Sunday, 31 May 2015

Sea kayaking to Chrome Island Lighthouse on Denman Island

by Keith and Heather Nicol
   On Saturday, May 30 with the good weather continuing we decided to head south from Courtenay and do a sea kayak trip from Deep Bay to Chrome Island Lighthouse which is just off the southern tip of Denman Island. It is about at 40 minute drive to Deep Bay and we put in at the end of Burne Road (10 U 0374280E 5480721N) where there is a small parking lot at the end of Mapleguard Point. We hauled our sea kayaks for about 40-50 meters or so along a sandy trail to the sand beach on the inside of a spit of land that extends out into Deep Bay. Another option is to put in at the boat launch at Deep Bay. We headed out around 2:30 pm with a tide of around 2.9 meters and the finished about 5:15 pm close to high tide (4.1 meters). The weather was sunny with light-moderate south east which turned out to be just the opposite of the marine forecast which had called for light NW winds. 
Chrome Island Lighthouse is a great destination
 We paddled about 2.5 km across to Denman Island and paddled along the shore toward the lighthouse. This part of Denman Island is quite rugged with a steep slope descending to the water and a mix of cobbly – bouldery beaches with some possible landing areas where the cobbles are abit smaller. We headed out and around Chrome Island Lighthouse which is on a scenic island just off shore. It is a classic lighthouse with bright red roofs and bright white paint on the buildings. It was started in 1891 so it has been around for a long time. We were surprised to see little wildlife like seals or sea lions on this trip but we did see a colony of cormorants on the north side of the island. From there we headed along the eastern side of Denman Island to Eagle Rock (a small offshore island) where we landed on a small beach to stretch and have a snack before backtracking to our put in at Deep Bay. Overall the trip was about 11.5 km according to our GPS so this is a good morning or afternoon trip. Since there is an open water crossing, keep an eye to the weather and the tides as well as the general boat traffic. There are other full day paddling options here which could involve heading to Hornby Island or further along the Denman Island shore.

For 4 other blogs on 1/2 day sea kayaking trips on Hornby Island see these posts:

Heather paddling past the end of Eagle Rock with Hornby Island behind

Landing at Deep Bay where we ended (and started) our trip

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