Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Checking out the sea kayaking in scenic Telegraph Cove

by Keith and Heather Nicol  
Ever since we moved to Vancouver Island we have wanted to head north to check out the quaint community of Telegraph Cove.  Sea kayakers have mention that it is a jumping off point for paddling with whales in Johnstone Strait and the Broughton Archipelago. Our  trip was organized at the spur of the moment with the help of a friend of Heather's from Alberta who had visited this area a couple of years ago and had wanted to return to try kayaking and do some whale watching. So with Cheryl Walker in tow we headed to Telegraph Cove in driving rain on Monday, June 13. We arrived in the late afternoon and checked the forecasts for the next couple of days which called for rain, clear periods, and even waterspouts?
Telegraph Cove is a scenic jumping off point for sea kayakers
    Tuesday, June 14 dawned cloudy but it gradually began to clear so we opted to do a short kayak trip to a variety of nearby islands. We had heard that this area gets a lot of boat traffic but in mid June it was fairly quiet. From the Telegraph Cove Resort boat launch (09 U 0653534 E 5601481 N) we headed out through the small harbour and turned right along the shoreline. We were struck by the relatively large amounts of bull kelp, which is pretty much absent from the areas where we have paddled around Comox, Denman and Hornby Islands. It was quiet and relaxing as we weaved between the small Wastell Islets and then paddled into Bauza Cove where there is a large beach. By now it was raining lightly so we paddled on to Blinkhorn Peninsula where there was another large beach to pull out on. We stopped to stretch and have a snack before heading back. The clouds were darkening and looking very threatening and the marine forecast had called for possible waterspouts so we paddled directly back. Our overall route was about 9 km and it took us just under 3 hours which included a 25 minute stop at Blinkhorn Peninsula and stopping for lots of photos enroute.
We paddled between the small Westell Islands
 It rained off and on that afternoon so we headed over to the Stubbs Island Whale Watching office to find out what kinds of whales to expect and where they had been seeing them. "We have been seeing humpbacks on every trip over the past few days but it is a bit too early for orcas" we were told at the reception desk. "Most of the whales have been found at the far end of Blackfish Sound which is at least 10 -12 km   from here". Since this would be a bit too much open water for a kayak trip for us we opted to reserve spots for a boat tour at 1:00 pm the next day.
We saw lots of bull kelp beds
      From our short stay at Telegraph Cove it seemed like there might be other good day trips for those wanting to paddle across Johnstone Strait but this would involve a 4 km crossing so check the weather and tides before you head out. Also this area is very popular for multi day trips either along Johnstone Strait or in the Broughton Archipelago. Get chart #3546 before you head out.
Heather paddling past Bauza Island

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