Sunday, July 10, 2016

Running Out to Rum

Even though we still have lots to do in preparation for our upcoming 16-day trip to Hesquiat, Robyn and I decided to join Kari and her friend Rhea for a paddle out to Rum Island today that we put together late last night.

Perfect conditions consisting of sun with a few clouds, light winds until later in the day and just a bit of current to contend with on the way back in. Launching out of Amherst Beach at 8:30am our route took us past Dock Island, between Sheep and Domville Islands and over to Gooch Island where Robyn and I rolled to cool off a bit. We did manage to spot several flocks of Heermann's Gulls, a family of Oyster Catchers with two young (no orange bills yet), Cormorants, Bald Eagles, Turkey Vultures, Rhinocerus Aulets and lots of Canada Geese.

It was just after 10:00am when we arrived at Rum Island seeing another couple just departing with them commenting that we had the whole island to ourselves. Nice but we didn’t bring our camping gear…. again!

Love Rhea's color coordination!!

Kari, Mark and Rhea on the east side of Domville

We decided to check out the camping area and the first thing I noticed was how rough the 3 tent pad areas looked. After just coming back from the pristine San Juan Islands, the Parks Canada Gulf Island National Park Reserve (GINPR) on Rum Island sure could use a little maintenance especially around the tent pads, trails and the picnic tables that need to be repaired or replaced. It’s really sad that our federal government doesn’t allocate enough funds to maintain the GINPR properly yet they promote the National Park system as being one of the best in the world.

Looking a little worn out ... the camp area could use some attention.

Since it was too early in the day to have lunch we hiked around the small island finding it difficult to locate the rough trail at times but never the less we made it to Tom Point and watched a couple of huge container ships rounding Turn Point towards Vancouver. In the distance, the San Juan Islands no longer looked like some uncharted land since we recently paddled and camped throughout the islands.

Big freaking cargo ships passing between Rum Island and the San Juan Islands.

Checking the tide and current data we thought about making a run towards Mandarte Island to check out some of the many bird species that nest there and then over to Sidney Island. However, with an increasing ebb flow we decided that trying to make it around Sidney Spit might be difficult and opted for a return route via Dock Island where we would have lunch.

Lots of laughs today and a few jabs at Kari to keep her smiling LOL

The ebb flow was beginning to build as we hugged the south shoreline of Gooch Island and west shoreline of Domville Island letting a back eddy pull us along. We did have to do a little ferry angle paddling to reach Dock Island but once there enjoyed lunch in the sun and watched how the currents changed by the minute through the little islets.

Dock Island lunch stop.

Paddling back towards Little Shell Island was uneventful but the crossing back over towards Amherst Beach became a bit lumpy as unpredicted SE winds came up fast to interact with the ebb flow creating small white caps. Still, it was another great day to be on the water in our kayaking playground close to home.

Next up …. Off to Tofino on Thursday to go off the grid for 16 days paddling on the west coast.

2016 Paddle #26 - Rum Island
Distance: 11.19 nm (20.72 km)
YTD: 238.91 nm (442.32 km)

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