Effingham Bay Hiking

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After a few days of heavy rain and lots of board games we emerged to a freshly washed down boat and the desire to continue our exploration to another island. We raised the anchor and sailed out of Pipestream inlet. We sailed south through the Broken Group of islands to Effingham Island. Here we found a beautiful, protected bay that had other boats in it. The weather was still not exactly as one would expect for a late June almost July day. The weather was in the mid 60’s (Fahrenheit) and there was a thick layer of clouds above. Ashley and I joked that we will appreciate this cloud cover when we are on the other side of Vancouver Island. The mountains of Vancouver Island force the west side into having many days of clouds and rain (just like what we were experiencing). The eastside of the island enjoys many sunny and dry days earning the nickname of the Sunshine Coast. Well we will soon be on the sunshine coast so we will enjoy the cool days while we have them. We spent the rest of our travel day relaxing on the boat and in the evening we went ashore to the small beach at the head of Effingham Bay. Victoria, Alexander and Ashley explored the beach while I reconnoitered the trail for next day’s hike. It is quickly becoming apparent that our expectations of a “hiking trail” need to be adjusted.

Most of our hiking has been on trails that, to some degree, one has to be aware of the crowds that use them. The trails in Barkley Sound are much different. More people probably hike Mt Si (our favorite hike in Washington) in one day than hike all the trails in Barkley sound in 5 years! There is so much undergrowth in the forest that the “trail” is very difficult to follow. A machete is a must have. If there are trail markers they are few and far between. This makes for very challenging yet exciting hiking that really feels like true exploring. The kids absolutely love the constant climbing over and under all of the fallen logs. They enjoy and benefit from helping to find where the trail continues or for the next trail marker. The markers are often just pieces of beach debris someone has hung from a tree branch.

The next day we loaded up our pack with snacks, bear spray, towels, and mosquito netting. We made our way through the forest and over the island. The hike was beautiful and slow going. But before long we exited the thick forest on a beautiful beach facing the open Pacific. The kids spent the day building beach forts with the endless amount of driftwood, exploring hundreds of vibrant life filled tidepools and climbing on the surf carved granite rocks lining the beach. We returned to the boat for a late lunch and decided to kayak over to an island that had a nice sandy beach. We spent the rest of the afternoon exploring that island and its beaches. We met a family that was on a kayaking vacation as well as a couple anchored nearby who had taken their kids on a 8 year circumnavigation 15 years ago. Small world.

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