Day 11 - Monday - June 18 - Shelter Point Regional Park to Grilse Point on Texada Island
Launching from Harwood Point into Gillies Bay.
After a rainy night, I was packed up and launching at 7:30am. High tide was at 7:20am and I wanted to make sure and launch near that time as the beach at Shelter Point Park goes out for a long way at lower tides and I didn’t want to have to haul my gear another 100 yards if it could be avoided. As soon as I shoved off, the wind started to blow hard out of the northwest right into my face.
The Texada shoreline north of Gillies Bay.
I headed across the wide opening of Gillies Bay on Texada Island and followed the shoreline keeping as close in as I could to try to avoid the strongest winds. I tried to stay focused on paddling and watching out for obstructions as the wind blew spray from the wave peaks into my eyes.
This strip mine on Texada Island is marked "Ideal Cement" on the chart.
There were many seals along this stretch of coast, and their camouflage skin tones matched the color of the rocks so closely it made them hard to spot until I was right on them. Whenever I saw seals far enough in advance, I would try to go out a little further so as not to scare them off their rocky perches.
This string of rocks marks the NW tip of Texada Island and is named Kiddie Point. Powell River is visable in the distance across Malaspina Strait.
After paddling for an hour and a half into the wind, I took a break in a shallow bay near an airfield to see if the wind would die down. This was the first time on the trip that I got cold while taking a break and after waiting over an hour I decided to get going just to warm up. It was now 10:15am and I would not stop again until 4pm when I reached the northern tip of Texada Island at Kiddie Point. This point was very rocky, and showed signs of severe weathering from storms blowing down the Strait of Georgia. I stopped and took a break but did not stay too long as I wanted to find a campsite and get out of the wind before it got any worse.
My kayak in the rocks at Kiddie Point.
Looking across Malaspina Strait toward Powell River from Kiddie Point.
I paddled into Blubber Bay and had a look along the shoreline but there was no suitable place to camp. Many sailboats had anchored there, trying to stay out of the strong wind blowing the tops off whitecaps just outside the protection of the bay. About a half mile off, along the east shore near Grilse Point, I could see what looked like a gravel beach. Having no other alternative, I paddled towards it and kept my fingers crossed that it would make a suitable campsite. From the water, I could not see a level spot big enough to set up a tent, but after getting out and looking around; it turned out to be perfect.
Harwood Island is visible off in the distance across Malaspina Strait from my campsite at Grilse Point on Texada Island.
The beach was steep and consisted of smooth rounded gravel that was easy on my boat and on me as I unloaded all my gear. This beach would be easy to land on at all tide levels. A level, grassy area, above even the highest tides, made a perfect spot to set up camp. The view across the Strait of Georgia to the west and Malaspina Strait to the east was spectacular and afforded me a good view of the crossing I would have to make to Powell River the next day. There is a lighted navigational aid just offshore on Cyril Rock, and a tall radio tower just inland that make this site easy to find. This turned out to be one of the best campsites of my trip, however there is no water here.
Looking across Malaspina Strait toward Powell River from Grilse Point.
After I had eaten dinner and was getting ready to go to sleep, four teenagers walked by out on an evening hike. We talked for a minute then they were on their way. Here I was thinking I was in this remote location when actually I was just a short distance from a small town and hundreds of people.
My campsite at Grilse Point.
Although it was not necessary, I could have paddled over to the ferry landing in Blubber Bay and taken the ferry over to Powell River. The four miles of open water could be intimidating during even calm weather, but add to that, strong wind, rough seas, and boat traffic and it should make a cautious kayaker think twice about setting off for a solo paddle.
A BC Ferry makes the run from Blubber Bay to Powell River.
I landed at my Grilse Point campsite at 5:30pm after paddling 16 miles over ten hours. During calm conditions, this distance would be easy to paddle in half the time.