2009-08-17 49 -123

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Mon 17 Aug 2009 in 49,-123:
49.2523637, -123.2666370

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Off the coast of UBC; closest boat access is Wreck Beach (take trail 6). About 800m from where Elbie lives.


  • Elbie and her trusty kayak
  • several Harbour Seals that took a liking to either Elbie or her kayak


  • Walk the one block over from my apartment to Trail 6, with my 20kg kayak on my back.
  • Walk down Trail 6 to the beach.
  • Kayak the ~600m to the hashpoint.
  • Profit?!!!


I left home around 15:30, with my kayak on my back (about 20 kg) plus an additional ~5 kg of gear, food and water. That's about 25 kg. My body mass is 50 kg, so it was quite the slow walk from my apartment building to the trailhead for Wreck Beach. For those not familiar, UBC is pretty high above sea-level, and so the hike down to the beach surrounding it is pretty steep. There's an elevation difference of 70 metres in the span of about 100 metres (a 70% grade). The trail I took has over 400 stairs, and is known as a pretty good source of exercise for a normal person. I'm not sure what to call it when you're carrying half of your body mass as you do it.

Here's some photos of the trail off google: [1] [2] [3] [4] (cut and paste the last link)

I've done this a few times before, so it wasn't too bad. I had made a point of going during a quieter time of the day. It's hard to carry the paddle with such a load on your back on a narrow, winding, steep trail when people are trying to get back.

After the trek down, I was feeling incredibly appreciative that Wreck Beach is a clothing optional beach. It was extremely hot out. I set up my kayak on the south side of the beach, and then tried to take some photos of my kayak. Turns out the camera wasn't working right; it thought everything was a bright shade of magenta. At one point, I was greeted by the park rangers as they were walking around, if that really qualifies as a police hash. I cast off around 16:00.

This picture off Wikipedia is pretty much where I cast off from: [5]. More on Wikipedia: [6]

Once on the water -- and wearing only PFD and kayaking shoes -- I leisurely headed out to the point. The wind wasn't bad, and being between two spits, I was fairly isolated. A lot of marine animals take advantage of that fact -- I saw a lot of aquatic birds, and a school of Harbour Seals wound up following me for the last leg of the journey all the way to the point!

The point lay in a tugboat/fishing channel, as hashpoints must do when they land on water. At least this wasn't a freighter channel. Either way, I knew from Robyn's misadventure last month that today was not the day for a MacGyver hash.

The channel: [7]

I got to the point around 17:00 (GPS said 1.36 m away with an accuracy of 6 m), and circled around for a while trying to get an even better GPS reading. Eventually a tugboat carrying a shipping container started coming in, so I turned about and headed back to land. I could see my high-rise from the water, which was pretty cool -- first geohash in the visible range from home!

Once on land, I deflated the kayak, let it dry up a little, packed up, and then clothed myself for the journey back up. The kayak was, of course, heavier now that it was still a bit wet. Furthermore, going up is just never as easy as down. It wasn't as murderous as the first time I did this trip, but I certainly wouldn't have called it fun. In fact, this made it the most physically demanding geohash I've ever been on -- and again, it was only 800 metres from home (in a direct path).

Got back home at 18:45, after a detour to hose off the kayak, and immediately set upon dealing with my gear and devouring the meal I'd thoughtfully prepared before leaving.



Since my camera stopped working, these were taken with my webcam when I got home.


  • geoflashing
  • another water geohash for me
  • Police geohash
  • couch potato honourable mention