Soft laps of water are the only sound against the fiberglass hull. Snowy peaks, spill steeply into the ocean in a vast, wild panorama accentuating my sense of place. Less than an hour away, sans traffic, are the city limits of Canada's third largest city. Why do I feel so far away?
Despite all the people who travel to Whistler and beyond along the Sea-to-Sky corridor, few actually venture into the waters of Howe Sound, North America's most southerly fjord. That's great news for kayakers, as the 30-kilometre circumnavigation of nearby Anvil Island makes the perfect overnight paddling adventure.
Drive 38 kilometres north of Vancouver on Highway 99 to Porteau Cove Provincial Park. Campsites are at a premium, so reserve in advance. Cross Howe Sound and race river otters along Anvil Islands eastern shore. Surprise surfacing seals near the Christie Islet Bird Sanctuary. Depart early to beat the afternoon breeze when you paddle Ramillies Channel to camp at Douglas Bay on Gambier Island. Perhaps plan for a quiet morning sunrise at McNab Creek before charting a course for the Defense Islands. Cross to Furry Creek to check out the pictographs in the sheltered bay to the north. If you're lucky you might catch the out-going tide south to Porteau Cove.
Time Needed Overnight or a long day
Federal Topographic Map 92 ? G 11 1:50,000
Potential Hazard - Afternoon winds
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Posted By: squamishpaintball
- Sun Feb 01 00:51:34 EST 2009
Upsidegreat paddle went out for three days... left porteau cove early in the morning while it was still dark and made it to the deffense islands before the sun was fully up.. went all the way up to gambier and to portmelon.. the views are awesome the wild life is entertianing... the best place to camp after doing this trip several times is the smallest of the two deffense islands on the west side right inbetween the narrows of the two island there is a large rock out crop at the right time of the day ( high tide ) you can pull your boat out there and just in the trees there is a small campsite big enough for three small tents. there is no fresh water on the islands as they are to small but during on trip we spent a couple of days on this island do to an injured paddler and boat and we were able to catch enough rain at night.. Now these islands are not crown land they are part of the Squamish nations Indian reserve and there is a long hous on the larger of the two island how ever they have never had a problem letting people stay on the smaller of the two as long as you respect that it is theirs..
DownsideAs stated in previous post the wind is your worst problem here just remeber that you have to make your crossing from side to side before 11am and no later as the wind will pick up fast and hard but usually dies off around 1-2pm if you are cought in this as I have been before just remember to stick to the wind shadows paddle around anvil island and cross at daybreak point as it is the shortest crossing and if you are coming from the deffence island area by the time you get to daybreak point the wind should have died down by then and you will get a chance to play with the seals on your way around the island.. and watch out for chip scows oa they dont always see you...
Posted By: Eegrek
- Tue Jul 29 01:32:25 EDT 2008
QuestionIs it all private land then? I don't need a 'campsite' per say, just wanted to know if it's possible to camp on the island if it's public, but I also don't want to be setting up a tent on private property .... even if I am below high tide line.ANSWERS are in this forum: Private or Public land?
Posted By: trailpeak
- Wed Jul 23 23:03:27 EDT 2008
CommentAs the posting indicates, there is camping on Gambier, but you have to make a crossing to get there. Anvil rises straight out of the sea, there may be beaches, but not official camping.
Posted By: Eegrek
- Fri Jul 04 01:01:25 EDT 2008
QuestionI'm curious to know if there are any spots to camp on Anvil island. I know there is a beach there, but is it all private lan, or public use?ANSWERS are in this forum: Camping Also...
Posted By: julia1211
- Thu Mar 13 23:23:17 EDT 2008
Questionso, i'm planning this trip with a couple of my friends for 2 nights and a day.
so first night, we would arrive at porteau cove provincial park and stay a night there. (DO WE NEED TO MAKE RESERVATION?)
early morning next day, if we set out for anvil island, is there any campground we can camp on? I'm not looking for a formal campground with cabins. but a decent campsite where we can put up our tents and stuff.
and 3rd day, we would pack up and return home.
please reply asap.
thanks!ANSWERS are in this forum: please help
Posted By: Mike&Wendy
- Tue Sep 13 22:44:40 EDT 2005
UpsideBeautiful day and a great workout paddle.
DownsideThe wind picks up in the afternoon, EVERY afternoon. If the wind is blowing opposite the tide then things can be pretty nasty. Much of the island is very steep cliff shoreline so there are no convenient places to pull out on the North or West sides.
CommentToday I did this paddle and it was great. I started at about 10am and the water was like glass so I decided to go straight from Porteau Cove to the North point on Anvil, about a 5km crossing. I decided to do this since the water was so calm. I did the whole circumnavigation in 4 hours and that included a 30 minute beach break for a bite to eat.