Read Island.
We chose the Moulds Bay parking/launching option you suggested, which I have pasted below for others.
Option 1: You can park and launch at Heriot Bay Harbour. It is pay parking, but the pay machine is broken (and has been for over a year) and no one has been towed (including me). Follow West Road from Quathiaski Cove to the Heriot Bay Ferry, turning left at Cramer Road (across from the Firehall). Turn right at Antler Road to get down to the parking lot. I recommend launching your kayak on the right side of the harbour causeway instead of on the beach to the left.
Option 2: You can launch from the end of Valdez Road on Moulds Bay. This adds a 30 minute drive beyond Heriot Bay and the last 3 KM is on gravel. Follow Cramer Road, it will put you onto Hyacinth Bay Road, which will in turn change into Village Bay Road. Follow Village Bay Road to where it turns to gravel. The right turn to Valdez Road comes right after that change. This is street parking and I have parked there for the weekend before. You can load/unload at the very end, but do NOT park there. It’s rude to block access to the beach.
Day 1: We went clockwise and experienced the very very strong winds on the paddle across to Read Island that Sarka referred to in “Short Notice Paddles”. We stopped at Freedom Point for lunch and considered calling it a day, but we pushed on with a nice break from the wind as we went through Whiterock Passage, but faced strong winds again on the leg to North Rendezvous campsite, where we spent the night.
Day 2 was calm and sunny as we made our way down to Whale Passage. Several humpback sightings enroute and from Frederic Point, where we spent the night. Winds picked up and intense rain started in the wee hours.
On Day 3 we woke up to pouring rain and strong wind, packed up quickly and made our way back to Moulds Bay (2.5 hrs.) for a somewhat rough landing at low tide on large and slippery rocks.
Throughout the trip we didn’t have much luck with arrivals and departures on mid-high tides, meant there was a lot of hauling up and down on large and slippery rocks.
Ferry: I wasn’t prepared for the mass exodous from Quadra Island on Friday afternoon, we ended up queing up 1.5 hrs. prior to our 10-minute sailing to Campbell River.
Thanks again to you and Sarka for your advice.