Bella Bella to North Calvert Island by Canoe

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by jefffski, Sep 7, 2018.

  1. jefffski

    jefffski Paddler

    Jan 2, 2014
    This past August, my partner and I went on a fantastic 12-day canoe trip around BC's mid-coast. Although this area is well traveled by many kayakers, and there are some fishing lodges, otherwise the area is remote and wild.

    To mark our journey to this wondrous area, I have created a website. Please visit and enjoy our stories, pictures and videos.

    KJ and Jeff's Adventures website

    Trip logistics:
    We stayed at the Backpacker's Hostel in Port Hardy. We dropped off the canoe, a Kevlar Clipper Tripper, and gear in the morning, returned to the Hostel, dropped off the car (free parking) and took the $8 shuttle back to the ferry in time for the check in 2 hours before departure. At the terminal, we loaded our gear into the container (with labels), put the canoe onto a rack and handed the propane for our stoves to a ferry worker for the voyage--mandatory.

    Once the ferry arrived at McLoughlin Bay (3 km from Bella Bella), we unloaded the canoe from the rack just metres from the gentle shore, loaded it up and canoed to Hose Point.

    Then, we paddled down Boddy Narrows to Quinoot Point, where we found water from a stream just 500 metres north.

    On day 3, we stopped at Isle 55--look for the black bouy in the bay.

    We stopped next at No Name Islet, but by late afternoon, the tide looked like it might flood the beach site. So, we continued on to Cultus Sound--a busy place.

    We spent an extra day there, then went around Superstition Point and camped at Serpent Islands. That is a fantastic site.

    Our next stop was North Beach after fumbling our way down Kilditt Sound and across Hakai Passage, almost all in heavy mist with minimal visability. We also stopped by the Hakai Fishing Lodge, where we stocked up on water, hiked to West Beach and to the Hakai Research Institute (there's water there too, but be warned, it's a long carry back to North Beach).

    The following day,we launched precariously but successfully into the waves on North Beach, crossed Hakai Passage in a complete fog (hurray for my Garmin 64s GPS!) and went up Edward Channel, stopping for a quick look at the nice campsite in a north facing bay just a couple of kms up. We then headed west in Nalua Passage to Kilditt Sound, crossed to Serpents for lunch and ended the day a the Trqiuet Island NE, where we spent a delightful two nights.

    On our third to last day, we headed to Cultus Sound, but were stymied by big waves and swells just before Supersition Point. We did see a group of kayakers paddling in those swells, wind and waves, but it was too much for us in the canoe as we were alone and thus, the risks were too great. We pulled into Swordfish Bay, hunted around and found a delightful sandy camp just at the southern bay/drying area.

    Very early the next morning, we crossed Superstition Point in calmer conditions, restocked on water in Cultus Sound in the large bay just east of the campsite and stopped for the day at Isl 145, a beautiful shell midden beach.

    Our last day involved a pleasant 17 km paddle back to the ferry terminal. Once there, we rearranged our gear for the ferry and went to town--literally. Read my story on my website about how we got to there!

    Once on the ferry, we paid $5 each for a hot shower, ate dinner, watched for whales (saw several) and watched a movie in the theatre.

    Back at Port Hardy, the shuttle picked me up, drove me to the hostel where I picked up the car, drove back to the ferry, retrieved our propane from the storage area, loaded up the gear and canoe and drove back to the inn for a relaxing night in a real bed.

    The stories on the website are much more entertaining!

  2. AM

    AM Paddler

    Jan 30, 2006
    Beautiful trip - thanks for sharing. I'm transitioning to canoeing more and more, so it's nice to see what other single-blade paddlers are doing on the saltchuck.

    chodups likes this.
  3. chodups

    chodups Paddler

    Nov 2, 2005
    Great report and I enjoyed your website. Nice write-ups, super photos. Well done.
    jefffski likes this.
  4. jefffski

    jefffski Paddler

    Jan 2, 2014
    I think there is a long history of modern canoeists up and down the coast. They have their limits, but do have advantages.

    chodups likes this.
  5. Layback

    Layback Paddler

    Nov 30, 2013
    Burnaby, BC
    Excellent report Jeff, excellent.

    Of course, I still think you should trade in that canoe for a couple of good kayaks. Perhaps Nordkapps. Perhaps red.

    Good things just seem to follow kayakers around. Like this Humpback whale feeding in front of our campsite at the old Johnson cannery in Johnson Channel.

    jefffski and chodups like this.