Sunday, August 4, 2013

3 Different Ways Of Trying

Ever since we started kayaking I have had this passion of being able to sustain ourselves while on extended camping trips. Yesterday after a couple of stand down days due to my cranky back spasms we launched out of Deep Bay with the Chrome Island Lighthouse at the southern end of Denman Island (Boyle Point) as our destination. We also tried our luck at three different ways of catching seafood which included crabbing, oyster harvesting and fishing (hopefully for salmon). Diversification is the best course of action I say to survive. LOL 

Arriving at our put in location near the Deep Bay RV Park it was pretty evident that the tide was out ..... way out! The pros and cons about having to deal with this? Cons .... one hell of a walk (with wonky back) many times to get gear to water. Pros .... Nice sandy bar to load the kayaks on. Great opportunity to view marine life along rock gardens at Chrome Island and the oysters can easily be harvested. Should also be a shorter walk back to the truck at the end of the day.

Chrome Island Lighthouse in the distance at the put in location in Deep Bay

Ready to head out towards the lighthouse with the crab trap secured on deck, fishing rod and Scotty rod holder set up and a couple of mesh bags and gloves for oyster harvesting. The idea was to troll towards the lighthouse, drop the crab trap and get oysters before doing a little rock gardening exploration.

Not shortly after we launched another kayak came out from the RV park to join us on the paddle across Baynes Sound. The fellow's name was George McFarland and he was paddling a home built Tahe look-a-like and using a Greenland paddle that he also made.

It turns out that George is from Surrey and he stays at the Deep Bay RV Park for 5 months each year and paddles over to the the Ford Cove Marina on Hornby Island by himself for coffee on a regular basis. I think he was really surprised to see another Greenland paddle user (Robyn) and they had a little chat about each others "stick". He asked me why I wasn't a convert but I explained to him that since I was trying out trolling for the first time I wanted to use my euro paddle just in case a "biggie" tried to pull me over. LOL

Just before we reached the lighthouse we dropped the crab trap but this time we used cat food as the bait. We had heard of this many times and since we didn't have any fish heads with us we though why not. Oh yeah ... no nibbles on fishing rod on the way over either. George decided to continue on towards his destination which left us to find the old abandoned oyster lease bed that we harvested at last year. With the tide starting to flood the entrance through the man made breakwaters of the oyster farm which created a little waterfall which we rode into the little harbour like area. Once out of the kayak it wasn't hard to find 10 oysters that would be perfect for our dinner that night.

It was then rock garden exploration time as we paddled around the southern tip of Denman Island and a little way up the east side looking for those spiny sea urchins we saw last year. The whole tip of the island is littered with huge house size boulders with some completely under water and some high above the water line.

Under water photo of a group of Ochre Starfish taken by Robyn.

There were thousands of purple Ochre Starfish below the waterline with a few orange, pink and nearly white ones too. In the deeper water I did spot a few leather and bat starfish but the thing we came to see eluded us. There wasn't a single sea urchin to be found. Checking back on our visit last year I see that we were here in May and come to think of it there wasn't as many starfish then either. I wonder if the warmer water at this time of year and the amount of starfish made any difference? Another thing to research I guess.

Landing at Eagle Rock when there was beach for our lunch
We decided to have lunch on the exposed rocky shelf that connects Eagle Rock with Denman Island at low tide. We also had a few chuckles when three Boyle Point Provincial Park visitors decided to go over to Eagle Rock as the tide was rapidly coming in. They were only on the rock for about 15 minutes before coming back and they discovered the rocky shelf was now under water. LOL

After lunch we headed towards the lighthouse for a closer look. I took the opportunity to do a little more trolling and it wasn't long before my line was being pulled off the the reel. Sure enough the Scotty system that I rigged up worked like a charm as I brought up a rock cod. Only for the fact we were in a rock fish protected area it would have made a great curried rock fish dinner that night.

Feeling pretty confident now I set the line again and felt a very tiny "bump" on the rod. Checking the line I found to my surprise a smolt Chinook salmon that was almost as big as the spoon I was using!

Although not the results we were looking for at least it proved that we were on the right track and the fishing system worked.

Next up was to check the crab trap. I have to admit ... I wasn't too optimistic on this one with our past record so I didn't get our hopes up for fresh crab for dinner. Good thing too! I'm sure Kari will get a chuckle again about this. :-) LOL

Trying our luck again at trolling we paddled back across Baynes Sound towards our put in location and once again we didn't get a nibble. Sure enough the tide was in as we approached the beach which made the haul out to the truck less than 100 feet. So another successful day of paddling even though we didn't catch a crab (again), caught a couple of non keeper fish and brought home oysters.

2013 Paddle #50 Chrome Island
Distance:  6.39 nm ( 11.83 km)
YTD:  274.82 nm ( 508.95 km)


  1. One night on the inside passage Sarah and I decided to do some math. We figured we walked - carrying boats and gear, in multiple trips - somewhere between 16 and 30 miles. But sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.


    1. That's what I told Robyn. When we head out for 10 days next month we'll be landing or launching where ever the tide might be. It's just part of the adventure hauling gear :-)