Monday, July 4, 2016

One night on Kellys Island (Part 1)

We've been to Kellys Island in Conception Bay numerous times.  We checked it out for possible campsites and threatened to camp there.  Its close by and ideal for a one night kayak camp trip.

Friday Cathy and Gary hatched a plan to bring that one night trip to fruition.  I wasn't sure about the timing as my "To Do" list was extensive but I decided I needed to cross that trip off my list.  We met at Long Pond at 9:30 to load up the kayaks for the 4 km crossing.

Leaving Long Pond we headed straight for the cobble beach where we would decide to either camp on the beach or on the hill 15 meters above the beach.  We climbed the steep hill and selected a site for our tents.  The plan was to set up the tents first, have lunch and then ...

go for a paddle.

On the northwest side of the island we set off for Bell Island.  We took turns predicting the distance to a beach.  Cathy had it at 4.2 kms, Gary 5.0 and myself at 4.7.  The GPS read ...

... 5.2 when we reached the island so Gary won that one.  But, there was no prize as we hadn't placed any bets.

The water was so clear and the sun so strong it made Cathy look like she was floating unsupported above the sea bottom.

Cathy wanted to paddle to the west side of Bell Island to the Grebes Nest so we headed west across the south side of the island under impressive cliffs reaching 50 meters in height.

At Freshwater Cove a short ladder up the hill attracted our attention.  The day wasn't all about the paddle so we landed and took a short hike up following a small stream up a ravine.  Further on we used a rope hanging down a slippery slope to climb onto ...

... a flat area with a great view down the ravine we named "Ant Hill Ravine".  We walked a short distance with the hope of finding a pond the stream ran out of but we gave up.  A subsequent review of maps and Google Earth showed the stream had no source in a pond.  Good call!

By the time we continued our paddle it was 3:00 and getting too late to make the 14 kms round trip to the Grebes Nest so we agreed to go as far as "The Bell" of Bell Island.  Here I named the two stone pillars "Homer" and "Marge".

Under crystal clear blue skies in Front Bell Cove with "The Clapper" on the right.

Cathy approaches "The Bell", a massive seastack ...

... standing off of Bell Island.  We padled through in a stiffening breeze out of the north that increased in intensity squeezed between the two land masses.  Around "The Bell" we rafted up and decided to make a bee line for Kellys Island and return to camp for happy hour and supper.

The game this time was to guess ho long it would take to cross the 6.5 kms distance.  We each had a guess which turned out to be 60 minutes but we could have shaved 10 minutes off of that if we had wanted to as we got a good push in the following wind and sea.


  1. Good story Tony. Exploring small islands in a kayak is the best way to appreciate the natural beauty and isolation. There is a little bit of Robinson Crusoe in every experience.

  2. Absolutely right Jim. Kellys Island is right on our doorstep but it still feels isolated. We have a plan to paddle later this summer in group of islands that numbers 365 - one for every day of the year!

    Tony :-)

  3. It is really amazing that so much beautiful coastline is right at our paddle tips to explore! Island hopping and camping is one of my favorite kayaking things to do! We had a great time and it was so fun exploring new places right in our back yard!.... with 2 great paddle buddies! :) THANKS TONY and GARY!

  4. Thank you too Cathy, it would not have been the same without you. This trip and the happy moments we shared will stay with me forever.

    Tony :-)