By Brian Newhook
Trip Length: Day 1-12 kms, Day 2- 21 kms
Paddlers: Brian Newhook, Trent Hardy
Kayaks Used: 2x Seaknife SK-17 Pro
Maps of the Burnside to Flat Islands Area (Thumbnails - click on images to enlarge)
Trent Hardy and I did a two day trip in the Burnside area September 6th and 7th, 2008. The forecast looked good, with a mix of sun and cloud, with winds 15-20 knots from the SW. This area is generally sheltered, especially within Long Reach. Depending on where you launch from in Burnside, parking can be an issue. We launched just past the bridge to Squid Island, and parked the car a little further up the road. Itís important to not block the wharf or access to the beach for others. We left Burnside at 11 am, heading west into Fair and False Bay. Along this route we saw lots of ducks, terns and cormorants.
Heading west, Long Reach island in the background
This rock really stood out along the way
It may be hard to see, but thereís a flock of ducks taking off.
Cloudy skies and great paddling conditions
Underwater pic: sea urchins, mussels, etc.
Underwater pic - jelly fish
are lots of cabins in the area, and I can imagine that in the height of summer
this could be a busy area, especially in Mishes Cove. We found a lot of mussel
beds along the way, and according to some cabin owners they are safe to eat, so
its very easy to pick mussels from your kayak when the tide is low. After
leaving Mishes cove we headed north into Long Reach. What a beautiful place,
with the high lands on either side. On the western side of the reach there is a
well defined cove, with an old log cabin and a small stream running. This is
where we camped for the night. I must note that the beach disappears almost
entirely at high tide, so there are few places to pitch a tent or have a fire,
and we pretty much have to drag the kayaks in the woods. We had a great supper
of steak and sweet potatoes, listened to Oz FM on the
crank radio and had a few cold black horse beer before calling it a night. Total
distance paddled according to my GPS was 12 kms.
Heading into Mishes Cove
Cabins in Mishes Cove
Paddling up Long Reach
Inside Long reach
The disappearing beach
Old ramshackle cabin
The next morning we were up at 6 am to get a start on the day. Blue skies and the sun peeking up over Long Reach Island. After bacon and eggs for breakfast we hit the water, heading north out of Long Reach. We saw a lot of eagles along this route. At one point, we counted 6 on the cliffs and trees. It made for a very impressive sight. At the very end of the reach, called Bloody Point, there is a cove with a dock that is the Burnside Archaeological area. A 15 minute hike up over the hill leads you to a Beothuk stone quarry, and a stunning view of the surrounding area. Well worth the stop. There are also bathroom facilities here, and a stream for fresh water.
Trent cooking breakfast
Kayaks stored in the woods from the rising tide.
There are several eagles on the trees here.
Almost at the end of long reach.
Burnside Archaeological site
Looking out over bloody reach
Looking back towards Burnside
Checking out the stone quarry
You can see where they chipped off stones.
We crossed over the Morris Channel to the channel between Broad Island and Card Island. This is also a very impressive passage, with huge cliffs and lots of eagles. There are also a few cabins in this area. Then we went around the western side of Hail Island and crossed back over to the reach again. I would have loved to have a few more days to explore the area more. Crossing back we had a brisk 15 knot from the SW in our face, not enough to cause any problems, but enough to be a nuisance.
Relaxing, watching eagles
Huge cliff on Broad Island
Heading back to Burnside
We headed towards Pretty Islands, but found no beaches on them to go a shore for a lunch, so we headed on down near Mid reach where we found a suitable beach on one of the small islands. After finishing lunch, we made the straight run back to Burnside, arriving at about 2:30 pm. Total distance travelled that day was 21 kms.
Overall, Iíd say this trip would be suited for a beginnerís overnight paddle, as itís relatively sheltered, and there are plenty of takeout options along the way, as well as many cabins and cabin owners in the area. That being said, if you venture outside of Long Reach and head northeast, you get into a lot more islands that can be disorientating, requiring sound navigation skills, boat traffic (i.e. St Brendanís ferry) etc. that can cause you grief especially in fog. Some areas can also be exposed to strong easterlies.
We used Peter Armitageís ďFlat Islands, Bonavista BayĒ trip report from this website for reference, as well as Guide to Sea Kayaking in Newfoundland & Labrador by Kevin Redmond and Dan Murphy. Both contain great information on this area.
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