If you just go for a paddle than you can stop thinking about wanting to go for a paddle.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

2015: Post 39 – Great Colinet Island... It will change your life!

About the middle of last week I checked the forecast... looked like a good weekend coming up.  The weatherman promised clear skies, warms days and nights, and low wind, and there would be a full moon Saturday night as well.  I got it in my mind to do an overnight kayak camp trip.  I had a few places in mind but decided on Great Colinet Island. 

My initial plan was to do it as a solo trip, but then decided to invite a few people.  On Thursday morning I sent out an e-mail and, given the short notice, I was surprised when six others accepted the invitation.  

I picked up Shane Saturday morning and we headed to the TCH Irving Station to meet the other guys and we all headed down the highway.  We were in the lead car and talking all things kayaks, and I missed our exit off the highway, and so we had to take the scenic route, go a little farther, and then take the next exit to swing back around.  No matter... we didn't have too far to drive and nobody razzed me about it after.

We made it to the put-in at Admirals Beach and started the kayak packing process.

The crossing to Great Colinet Island is only a couple kilometres and nobody was in any particular hurry.



When we reached the far side of Regina Cove, at the north end of the island,  it was just about noon.  I was the only person in the group who had paddled around the island before and, other than Back Cove (about a half kilometre farther), I could not remember there being anywhere else to stop for lunch until we reached our campsite.  Derek voted we have lunch right where we were and we all followed him to the beach.

The campsite was only about eleven kilomtres from our lunch stop location but since it was such a nice day on the water we took our sweet time and did a little poking and prodding along the way.




As we paddled along the south end of the island we were treated to a small bunch of seals bobbing around.  A little further and we could see our destination for the night... Wild Cove...

Derek and Shane were at the ready to give
Tina a hand with her kayak when she landed.

All hands had made it safely ashore....

It was a hot day and some of the guys had worn their drysuits.  Tina decided to cool off in the ocean, and Gary followed soon after.

Shane and I brought our hammocks  and we had to do a little bit of limb and brush clearing before setting them up.

My hammock

Shane finishing up his set up

When we had our hammocks set up to our satisfaction we walked out of the woods and the other guys had their tents up along the shore.  They razzed us about how long it took to set up the hammocks compared to how long it took them to set up their tents.  But we are both new to hammock camping and I think we did more gabbing about hammocking then the actual brush-clearing and hammock set up. 


We relaxed in the warm, sunny afternoon..

Gary and Dale

Derek and Tina

I watched as Julie got out a can of beer and popped it open.  She said it was happy hour and so I dug out my rum and coke and joined in.  After happy hour was over we all got our suppers on the go.

Supper dishes were cleared away and we walked down the beach a little way where Derek had already piled up some wood and had started the campfire.  A few of us picked up some more wood along the beach to add to the pile and then happy second-hour began.

We had a few drinks and a few laughs and after a while I looked behind me and Julie was lying down on the beach.  She claimed she was trying to get a good picture of the full moon rising but I am not completely convinced...  Now, Julie had had her beer, and a glass or two of wine, and I think she also might of had a hot toddy by this time as well.  She did have her camera in her hands but I'll wait to see evidence of pictures of the moon from her before I buy her story...  

A little while later and Shane was lying on the beach too... again the story was about taking pictures of the moon but again I'll be waiting for pictorial evidence....

We had a few more drinks and a lot of laughs as we fed the fire.  At one point Shane proceeded to explain the best way to cook a steak.  I don't remember his method but at the end of his explanation he says "... try it. It will change your life!"  Well, we all got a good kick out of that...

I have to say I slept pretty well in my hammock, but it was a warm night and I woke up several times sweating. I awoke around 6 am but was quite comfortable and so I lay in the hammock looking out through the mesh and listening to a few birds.  After a while I could hear someone walking along the beach and so I got up and packed up my sleeping accommodations before heading down to the beach.  

The morning was overcast and the winds, as promised, were low.  We all took our time with our breakfast and packing up our kayaks.  

I am always amazed at how much gear
Julie is able to pack into her little NDK Pilgrim

Before long people were getting on the water...

 Dale decided to do a seal launch...

From the campsite in Wild Cove to the cars in Admirals Beach is only about ten kilometres by way of Colinet Passage, and so we were in no hurry and took our time paddling up the east side of the island.

When we arrived at Mosquito Cove (about half way back) we decided to stop and take-out on the beach for a little while.  It was a warm morning and Derek decided to cool off.

As we were sitting on the beach we watched the fog roll in.  It was thick enough that we could not see the land only a couple kilometres away on the other side of Colinet Passage. 

A short paddle along the rest of Great Colinet Island put us back to the spot where we had come to the island the day before.

The fog had lifted since leaving Mosquito Cove and it was clear paddling back across the passage.

About twenty five hours after leaving the put-in beach the day before, we all landed safely back at Admirals Beach...

Looking back I have to admit I was glad I decided not to do this trip by myself.  It was such a nice weekend, and this is such a nice little trip, that it would have been quite selfish of me to not share the adventure.  Thanks to Shane, Tina, Julie, Derek, Gary, and Dale for coming along... not sure if it changed my life, but it was certainly a great bit of fun to have all you guys along...

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