Cape Scott and beyond, biking/camping/hiking trip

Forums Trip Reports Cape Scott and beyond, biking/camping/hiking trip

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  • #14351
    Ye Chu
    Member

    Northern Vancouver Island camping, biking and hiking trip, Oct. 29 to Nov. 1, 2021:

     

    Have you ever planned a trip to the nth degree and have everything work out like clockwork and still have serendipity? Well this was one of those trips.

     

    The only minor hiccup was someone forgetting their hiking boots, but found a construction boot and a light hiker in the car. Luckily one was a right boot and the other a left boot. Serendipity!

     

    We decided not to make reservations for the Friday morning ferry and one of our cars was still far back in the queue. We were in a bit of a panic, but then the other car pulled right in beside us on the ferry. More serendipity!

     

    One could say this trip evoked images of a remote paradise like a Hawaiian holiday: endless balmy sunshine, pristine beaches, extraordinary biodiversity, wind as strong as the most southern point of the Big Island of Hawaii, a hiking trail called Puoli Vali and I am pretty sure there is a trail in Oahu that has a similar name, surfers catching big waves, the Cape Scott logging road is as dangerous as Maui’s Hana Highway (we saw two cars in the ditch), our rainforest is as muddy and gnarly as any tropical jungle, we even have orchids albeit tiny, we have to be bear aware and they have to be wild boars aware, both have a history of foreigners coming in and starting a settlement, both have the greatest risk for a tsunami, unwelcome plastic debris on the beaches** and finally, super friendly indigenous people.

     

    Here are some trip highlights: seeing the tallest totem pole in the world in Alert Bay, summitting St. Patrick mountain at low tide, biking to Bere beach which is a Killer Whale rubbing beach, meeting Canadian Coast Guards and helping them clean up the beaches, watching helicopters remove the 69 refrigerators from Palmerston beach, and hiking to Raft Cove (best kept secret on Vancouver Island).

     

    **The Greek/Israeli shipping container disaster (caused by our recent cyclone bomb), left 109 containers floating in our oceans. One container has landed on Palmerston Cove just below Cape Scott. This container had 70 refrigerators in it. All the refrigerators were recovered except one. Plastic debris is washing up in the Cape Scott area in vast quantities and threatening marine life. The beaches are speckled in plastic – plastic water bottles, the end of a paddle, running shoes, 1000’s of plastic inflatable unicorns, vacuum packed bags of foods, giant plastic cargo bags, plastic gym mats, plastic baby cologne bottles, plastic ropes, sheets of clear plastic, boots, board games, cards and plastic Brita containers, paddle boards and Styrofoam. The other 108 shipping containers are currently heading for Haida Gwaii. Any boats or ships along our coastline better watch out for shipping containers as they can easily destroy a vessel. The Coast Guard are still looking for volunteers for the clean up because with every high tide, more garbage is being washed up.

    #14352
    Katy Poon
    Member

    Thanks Ye for posting the report… here are her photos.

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    #14359
    Karen Peters
    Member

    Did you ask the Coast Guard why the Greek/Israeli ship owners aren’t responsible for cleaning up their debris instead of Canadian volunteers? Just curious why they are not.

    #14360
    Ye Chu
    Member

    I think they said the Greek/Israeli ship owners are fully cooperating and willing to pay for the clean up – i.e. helicopters. But being such a remote place, it is hard to get people there. I met a fellow named Leonard, from the Port Hardy Reservation and he said the Coast Guard asked all the Bands to come out and help clean up the beaches. Leonard said only four people showed up from his Band. He was quite surprised. He had a big duffel bag and said he was going to bring some of the inflatable plastic unicorns for his kids. He said he needed runners too, but all we found were right foot shoes only. I collected a lot of board games with their tiny plastics pieces and 100’s of bags of gravy! My thighs were burning from all the squatting which made hiking and biking very difficult afterwards as we had hiked down a secret Coast Guard trail and biked down the closed off logging road (helicopters were dropping off refrigerators on the logging road). We made a promise not to post the secret trail on social media.

    #14361
    Katy Poon
    Member

    A few more photos … thank you Ye for sharing!

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