Gambier Island (map courtesy of Gambier Island Conservancy)
is about 10 minutes ferry ride east from Langdale ferry terminal on the Sunshine Coast. The ferry dock on the Island is near the town of New Brighton. As a matter of fact, you can see the Langdale ferry terminal from the dock.
Gerry (Celtic3472) and I met up at the Langdale ferry terminal at about 10:10 am on Nov. 12, 2005, and took the ferry to New Brighton. We got to Gambier Island at about 10:20 am and we walked a short distance to the Gambier Island General Store. The trail starts next to the General Store. We went into the Store and was greeted by the owner lady, Trudy (I hope I got her name right).
We had some tea and had a nice long chat with her and about her store which apparently was built in 1911, with very nice hardwood floor and a wood stove for heating. She was concerned about the wood stove would malfunction and burn the whole wooden Store down. Another lady came in and was going to stay at a B & B place for the night. We asked if there is any printed map of the Island and Trudy gave us the map and we made donations to the Gambier Island Conservancy in exchange.
With map in hand, Gerry and I talked about hiking the whole Island in one day next year in the spring or early summer. We can start from Camp Fircom from the east side of the Island, and hike to Mount Artaban and up the north part of the Island and the coasts, and down back to New Brighton to catch the ferry home. We estimate that the Island can be hiked in seven to eight hours that way.
After half an hour or so, we said goodbye to Trudy, and she took a picture of us before the General Store:
The weather was not too bad and it was drizzling. Here are the pictures of both of us going up the trail.
The sign on the trail is clearly marked:
We continued up the trail, and saw this sign:
Isn't that guy running for something in Vancouver on November 19. I am just kidding.
As we went further up the trail, some of the trees have overhanging branches over the trail, and in dim light, they can look really spooky:
In less than an hour, we crossed the Mannion Creek. Here is Gerry before the creek:
At that point in time, the rain was coming down in buckets. We were soaked wet. Then we passed a lake (Woomoon Lake?) that was not marked on the map:
The wind really started to pick up and the damp cold started to bite into the body. We soldiered on. My goal was to go to Gambier Lake and return at 1:00 pm. Short journey for me. Gerry was to carry on and I had suggested to him to stay for the night at Camp Artaban which appears to be more sheltered. Epic journey for him. At 1:00 pm we were very close to the Lake, so I decided to carry on the descent to the Lake. Just outside the Lake, because of the rain water runoff, the trail became a torrent creek and at 1:20 pm, I said goodbye to Gerry.
When I got back close to New Brighton, the rain stopped and the wind died down. Absolutely wonderfull co-operation from the weather. I got back to the Store at 3:00 pm and was told by Trudy that the ferry would leave in 10 minutes, so I hustled down to the dock.
At the dock, I met up with a couple and their children and dog. I was told that to hire a water taxi from Horseshoe Bay to Camp Fircom would cost about $17.00 and the ferry from New Brighton to Langdale would cost $4.25 one way. So to do the whole Island hike from Camp Fircom to New Brighton via water taxi and then the ferry back home would be less than $25.00.
The ferry that I took back to Langdale went to Keats Island first, which will be another hike for me and Gerry, and any other persons who may be interested.
For the epic journey that Gerry continues to do in the Gambier Island yesterday and today, stay tuned for his report.