Central Coast, August 12

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  • #14427
    Reed Clarke

    I am adding a new outing to the Trips List, going to Bella Bella and the Central Coast.

    This will be a 3B/C paddle, simply because it will feature extended camping in an area with changeable weather. A drysuite or neoprene gear is advisable. At times we will be on fairly open, exposed shoreline. Having said all that, the tour group I ran into the last time I visited this region was not having any difficulties, and not a one of them had a beard!

    Well, okay, that’s not true. They did have some issues with the rain, as did I. This is simply not a good place to visit without a tarp. On a two week trip, there will be a few misty days. So, add a tarp to your gear list!

    The paddling will begin at Bella Bella on Sunday, August 12. That date is locked in. After getting off the ferry, we’ll be able to launch with the high tide, making life much easier.

    Here’s where the fun begins. We could walk on the ferry at Port Hardy, at 7:30 am., arriving Bella Bella at 12:50 am. OR, we could walk on the ferry at Bella Coola, at 8:30 am, arriving Bella Bella at 2:10 pm. The addition of the Northern Sea Wolf to the BC Ferries fleet has resulted in a big schedule improvement out of Bella Coola.

    For a 12 day paddle, we could return to either Port Hardy or Bella Coola on Thursday August 23. There is a shorter option for an 8 day paddle, but only with a Port Hardy return. There is also a 14 day option via Port Hardy and a 16 day option via Bella Coola.

    We can do the 8 day paddle if everyone absolutely insists, but I guarantee you will hate yourself afterwards. This is a vast, and beautiful, area. Even a 12-16 day paddle is only scratching the surface. Having traveled so far to get there, you won’t want to turn around and hurry back.

    The trip will explore the Seaforth Channel area, north of Bella Bella and the Stryker Island area south of Dufferin Island. If we get a break in the weather, the Goose Islands would be a spectacular addition. We will also be heading down the west side of Hunter Island, around to the Serpent Islands south of Hunter, arguably one of the premier camping sites on the BC coast.

    Something else to consider, Bella Coola has several boat/bus/walking options to seek out nature in the area, including grizzly bears. We could consider staying an extra day to take a non-paddling tour.

    Please note, this is not a trip that will sit open for a long period. Going to the Central Coast takes planning and requires ferry bookings. We can’t wait til the last minute to throw this together. So, once I feel that we have a group forming up, in all likelihood I’ll just close the trip off so we can get on with the bookings.

    Let me know if you are interested.

    Cheers, Reed – seakayak@telus.net

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