Nootka sound Vs. Broughton Archipelago

Discussion in 'General Paddling Discussions' started by Johnthethird, Mar 16, 2016.

  1. Johnthethird

    Johnthethird Paddler

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    So my wife and I are trying to decide which direction to head for our annual week long trip this year, in early july, and figured I would ask here for peoples general opinions on both areas.

    My wife and I are, IMO, novice to intermediate (perhaps on the lower end) paddlers, in terms of experience. We completed our Paddle Canada Level 1 last fall, and likely going to be taking a surf landing course in the next couple of months. We've spent time in the Broken Group, Desolation sound, and Georgian Bay (ON) for multi day trips, and numerous day trips up indian arm and Sechelt Inlet. We don't have much experience in rough open water, so would stear away from open/exposed crossings and the outer stretches of nootka sound. Opinions on fishing in both areas would be greatly appreciated.

    So, please fire away with any ideas, opinions, beta, etc. about both areas.

    Thanks in advance!

    John
     
  2. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    "Broughtons" covers quite a diverse collection of paddling environments. Much of it relatively sheltered though sparse of campsites, and parts very exposed. Route and method of access from VI being a critical variable. To wit, if you use a water taxi to get you to and from the area near Echo Bay, some lovely relatively protected paddling is available. OTOH, if you elect to cross Johnstone Strait both ways, you will be at the mercy of a very long fetch, often in summer a raceway for the effects of the dominant NW wind. But, once across, options open up.

    You might consider using the Paddlers Inn as a launch and return locus for your trip, with their water taxi the key ingredient to make that successful. Not cheap. Other outfitters can also provide access. Google up Telegraph Cove and water taxi to see the choices.

    Not much to offer on Nootka Sound from me. After the playful, serene Brokens, you likely will find NS more serious, and certainly longer of access, unless you opt for a water dropoff or a water taxi ride to get to the good stuff.

    With your level of experience and some more surf zone skills, you might also consider Clayoquot Sound. Check the Kimantas guides for good info.
     
  3. Johnthethird

    Johnthethird Paddler

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    Thanks, Dave.

    I have looked into paddlers inn, and would be using either them or another water taxi service to avoid the serious crossing.

    We would also likely be using some sort water taxi from gold river to get us down the inlet.

    Thanks for the advice, its appreciated.
     
  4. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Sounds like you guys are covering all the bases. Just curious: What is the attraction to Nootka Sound? I've spent almost no time there, but a couple days out near Catala and Nuchatlitz. If you want to avoid the expense of the water taxi, in lieu of some logging road travel, you might consider launching on Esperanza Inlet, west of Zeballos a ways, and sampling those areas in lieu of Nootka Sound.
     
  5. designer

    designer Paddler

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    Though I'm glad I went - never a bad day in a boat - and you don't know until you go - I was a little disappointed with the "wildlife" in the Broughtons. But if you enjoy some solitude you will find it there and and the main campsite in the Burwood group is beautiful. We taxied from Alder Bay to the Burwood Group, stayed on Durham, then paddled back to Alder Bay via Echo Bay, Fox Island, Mound Island then crossed the Strait and stayed on Kaikash creek. There's a fresh water stream there and following it up, there's a soaking pool. And once on the strait we saw a whale and Orcas. We also found mosquitoes that we hadn't encountered earlier.

    But compared to other places I've paddled, it just seemed barron - beautiful islets, but no critter or people. Again, that's not a bad thing.

    I've found that unlike other "outdoor" activity, I don't mind running into other kayakers. In general, I've found them polite, respectful and by questions or observation, I usually learn something.

    Maybe it was just too much of the same thing - rocky islet after rocky islet.

    Make sure you put the waypoint of your campsites in your GPS as they can be difficult to see, especially from the water, as many of the sites are in the trees and the landing beaches were pretty small - almost invisible at high tide.

    Now this is not "The Broughtons" - as David said, it's a large area - just the few places I stayed along our route. Note that compared to the other locations, Echo Bay was a teaming "city" with powerboats, Helicopters, etc. We only stayed for lunch and paddled on.