Tuesday, June 24, 2014

BCMTN Musgrave Point

This past weekend we attended the BC Marine Trails Network sign posting event at Musgrave Point on Saltspring Island.

The rear hatches loaded. The front hatches were the same ... almost empty.
But first ... over the past couple of years we have refined our kayak camping gear and the loading of our Delta 15.5's. On this trip we found that we had at least 50% of unused space in each kayak! This extra space will come in handy when we head out on a 10 day trip next month. Maybe we could lease out the space to the other kayakers in our group! LOL

Now you know why we call them our mini vans!

Launching out of Sidney (Amherst Beach) at 2:30 pm on Friday we made it to the Musgrave Point camping area around 6:00 pm and we were more than a little sun baked from the fantastic summer weather that has settled onto the south coast. Although we have paddled past the Musgrave Point camping area before we had never come ashore to see what amenities were available. Though there is a little hike up a bank, once you reach the designated camping location there is enough room for several tents, a brand new picnic table and the 20 year old outhouse which has been totally refurbished by the Saltspring Island Kayaking Club. Nice!

Robyn tries to unwind from the paddle and set up before we start to make dinner.

Plenty of space to store the kayaks overnight on the beach.

By the time we cooked dinner and socialized a bit it was just after 9:00 pm and we were ready for bed. The next morning we were up bright and early (7:30 ish), had a quick breakfast and packed up our gear to get ready for the flotilla that was expected to arrive around 10:30 am. Sure enough the 70+ paddlers from all over the island and the mainland descended on our location right on time.

Here comes the group from Cowichan Bay

Michael Pardy was in charge of assembling the flotilla so that we would look some what organized for the media pictures as we paddled ashore for the event .

Michael Pardy rallies the paddlers on hand.

It couldn't have been a better day in terms of the weather and conditions for the paddlers to make the crossing to Musgrave Point for this historic event.

Lots of familiar faces at the sign posting. It was great to see everyone again.

The BCMTN President, Stephanie Meinke (Nanaimo Paddlers) thanked everyone for attending such a special event in the history of the organization and the paddling community. Robyn tried to steal the spotlight as she took a little side trip off her chair. LOL

Paul Grey (Nanaimo Paddlers, Cowichan Kayak & Canoe Club) and Secretary, Alan Thomson (RCABC and VCKC) bolted the first BCMTN sign in place while Treasurer, Robyn (SISKA, Nanaimo Paddlers) and Reed Clarke did the honors of christening the sign with sea water. How fitting!

After the event, Robyn, Reed and I headed to Portland Island 8.30 nm's away. The paddle down to the south end of Saltspring Island was into a pretty good head wind but as we rounded the corner we were greeted with calm conditions and just a little ebb current to assist us towards our destination.

A quick pit stop at the end southern end of Saltspring Island to stretch the legs.

Arriving at Arbutus Point we had the whole campsite to ourselves other than the semi resident UVIC bird watching team that we meet back in April. It turns out that they will be on the island until August recording the activities of the Song Sparrow.

Aaaah! Camp is set up ... time for some wine and beer!

While relaxing, four hikers came to the point and I thought I recognized one of them. After they explored the point and stated to make their way back up the trail I asked the last person in their group. "Are you Russell Henry?" Sure enough it was Russell! What the heck??? This young man had just completed the record breaking solo circumnavigation of Vancouver Island and here he was back out on the water again. Actually he came by motorboat and was giving some family members a tour around the island by foot. We chatted for a few minutes and he shared a few tidbits of his latest adventure. Note to self ..... get picture with famous person next time!

Looking southeast with great marine conditions and nothing but blue skies.

Views like this keep us coming back to one of our favorite campsites. It's strange that we seem to always have the campground to ourselves.

Mt. Baker above South Pender Island.

One of the resident bandits came to visit us as we lounged in the sun. He had other plans .... ZZZZZZzzzzzz before he would start his nocturnal habits of checking out the camp for leftovers. He was actually pretty good and didn't bother us a bit.

Another Portland Island sunset ..... we never get tired of them :-)

Lots of paddling on this trip but it is good preparation for our big trip in July. Thanks for stopping by to read our adventures.

2014 Paddle #18, 18, 20 BCMTN Musgrave Point
Distance: 24.36 nm (45.11 km)
YTD: 105.27 nm (194.96 km)

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