Humpback, Orca and Black Bears
In a matter of less than 3 weeks, I have seen either on or right by my camping beaches, Humpback, Orca and two Black Bears. I guess I shouldn’t forget about the Porpoises, Seals, River Otters, Sea Otters that also visited and certainly not the snakes that my friend Jeff constantly befriended, right beside his tent at Garden Point on Nootka Island.
Garden Point – Nootka Island
Between July 27th and August 2nd, our party of three, Kirsten Hathaway, Jeff Kolebaba and myself paddled out to Garden Point on the north end of Nootka Island. Further information about the camping area can be found here: Garden Point east (bcmarinetrails.org)
The paddling route required us to launch at Little Espinosa Inlet. Little Espinosa Inlet west (bcmarinetrails.org) The launch was easy and as we paddled out of the little inlet, it reminded me of Johnson Lagoon on South Brooks Peninsula. Exploring Johnson Lagoon | Nature Photography by Martin Ryer (mryerblog.com)
As we left Little Espinosa Inlet and entered Espinosa Inlet, we were faced with turbulent waters and high winds coming from the south, very much impeding our progress. We made it 70% of the way down the inlet and to our intended destination before taking a break at a little beach located here: 49.889952, -126.917817. I have dubbed this beach, “Kolebaba Beach” and have recommended it’s use to BC Marine Trails by completing a site assessment report on Knack.
After taking a break on “Kolebaba Beach” our group decided to carry on to Garden Point and cross over Esperenza Inlet, as the winds had diminished. The crossing was enjoyable and we were met with gentle ocean swell breaking through on the northwest side of Center Island. We arrived at mid tide which required long walks up the east end of the point to make camp.
Some notes and considerations if you’re visiting this location:
- High winds can funnel up and down Espinosa Inlet, potentially assisting you on the water or requiring you to get off the water. There’s locations to safely land along the east side of the inlet and wait out the winds but aside from “Kolebaba Beach” they’re not great and wouldn’t make for ideal camping if the winds did not diminish.
- A lot of recreational and commercial fishing boat activity occurs just off Garden Point, disrupting the scenic views and natural surroundings and presenting a serious hazard if one was to attempt crossing in the fog.
- Black Bears are present in the area and there’s been reports of Wolves. The Black Bear we encountered on the beach was respectful of our presence, as we were to his. Hang your food! More information about recreating in Black Bear country can be found here: Staying Safe in Bear Country – BC Parks
- This is a fairly highly used area to access Nuchatlitz Provincial Park – BC Parks, no toilet facilities were observed but the construction of one has been recommended to BC Marine Trails.
- At mid or low tides, the carrying of gear and kayaks is absolutely dreadful on the east side of the point. Admittedly, even with paddling partners to help, it was exhausting. Plan your landing and launches accordingly and if possible, consider making camp on the west side of the beach as there’s both forested and bluff camping opportunities available.
- Brodick Creek intersects the east and west sides of the point and offers clean, fresh drinking water.
- Jeff found a tree stump, filled with water and mud here: 49.845828, -126.899530, if one was interested in having a truly natural “bath.”
- Local recreation fishing boats and their occupants by no means are interested in sharing any of their catch.
ALWAYS REMEMBER THE BC MARINE TRAILS CODE OF CONDUCT