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BC Marine Trails: Preserving BC coastal access for small craft users.

Join the BC Marine Trails Network in a weekend celebration of paddling and camaraderie Sept. 15-17 amid the splendor of the Salish Sea.

The Salish Sea Marine Trail connects Victoria to Vancouver as part of the Trans Canada Trail, and the grand opening celebration on Newcastle Island puts you on the doorstep of some of the great wilderness locations of this multi-faceted paddling route. 

The grand opening weekend event includes two initiatives - the marine trail grand opening and a new annual race, the Crazy Eight, which loops around Newcastle and Protection islands.

Join us for this piece of history in the making and meet our friends at the Snuneymuxw First Nation who will be our gracious hosts at this event and into the future as a key waypoint on the Salish Sea Marine Trail.

Need help booking or signing up for events? Click here for instructions.

Itinerary

Friday Sept.15

Cost

6-8 p.m

Welcome, orientation and social event for early arrivals to Newcastle Island

Group camping: $10 per person/night

Book here.

 

Saturday Sept 16

 

8-10 a.m.

Breakfast and Orientation
Workshops or Historical Harbour Paddle Tour

Included in Weekend pass ($25)

9 a.m.

Orientation and welcome

10-12 p.m.

Nanimo Harbour history paddling tour

Workshops (2 blocks)

12-1:30 p.m.

Lunch/Free time

Bring your own or visit a local eatery.

1:30-2 p.m.

Group Flotilla from Swy-a-lana Lagoon to Newcastle Island.

Free: Please register here.

2-3 p.m.

Welcome ceremony by the Snuneymuxw First Nation.

3-4 p.m

Social event

4-6 p.m.

Dinner

Tickets to be available soon.

Note that a fire ban may affect this event.

Dinners available at pavilion or locally.

6-8 p.m.

Keynote speakers

Included in Weekend pass

9 p.m. - 7a.m.

Quiet time

 

 

Sunday, September 17

 

7-9 a.m.

Breakfast

Included in Weekend pass

Register for your choice of two races or workshops.

9-12 p.m.

Crazy Eight race: A long distance figure-eight around Newcastle & Protection islands starting and finishing in the channel between the islands. 

The Harbour Race: This runs along Newcastle Passage around the Cardinal buoy in Departure Bay, with one lap starting and finishing in Mark Bay.

9-11 a.m.

Kayak games

9-12 p.m.

Workshops (3 blocks)

12-1  p.m.   

Closing Ceremonies, winner presentations and prize draws

Planning your weekend:

Camping:  Cost for group camping in the provincial park at Newcastle Island is $10 per person per night for Friday and Saturday. Book early as spaces are limited. Register for one or both nights to take part in the Salish Sea Marine Trail grand opening events.

Amenities include showers, flush toilets and a food kiosk (limited hours). It's a stunning location, close to trails, beaches and scenic shoreline, only moments away from all the services of a major city. 

Alternate accommodations: Private campsites on Newcastle Island can be booked through the BC Parks' Discover Camping online registration system. Or you can book at any of the waterfront or near-water hotels and accommodation options in Nanaimo.

** Watch this space for a list of specials created for Salish Sea Marine Trail grand opening participants.

Weekend passes: The $25 weekend pass includes breakfasts on Saturday/Sunday, entry into the workshops (registration required), kayak polo tournament, and Newcastle Island GPS treasure hunt, Crazy Eight race, and access to keynote speaker sessions. It also includes event insurance coverage.

Additional cost events: The Saturday evening Coast Salish dinner and the Newcastle Island cultural tour will require the purchase of an additional ticket. Watch for registration of these once details are finalized. 

Free events:  If you can't attend the entire weekend, please join us on Saturday afternoon for the group flotilla and the grand opening ceremonies. The meeting place will be in the waters just off Swy-a-lana Lagoon. Please register for the flotilla to help us plan for the event.

Waivers: If you are participating in any on-water event, a signed waiver is required. Avoid lineups at the registration table by  signing the waiver online in advance.

How to get here: The BCMTNA recommends launching your paddlecraft from the Brechin Boat Ramp at the bottom of Zorkin Road adjacent to the Departure Bay Ferry Terminal. You can walk or roll your craft onto the ferry at Horseshoe Bay Terminal and walk off at Departure Bay.

From the boat ramp, it is a 15 minute paddle down picturesque Newcastle Island Channel to Mark Bay and the camping area on the south end of Newcastle Island. For specifics about the Brechin Boat Ramp and other nearby launch options, visit the BCMTNA map.

Need help? Let us walk you through the weekend

This event is set up to function much like an online store, with a cart that tracks the items you choose. If you're not familiar with carts or how they function, please consider the following.

  • If you have signed up for an event but can't find your cart, look for the "Your Salish Sea Cart" cart box in the right sidebar near the top right of any events page. As you add more events, your cart will update. You can remove items from your cart at any time. If you don't see "Your Salish Sea Cart," it's likely you have no items in your cart.
  • If you clicked "Add more events" after registering for an event, but don't see more events, look for the "Salish Sea Marine Trail Celebration Events" box at the top right sidebar of any events page, and choose the appropriate category (camping, the weekend pass and workshops, or the race). 

Here's how to organize your weekend:

  • Are you camping? You have a choice of just one night or the Friday and Saturday. You will have to register for each night separately. 
  • Are you participating in workshops, the race and/or other weekend events? You'll have to sign up for a weekend pass. It is $25 and in large part covers insurance.
  • Workshops are held the Saturday and Sunday mornings and several run co-currently, so be sure you pick only one workshop for each hour. View the schedule.

Questions? We can answer them! If you can't find something, are having trouble registering, or are simply scratching your head about something, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 250-244-6437. We can sort it out! We also welcome suggestions. Please be kind, however, as we are restricted by the parameters of the events software used to create this registration system, so there are many elements over which we have no control. Thanks for your patience!

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