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Old 02-21-2015, 02:36 AM   #1
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McMicking Inlet, Campania Island, BC

Hi there,

Any first hand accounts of visiting McMicking Inlet, Campania Island, on BC's 'outside' inside passage?

The beaches and mountain there are calling my name, but I don't have time off work until summer...
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Old 02-21-2015, 07:06 AM   #2
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"Any first hand accounts of visiting McMicking Inlet, Campania Island, on BC's 'outside' inside passage?"

We didn't get into McMicking last summer, but stayed in Weinberg to the N. Intricate and very sheltered anchorages.

Here's a couple of pics with Campania I in the background taken from Estevan Sound.
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Old 02-21-2015, 12:01 PM   #3
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Hi Jay,

Thanks for the photo's. The first one hints at the almost pure white sand beaches below Mount Pender. Also like the word 'intricate' to describe the anchorages in the area...a bit of an understatement I bet.

We went to the top end of Kitkatla Inlet a couple summers ago and marveled at what a different world it was compared to our home waters around Kitimat's Douglas Channel. Expecting Campania and the Estevan Group to be even more impressive.
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Old 02-21-2015, 07:50 PM   #4
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On our last trip to Alaska, we came back south via the "outside" inside passage. It was very beautiful and we saw only one or two boats the entire trip. There is a ton of drift wood in the water the entire way, comes down the Skeena River and finds it's way out to open water via this route. Lots of small bays to stay in and the salmon fishing is good in the area between Campania Island and the south end of Banks Island. Saw several Orca whales also. We would usually need to wait for the fog to lift each morning as it is so close to the open ocean.
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Old 02-22-2015, 11:18 AM   #5
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McMicking,Betterridge, Weinburg

IMHO, it really depends on what you want to while in the area. If it is the white sand beaches that are S of Jewsbury Peninsula, McMicking would be the first choice. We have only been in McMicking once, probably approx. 10 years ago, and my geriatric memory recalls that it was just OK. Our anchorage of choice now is Weinburg Inlet in which we usually anchor once or twice a season on our way N or S. The exploring, sea kayaking, is great fun in and around the islands. We usually anchor in the large basin off of Anderson Passage. From the sound of the anchor and rode (all chain) it is mostly rock. 60-70' and while 3:1 is normal for us, here we are at 4:1 for a good set. The basin just N of Finlaysun Peninsula via Dunn Passage has good holding. I have never seen another boat in there. Never been into Betterridge, maybe this year.
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Old 02-22-2015, 11:55 AM   #6
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Thanks for the tips, Bill

This is our third year with Badger. The first summer we went up to Prince Rupert, and last year we explored Douglas Channel and some of its side channels.

Depending how the weather lines up with my holidays from work, we'd love to explore Campania's western shore, and the Estavan Group. Dare to Dream...
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Old 02-23-2015, 05:01 PM   #7
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McMicking Inlet, Campania Island, BC

Murray. It looks like a cool spot all right. Location of soundings might be somewhat suspect so be careful with pin-point GPS navigation. CHS Chart 3912 indicates the soundings of McMicking done 1943-1950, with some sounding of the approaches to the inlet in 1921-22 by lead-line.

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Old 02-23-2015, 05:05 PM   #8
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This is in the legend of chart 3912
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Old 02-23-2015, 06:37 PM   #9
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Thanks Jim,

Almost all the charts in this area are of the same vintage. People traveling through sometimes trust them too much and anchor according to the charted depths, swing on the anchor, and discover at low tide that the mud banks at the mouths of rivers have extended quite a bit in the intervening years.

They have recently done a modern hydrographic survey of Douglas Channel and its approaches in the off chance shipping will increase from proposed industrial activity in Kitimat, but I don't think they are available yet. Interestingly, they discovered a 50km earthquake fault line and two massive submarine landslides nobody knew existed before about halfway up Douglas Channel...surfs up!
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Old 02-23-2015, 07:31 PM   #10
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Thanks Jim,

Almost all the charts in this area are of the same vintage. People traveling through sometimes trust them too much and anchor according to the charted depths, swing on the anchor, and discover at low tide that the mud banks at the mouths of rivers have extended quite a bit in the intervening years.

They have recently done a modern hydrographic survey of Douglas Channel and its approaches in the off chance shipping will increase from proposed industrial activity in Kitimat, but I don't think they are available yet. Interestingly, they discovered a 50km earthquake fault line and two massive submarine landslides nobody knew existed before about halfway up Douglas Channel...surfs up!

Yes I talked to the CHS people at the Vancouver boat show and they mentioned those new charts would be out soon. Similarly they have almost finished the west coast of Haida Gwaii, parts of which had not been sounded at all, so that will be a big improvement.


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Old 02-23-2015, 08:17 PM   #11
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Yes I talked to the CHS people at the Vancouver boat show and they mentioned those new charts would be out soon. Similarly they have almost finished the west coast of Haida Gwaii, parts of which had not been sounded at all, so that will be a big improvement.


Jim
That's good news, because sometimes people get burned when pushing the envelope and the charts aren't accurate. We were racing an incoming squall in our sea kayaks on the Hecate Strait side of Porcher Island, and trusted the chart which showed a cobble beach around the corner. It turned out to be covered by rocks the size of Fiats and was a real butt clencher of a landing.
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Old 02-23-2015, 10:44 PM   #12
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Coming south from Alaska we did the 50 knot gale in Patterson Inlet on the west side of Pitt Is. We bumped a rock the night before in Ire Inlet. After surviving that (and then the gale) we had a leisurely run down to Monckton Inlet. VERY pleasant anchorage and so peaceful after the gale.
The next day I was headed for Gillen Harbour on the so end of Dewdney Is. Dewdney Island is outside of Trutch Is that is outside of Campania Is. A very widespread rock garden (called Pemberton Bay) needs to me negotiated entering not to mention lots of kelp and after talking it over we decided to head for less challenging inside waters. Once in Gillen Harbour it looks like a very nice anchorage on the chart .. fully protected. Don and R'eanne Douglass say there is very good holding on the mud bottom. Once there if the ocean was calm some great kayaking could be done. Pemberton Bay looks like a great spot for really large boomers. The uncharted channels (on my Navamatics chart (confirmed by the Douglasses) between Barnard Is and Lotbiniere Is may not be passable even w a kayak due to heavy outside kelp. Don't know as we failed to get there. I'm still very drawn to this place but it's so far up there. But you're very close Murray. AND you have kayaking experience (lots as I recall).

The first pic is the head of Pemberton Inlet just before the gale.
The 2nd pic is after we anchored the next evening in Monckton Inlet.
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Old 02-23-2015, 11:18 PM   #13
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Hi Eric,

Thanks for the heads up. McMicking seems doable...the Estavan Group might have to wait for more experience.

We bumped into Don and Reanne Douglass during a five mile crossing of the entrance to Rivers Inlet in our sea kayaks. We were totally confused why this boat kept aiming towards us no matter which way we altered our course until we saw the sea kayak on the top of their trawler, Baidarka. They invited us aboard for hot drinks and had a good chat.

Four months later we were camped on a flat spot in the forest beside Saunders Falls in Grenville Channel, and who should nose their way up to the falls to say hello, but Don and Reanne again. Small world.

I'll be ordering their book on the north coast soon. I really admire their work, and how they explore the more remote nooks and crannies off the beaten path.
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Old 02-25-2015, 02:09 AM   #14
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McMicking Inlet

MurrayM

We were in McMicking on August 5 last summer. All the rocks/obstructions seemed to be in their charted spots. We blogged about it here but really didn't say much about the Inlet. Included screen captures of our approach, Inlet route, anchorage and exit below.

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Seems like a nice place to hang out more than a day.

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Old 02-25-2015, 10:03 AM   #15
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Seems like a nice place to hang out more than a day.
Hi Alex,

Must have been a special place to have teased out your second post in almost three years

We were thinking on the order of one to two weeks.
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Old 02-27-2015, 01:52 AM   #16
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Here's a pic of WILD BLUE northbound in Mathieson Channel last May.
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Old 02-27-2015, 03:14 AM   #17
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Thanks for the photo Jay. Saw Westerly that day in May and posted the following on our blog:

"At 6am Tuesday, the forecast was for building southeast winds up to 20 knots but Shearwater was quiet as we slipped our lines. We headed westbound in Seaforth Channel. The seas were pretty flat but the Admiral (Pat) still opted for the inside route via Reid Passage. We passed Westerly, another pleasure boat, who opted for the outside route, but eventually found her 4 miles ahead when we rejoined the outside traffic lanes. "

Sorry didn't take a photo.

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Old 03-01-2015, 11:15 AM   #18
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Thanks for introducing me to this location. I'm going to try and get up there for a few days. The beaches on Campania Island are compelling and it sounds like the views from atop of Mount Pender are stunning. I found these photos taken my a fellow called Ron Caves.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mtngoa...ream/lightbox/

Also these photos from atop Mount Pender.

http://bcmarina.com/Places/Mount_Pen..._pender25.html


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Old 03-01-2015, 11:37 AM   #19
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Hi Jim,

Thanks for the links.

In the scheme of things (north coast BC wise) McMicking Beach is pretty famous and gets quite a few visits. What keeps the visitor count down is that it's about a 60 mile round trip off the Inside Passage, and the majority of boaters going from "A to B" can't justify the lost time or extra fuel consumption. Fine by me

For comparison purposes, a Google search of "McMicking Inlet" gets 3,310 hits while "Desolation Sound" gets 308,000 hits, so even during summer it probably won't get too crowded.
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Old 03-01-2015, 12:40 PM   #20
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McMicking Inlet, Campania Island, BC

I've been reading through the Douglas' book on the North Coast of BC and they mentioned that the CHS soundings of the 1940's of the entrance were unusually extensive and seemed quite accurate to them, so I retract my previous comments concerning the soundings. This agrees with Alex's experience. Still it is a tricky entrance and caution is warranted in difficult conditions.


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