Bunsby Islands

 

 
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 What:  Advanced only sea kayaking unless in group with experienced leader. This is one of the most interesting places I've paddled. Indian history, sea otter kelp jungles, Brookes Peninsula beckoning, steep beaches with surf for landing challenges. I spent 10days on this trip since it takes about 2 days to get in and about 2 days to get out. 

 Where:  Get ferry schedules and go up Hiway 19. If you get to the Telegraph Cove turn off, you have gone too far. Back up about 15 miles. You are looking for a turnoff west and left to Zeballos. This logging road drive over the island is not to be taken lightly as we came upon a 4wd with all four tires flat because they were driving too fast. There isa hotel there you could call ahead to to stay there to organize from there, butwe stayed at a campground right at water's edge. Use the maps on the more photos page to orient. After you hit Zeballos, you might want to ask locals how to get to Fair Harbour where you will begin paddling as there are abundant logging roads after this point. Of course you will need the navigational chart for this area. From Fair Harbour take the first available right turn into Markale Passage and follow it out to sea via Crowther Channel. Kyuquot channel would take you to some interesting beaches, but I would do that on a subsequent trip after you've seen the Bunsby highlights. Follow the shoreline tight inside of Amos Island heading directly over to the Kyuquot fishing outpost on Walters Island. Go to the inside of Walters to the pier at the convenience store there which is very interesting in itself. Don't expect great hospitality. Plan your next five mile run from Kyuquot to the Bunsbys carefully. It is only 5 miles, but entirely exposed coastline. If you get stuck, search Mclean Island for a campsite. Try to avoid the marshy areas for any camping as the smells, sounds, & danger of water swamping you in mid sleep is not worth the experience. Aim for Thomas Island half way. Note the drumbeats from water exploding out of rock formations at about midpoint. I would highly suggest camping on the inside (north east) side of Checkaklis. Little known campsites there are up from the beach using the rope ladders. Camp in the pits. The reason for this is that if you camp on the beach others may take the pits and they are where you will want to be if there is a storm and you can't get back to Kyuquot. I would suggest getting a boat ride out to Bunsbys actually because it takes so much energy to get there and back, you could explore more and have more fun this way. Explore the island of Checkaklis as it has quite a history of Indian activity. Definitely go to Acous Peninsula and visit Battle Bay and paddle up the creek where you can find fresh drinking water. Paddle over to Brookes Peninsula and visit the huge secluded beaches. Check out Johnson Lagoon for its daily miracle of water flowing in and out. Between Checkaklis and Mahope Pt there is a shortcut to Acous Peninsula but be careful crossing through here as you will view if you sit and watch there are exploding stacks of water that if hit your boat would do major damage possibly to your back. This rock, which looks like a sculpture of a weeping woman isvisible from your campsite here & is very beautiful. If you go over to Brooks Pen. you could get a thrill by going out to Clerke Point, but don't go around the corner unless you are fully aware of what you would be potentially getting into with waves/weather there. That would be another trip in itself. Now there are services available for kayakers at Zeballos Expeditions

 Cautions:  Frequent storms, I spent13 hours pinned down in my shuddering tent in a real shrieker of a storm here. Expect all your gear and clothes to get wet in a few days. Leave the fancy clothes behind here. Use 100% rainproof shells of rubber. Use rubber boots or barefoot. Socks suck fast.   Learn to put your tent up in the rain without getting it wet by using tarp covering first or etc. Be sure to take 2 tire spares.

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