Saturday, August 4, 2012

Ladysmith Harbour

Day one of our paddling vacation and our base camp for the next 5 days is Living Forest Campground in Nanaimo. From here we plan to do day trips to various locations depending on the wind conditions as some of the destinations will involve open water crossings.

Yesterday we chose to explore Ladysmith Harbour that we have seen so many times while driving the island highway. Our put in location was at Transfer Beach that is home to Sealegs Kayaking and boy were they busy today renting out their fleet of Delta kayaks. 

Heading north from the beach we paddled past the saw mills that were busy processing logs from the booms tied up in the harbour. Back in the logging boom (pun) days the harbour was full of logs waiting for processing but today the storage booms are mostly empty.

Working our way over to the east side of the harbour we navigated through the many islands and islets. Another first for us was a seal playing close by doing full out of the water breaches and this is where you need a really good high speed camera or a GoPro which was in my back hatch (LOL). I did manage to get  picture of the seal's last entry splash and he was not to be seen again.

We did come across a unique marker which we have only seen from the land position in the past so it was kinda neat to see this one. Travelling with our GPS it has a special meaning for us as we now were at the 49'00.00 N Parallel of Latitude. We use our GPS not only for navigation on the water but also when Geocaching. There is a Geocache listing for this location but Robyn went ashore and couldn't locate it and by the previous logs it looks to be gone. Too bad as it would have just made the discovery of the marker even more special.

In the sheltered waters between Dunsmuir Island and Hunter Point we found the remains of a sail boat. This is not the first time that we have seen the sad endings of someone's pride and joy below the water. 

We had launched at near low tide which presented many different seascapes on the way to our lunch stop especially the visible connections between the islets. On our way back the sail boat was completely under the water and we were able to paddle through the gap in the picture below.

No pass through here on the way to our lunch stop but we came through on the way back with about 6 feet of water.

Making our way through Sibbell Bay we rounded Sharpe Point and headed into Evening Cove towards our planned lunch stop location of Elliot's Beach. We have been to this beach before to Geocache but not by kayak so today it was great to paddle in and relax in the warm sun while having a late lunch.

After our rest stop we ventured out to Coffin Point to get a better view of Thetis and Kuper Islands which is another one of our kayaking bucket list destinations. The predicted NW 10 - 15 knot winds had almost totally disappeared and the water was starting to become like glass. We played around Coffin Island a bit in the small rip currents then started our trek back towards Ladysmith with the flood pushing us along at a pretty good pace. A perfect way to start our paddling holiday!!

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