Serpentine/Nicomekl Rivers 2019

Resting in Boundary Bay

WOW!  What a wonderful adventure.  Simon gathered 18 people plus himself at the McDonalds.  There were lots of new faces and lots of familiar faces.

We drove to the “put-in from He!!” on the Serpentine.  Steep banks/slippery slopes.  Since no-one fell out of their boat nor at the put-in (except me) I have volunteered to write the trip report.  During the shuttle, we lowered and loaded the boats. The beach was littered with oysters and razor clams, all covered in (slippery) black sludge.

There were 9  boats – 8 tandems and one trio:  Dave W and Jessica, Stephane and April, Christine and Bruce, Dave A and Vicky, Gord and Kara, Sharam and Vincent, Jen and Ed,  Anya and Leigh, and Simon partnered with Rose and his son Keelan.

Eagle Tree

The weather was overcast, tide was low but still dropping, and away we went.  There was a light breeze which was foretelling of hurricane force winds ahead.

For those who have never paddled these waters, it was a delight.  We were amazed by the number of birds – a lonely kingfisher, herons, golden and bald eagles by the dozen.  One dead tree had at least 6 bald eagles on it. There was evidence of a healthy bald eagle nursery as there were  lots of young ones without white heads and tails. We slipped past several oyster beds – all covered in black muck. They looked like little toy soldiers all standing at attention with their noses in the air. 


Serpentine mudbanks

The headwind increased gradually as the Serpentine meandered through the gentle curves and the landscape changed.  River banks were replaced by sand banks. Looking across, it resembled a dark grey desert. Some places had eroded “cliffs” with little rock crabs peering out of their holes, and others gently rounded into the distance.  Ahead we could see soft green and it went forever in a gentle curve to the right. We passed a few seals – even a mom and baby on shore. (Yes – we gave them a wide berth!).

Eventually, there was a curve to the left.  The first 4 boats waited for the remaining 5 to catch up. We had a full head wind, and the tide was racing in.  You’d jam your paddle into the sand below, and the next thing you knew, you’d have to do it again. When we were together again as a group, we headed for Crescent Beach.  On the right were sand banks covered with a seal colony. We smelled them before we saw them, but again, we gave them lots of distance.  

The wind decreased as did the distance to the beach.  We tied all the boats up, unloaded lunch, found friendly rocks, and kicked back to relax our muscles.  After lunch, a couple of swimmers indulged in the warm water, while Gord paddled nearby in case of trouble.

After everyone was fed and watered, we climbed back into our boats and headed for the Nicomekl.  After our earlier adventures, it was rather anticlimactic but an easy paddle.

Thank you Simon.  It was a wonderful experience and everyone was happy and tired at the end.

(Trip report by Leigh.)

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