Clayoquot Connections

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Exceptions to Fire Ban

Posted on May 29, 2019 at 12:53 PM Comments comments (44)
However, the ban prohibition doesn’t apply to larger Category 3 fires or to campfires that are a half-metre high by a half-metre wide or smaller, or to cooking stoves that use gas, propane, or briquettes.
That said, anyone lighting a campfire must maintain a fireguard by removing flammable debris from around the campfire area and have a hand tool or at least eight litres of water available nearby to properly extinguish the fire.
The government said that anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition may be issued a violation ticket for $1,150, required to pay an administrative penalty of up to $10,000 or, if convicted in court, fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to one year in jail.
If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.
The prohibition will remain in effect until the public is otherwise notified, the government said.To report a wildfire, unattended campfire, or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.
The latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories is available on the government’s website.

NO CAMPFIRES DURING FIRE SEASON

Posted on April 18, 2019 at 6:52 PM Comments comments (58)
When camping in the wilderness, be aware that no campfires are allowed during Fire Season.  In the past campfires were allowed in the 'Fog-Zone' (a 1 km wide strip on the west side of Vancouver Island) during Fire Season; this designation has been terminated.  Please remember to bring a safe & contained means to cook your meals.  Please do your part to ensure that these magnificent Forests are not lost to Wild-Fires. 

Safety Orientation & Safety Info

Posted on June 6, 2017 at 4:50 PM Comments comments (340)

Safety is our #1 regard; Before departure all guests receive a Safety Orientation and are informed as to the location of Safety Equipment.

1 You will be shown the Red DSC button on the boat radio. When required, if you push the button for 5 seconds it will send the digital ID and location of the boat on a Mayday protocol which will be received by all commercial boats including the Coast Guard.
 
2 All guests will be supplied with life-jackets that must be properly worn (clipped in) at all times.

3 All guests will be informed as to the location of Safety Equipment, this includes:
     Air horn & whistle.
     Dry Bag with spare horn, water proof flash light & radio, flare gun & flares.
     Throwing ball & throwing Life-Ring both with heaving lines.
     Anchors (2).
     First Aid Kit with thermal blankets.
     Fire extinguishers (2).
     Paddle.

4 Our boats are maintained to meet and exceed Transport Canada requirements. All are equipped with VHF marine radio, GPS plotter, depth sounder, automatic bilge pump, & running lights.
 
5 All skippers are extensively trained and have a min of 1 full season of professional marine experience in Clayoquot Sound.  All have passed the required courses set by Transport Canada including Marine First Aid. All boats carry a tool kit.

Giant Trees

Posted on May 15, 2017 at 11:13 PM Comments comments (123)
As you drove through Cathedral Grove on your way to the West Coast of Vancouver island the tall tree there is Douglas Fir, at 100 m. (330') tall it is not recognized as the tallest tree on the planet.  However, some unusually tall specimens at just over 120 m. (400') were the tallest trees ever recorded; try and imagine a single tree as tall as a 40 story building.  The tall tree on the West Coast is Sitka Spruce, at 90 m. (300) or 30 stories high.  

The wide trees at both Cathedral Grove and here on the West side of Vancouver Island are the giant Western Red Cedar.  There the trees are 6 - 800 year old.  Here in Clayoquot Sound the oldest of the ancient trees are estimated to be 1,500 to 2,000 years old and a number of them are about 6 m. (20') in diameter.  The nature of these ancient trees is that they are hollow which allows them to bend with the wind rather than break.  This makes it difficult to determine the age of these old giants, however, scientists compare their growth rings patterns to those of known tree ages to discover their age.

At the end of the Big Tree Trail on Meares Island near Tofino in a grove of beautiful giants is the 'Hanging Garden Tree.  She is estimated to be at least 1,400 years old and is an eco-system unto herself as she nurtures a variety of flora including several trees of different species; she is a prime example of a standing  'Nurse Tree'.    


Meares Island Big Tree Trail; upgrades 2017

Posted on May 5, 2017 at 9:07 PM Comments comments (72)
Welcome to the Big Tree Trail; the feature tree is the Hanging Garden Tree which is estimated to be at least 1,400 years old and is just 6 cm. shy of being 6 meters (over 20 ft.) in Diameter.  She  is a giant Red Cedar and gets her name as she is an incredible example of a 'Nurse Tree'.  Several other trees (some of different species) grow on her, she is an eco-system unto herself.  

There are a few changes trail as the boardwalk no longer circles the huge Hanging Garden Tree.  The boardwalk comes to an end about 30 m or 100 ft. in front of the Hanging Garden Tree, from there you`ll see both Pink & Yellowsurveyors tape to your right.  If you want to investigate some other giant trees while doing just the shorter 1 to1.5 hr boardwalk section of the trail then follow the yellow tape as it slowly goes counter clockwise to take you back to the Hanging Garden Tree.  From there you return back down the boardwalk for your pickup. 

To connect with the '3 Km Loop' (extra 2 miles); you should follow the same trail marked by both the pink & yellow tape until the 'yellow' goes left and the 'pink' goes right. This divide in the trail is the connection to the 3 km loop and adds about at least an hr. to your hike.  Before you decide to take this option make sure you have discussed it with your skipper; we will give you a trail map and go over the details of the trail with you. 

And to make things even more confusing, there is also more pink tape behind the Hanging Garden Tree that goes off to the left to the shoreline within Lemmens Inlet.  Trust me, navigating the trails was a lot more confusing when all the trails were marked by the same pink tape.

Make sure you bring a means to communicate while in the wilderness and cell phones work well on the Big Tree Trail.  

Whales at Ahous Bay

Posted on August 9, 2016 at 12:57 PM Comments comments (34)
Recently, while entering Ahous Bay for remote island surfing and camping drop-off on the West Side on Vargas Island, we encountered 4 Gray Whales feeding.  On the return cruise back to Tofino there were 8 whales in Ahous Bay, it is always great to see larger numbers of whales and wildlife in Clayoquot Sound. 

The Remote Surfing and Camping drop-off is at a very protected smaller cove just West of Ahous Bay, with a 5 minute hike through the forest to a beautiful prestine beach with a great surfing break on Vargas Island.  That beach with some sand dunes is known locally as Little BaJa; it is a great place to Camp, Surf, and Beachcomb.  I should mention there is a food cache and a toilet at the drop-off cove.  Few people go there and with plenty of beach you should be able to find your solitude if that's what you're looking for. 

BC Parks Wolf Info

Posted on August 11, 2013 at 5:24 PM Comments comments (33)
Wolf Advisory – August 10th, 2013
Over this past week BC Parks has received numerous reports of close wolf encounters on Vargas Island.
A number of these reports indicate that one or more animal(s) is habituated and is looking for human food.
At this time it is imperative that all people going to Vargas Island be extremely mindful with how they store their food at night or during the day if camp is un-occupied. Food left unattended for even a brief time can be enough to entice wolves that are already highly habituated to people.
All park users should have a solid plan to securely store their food and should have the equipment and skills available to hang their food in the event food caches are full.
Further to this, following the steps below will help prevent wolves from habituating to humans and becoming food conditioned:
Space is safe
It is extremely important to discourage wolves from approaching people. The larger the space between you and the wolf, the safer it is for both you and the wolf.
If a wolf appears and acts unafraid, take the following action as soon as you notice the animal:
  • Raise your arms and wave them in the air to make yourself appear larger.
  • Do not allow children to play away from camp, keep them close to adults at all times.
  • When in a group, act in unison to send a clear message to the wolves they are not welcome.
  • Back away slowly, do not turn your back on the wolf.
  • Make as much noise as possible, throw sticks, rocks and sand at the wolf.
  • Use pepper spray and noise makers if you have it and know how to safely use it.
Remember: The wolves needs to know that you may be a threat to them.
Good Camping Ethics
It is extremely important that park visitors ensure all food and items smelling of food are stored out of reach of wildlife.
  • Keep a clean and orderly camp. Cook away from sleeping areas.
  • Suspend food, kitchen equipment, toiletries, garbage and other loose objects on a rope between trees, or in provided food caches, out of reach of wildlife.
  • Do not bury garbage. If you pack it in - pack it out!
  • Wash dishes in a container and dispose of grey water at sea, away from your camping area.
  • Do not clean fish next to your camp.
  • Never feed wolves or any wildlife.
Please follow the above camping ethics when in wolf country and help keep wolves wild.
Recreating in Coastal Wolf habitat
It is common for wolves to feed on seal and sea lion carcasses that have washed up on the shores of the coastal islands. To allow natural feeding, BC Parks is asking all hikers, campers, and kayakers to avoid camping or hanging out at locations where a seal or sea lion carcass has washed ashore. As well, if in a vessel or kayak, do not approach wolves that are foraging along the coastline or swimming across channels. The fact that you are on a vessel or in a kayak will not eliminate the course of habituation.
Do not bring your dog. Dogs are a high level attractant to wolves and other large carnivores. Protect your pet – keep them at home.

BC Parks is still strongly advising park visitors to not bring their pets to Vargas Island and Flores Island Parks.
Please report wolf sighting to BC Parks staff; and report any wildlife - human interactions where public safety is at risk by dialing 24 hour hotline 1-877-952-7277.

Lone Cone Trail Open

Posted on August 9, 2013 at 1:40 AM Comments comments (28)
Great News; There are now 2 landing locations available to access the Lone Cone Trail.  For guided hikes there is a closer new trail-head from the First Nations village of Opitsat.  And for hikers not requiring a guide the old landing at Kakawis is open again.  Please check 'Island Hiking Drop Offs' on my web site for more details.

New Landing for Lone Cone Hike

Posted on July 10, 2013 at 12:52 PM Comments comments (291)
Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations has just established a new trail-head at their village of Opitsat, however, at this time it is only open for hikers supervised by First Nations guides.  I'll get you more information including a contact number for the guides as the situation develops.  Return boat transport to and from the new closer landing has been reduced by $5 from the below prices.  The old landing at Kakawis is no longer open; so at this time if you want to hike Lone Cone, you must do it with a guide.


Please note; the status of this guided hiking option is currently unknown.  I will update this when I hear of any changes.


 

Wolves on Vargas Island

Posted on June 25, 2013 at 2:31 PM Comments comments (21)
BC Parks is strongly recommending that DOGS not be brought to the island.  There was an attack recently in the Flores Island Prov. Park were a dog was killed.