Quadra Island
September 2005
Quadra Island is an island just a couple miles east of Vancouver Island, about 1/3 of the way up Vancouver Island. We
went to this island with the Port Ludlow paddle group--approximately 16 paddlers. The picture above includes all (but
me) who participated in the first of four day paddles out of Quadra Island. It was taken at Hariot Bay which is on the east
side of Quadra. The mountains in the very background are the mainland of British Columbia. This is a spectacular area
as human habitation is very sparce east and north of Quadra and one can paddle many places where human
structures are few and far between.
From the moment we left Hariot Bay, we were surrounded by sea lions and we found many of them on the rocks that we
paddled around outside the bay.
An important lesson in paddling is to
watch your step when you get out.
Lydia thought it was only a few inches
deep here.
We stayed at the Heriot Bay Inn for $49 Canadian a night (the off season rate). This historic hotel has been newly
reburbished and was quite nice.
Call them at 1-888-605-4545 or go to www.hariotbayinn.com.
Much of the time we paddled along the shore (above) and were treated to many beautiful creatures such as thousands
of jelly fish and sea stars that were two feet across (below right).
Sometimes there was a mixture of sand dollars and
oysters (right). Live sand dollars are black. But the most
amazing creatures we saw were Sunflower Stars
(below). They literally glowed so well that my camera
captured the glow!
On our second day, we went to the Octopus Islands.
These are a group of islands that form a marine sanctuary
off the north eastern side of Quadra Island. To get their,
we split into two groups. Each group was ferried
separately to the Octopus Islands by a boat we chartered
at Hariot Bay Inn. Because of the very narrow passages in
this area, many of these passagees are very dangerous.
Currents sometimes reach 16 knots and at one place the
strong currents create a standing wave nine feet high!
Huge whirlpools are common. The day we went, the tides
were not great so the currents were moderate. But look at
the picture at the left taken from the charter boat. The
water level here drops several feet and the waves are
formed by the tide currents.