One of our favourite paddles is around DeCourcy Island area because of the beautiful views and fantastic sandstone erosion formations that we have grown to love here in the Gulf Islands. So today we did a group paddle, but it has a new twist for us. We had to navigate Dodd’s Narrows.
Dodd’s Narrows separates Mudge Island from Vancouver Island. Because it is so narrow, the currents are very high as the huge volumes of water from Georgia Strait rush through it. We have had a picnic lunch on the shore during on of our hikes and watched the water rush through. Of course direction changes with flooding (going towards high) tides and ebbing (going towards low) tides. Our fearless leader Rick wanted to do a circumnavigation of Mudge Island on the way to DeCourcy. So do do this (see arrows below, you have to get through the narrows just at the end of the flood so when we turn the corner around Mudge, we go with the turn of the tide to ebbing on the other side of the island.
Well, we almost did it. We left our launch spot about 15 minutes late because of some tardy club members. So as we neared the end the narrows, we were already feeling the turn of the tide, and we had to push really hard against the growing current. We made it through with some hard paddling, and getting pulled around by the current. It was a new experience for us and it was a great illustration at how prepared you need to be by studying the tide and current tables and planning the route accordingly. Rick had planned it perfectly but when others are involved, you do need to be ready for the unexpected.
We made it safely around the corner. It was easy going down the other side of Mudge because now we were paddling WITH the current. We had time to appreciate the many houses on the island, look at the many jellyfish that were in the water and enjoy the slight breeze that made the temperature very comfortable for paddling. Picture perfect conditions.
We continued past Link and along DeCourcy islands. We have done this section before but there is always new things to see and enjoy.
After lunch we toodled down the west side of DeCourcy which is always a treat. We looked at all the weird and wonderful shapes carved and eroded in the sandstone and tested our maneuvering skills around and through tight rocky outcrops. It’s always a favourite trip for us.