Sea Kayak Nootka and Kyuquot Sounds

Rocky Mountain Books, 2004. ISBN 1-894765-52-4

Excerpt –


Difficulty Intermediate conditions – moderate risk

Distance 3.5 nmi one way

Duration 1-2 hours

Chart  Nootka Sound No.3675 1:40,000 depth in metres

The head of the inlet has a short hike to a lake. Nearby are the remains of a historic quarry.

Paddling Considerations

  •        Inflow-outflow winds
  •        Watch for fast-moving sports fishing boats zipping in and out of the launch
  •        Crossing: Cougar Creek to the northern shore of Tlupana Inlet 0.7 nmi.

The route

From Cougar Creek, cross Tlupana Inlet, and paddle southwest to the point opposite Argonaut Point. Then proceed up Hisnet Inlet. Valdes Bay is full of houseboats and there’s almost nowhere to land unless you know someone.  Close to the head of the inlet on the east side, grassy hummocks are all that remain of a quarry which supplied marble used in the construction of the Legislature in Victoria. The story following illustrates the hazards of camping here.

          The 1.2 kilometre trail to Deserted Lake starts at the head of the inlet. 

          “At the head of the inlet, the tide had flooded the flat area we thought we could camp on . Reluctant to go farther, we squeezed five tents in between the shafts of the old limestone quarry. It was one of those unlucky nights when the rain bucketed down. Being experienced campers, this didn’t bother us. In fact, we had fun combining several large tarps into a shelter at one end of the fire. However, the wind started to gust and periodically doused the flames. The third time we retreated to warm sleeping bags. All night the wind blew like an express train. Rattle, rattle, bang. People groped their way out in the darkness, teetering on the quarry shaft edges while re-staking their tent pegs.  Others listened snug in their warm bags.

          Next morning I thought the little dog seemed uneasy but I said nothing.  Three of us paddled over to Deserted River and walked up the trail to the lake which was full of logs. On the way back, we heard shouts. When we returned, the others were waiting for us in their canoes about 6 metres offshore.

          “A cougar came and snatched the dog,” they explained. “Bob was standing within 3 m of the fire with the dog close by when he heard a sound and saw the cat with the dog in its mouth. He rushed after it, hollering and thrashing around. The cougar dropped the dog and took off. Your gear is all on shore.” The dog had a couple of teeth marks on its shoulder but was otherwise unharmed, although understandably quiet.  Although cougars definitely live there, most people who visit Hisnet Inlet will never see one. It’s a good idea to leave dogs at home and keep a close watch on small children.”

Unfortunately, this book is out of print but you may find a copy you can borrow from a library.