Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row. March 31st, 2015.

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel RowThe tides for the row are:  High high at 5:30am, 2.6m/8.5′; High low at 12:00. 1.3m/4.3′; Low high at 4:45pm, 2.0m/6.6′.  The tide will be outgoing until noon for the row down to the Brunette.  There will not be a large rise from noon to 4:45pm, .7m/2.6′ so I do not expect there to be an upstream tidal current for the row back to the Maquabeak Park boat launch.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row Gwragedd Annwn at the Maquabeak Park boat launch.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row Gwragedd Annwn with the bridge deconstruction dock in the background.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row The deconstruction crew has refurbished the dock, putting a water level gauge on one of the pilings.  The markings are in meters.  The new Port Mann Bridge is to the left (East).  The orange structure visible underneath the middle of the bridge is what is left of the old Port Mann Bridge.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row The current down river is almost 5km/hr.  Besides taking my GPS navigatin unit, I always take paper charts and topo maps.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row I have a vaavud wind meter.  It works with my phone.  It is reading 20.5km/hr.  The wind is coming up river.  If I row downstream, I get helped by the current.  If I row upriver, the wind pushes me up against the current.  If I take my oars out of the water, the wind and current almost ballence each other off.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel RowI believe this creek is called Dawes Hill.  The mouth is blocked by this big booming log.  The creek goes under three bridges and seems to disappear at United Boulevard.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row At the higest tides, I could work my way around the log…I will have to come back in June when the Fraser is higher to go any further up this creek.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row Dog in a log.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row The log sorting ground is active.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row They are using an excavator on a barge to sort logs.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row Seaspan barges moored on the North Shore.  They were here on the Sapperton Channel Row of March 16th, 2015.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row The more in the middle of the Fraser I am, the more I feel the wind and waves.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row One entrance to the Brunette.  I row in.  This is as far down river as I got in the Sapperton Channel Row of March 16th, 2015.  Then the way was blocked by log booms.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row The closer I row towards the river bank the more the wind and waves fade.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row For maximun visibility, I row backwards into the channel.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row The channel goes right through the middle of the old Canadian Forest Products site.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row I am on the lookout for loose rock.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row Looking out (South) the way I came in.  Why the steel I-beam girders?

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row Is it to hold the sides out?  There is a gauge to the left (East) side.  Once through this part, I turn Gwragedd Annwn around and row normally.  

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row The channel banks are now rocky.  I see them.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel RowI row on to the next bridge along the channel.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel RowThis is the Canfor Avenue Bridge.  There is a gauge on the South-West side.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row There is another gauge on the North-West side of the Bridge.  If you look at the top of the gauge, you will see that there are two sets of numbers.  The 9 to 0 numbers on the long gauge and the smaller squares with the numbers 1 to 4 spaced 1 meter apart on the right.  The gauge seems to read .7 meters.  Enough depth for Gwragedd Annwn.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row I look to the right (East)  up the Brunette, another Canfor Avenue Bridge in the distance.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row To the Left (West) the Brunette runs along Brunette and Columbia Avenue.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row For maximun visibility, I row backwards down the Brunette.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row Old tree fort.  The river is tree lined on both banks with industrial land beyond.  

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row The Skytrain track is barely visible to the right (North).

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row A Skytrain passes by.

 

Brunette River Sapperton Channel Row (62)A small creek enters from the North.  Through the bushes, I spot a beaver dam.  Pretty marginal habitat.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row Another stream enters from the North.  Skytrain drainage?

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row A fishing lure stuck in a tree branch.  People fish here?!?

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row I continue down the Brunette.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row There is not much current or wind here.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row Coming up to a railway bridge.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row There are a bunch of white plastic pipes stuck in the river bed.  I do not know what for.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row I maneuver around the pipes.  You can see the current washing against them.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row Sign in front of the Skytrain station. You cannot get there from here.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row West side of the railway bridge looking North at the Skytrain station.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row FedEx truck on the Spruce Street Bridge.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row Going under the Spruce Street Bridge.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row The next bridge is unnamed.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row I sis not see any traffic while I rowed here.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row Shadow patterns on the underside.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row More shadow patterns.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row Unnamed pipe crossing.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row I see an anchored boat past the Cumberland Street (?) Bridge.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row The Skytrain line runs parallel to the Brunette River.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row Coming up to the bridge.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row There is a pier where the Brunette enters the Fraser.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row The boat anchored here is the Tuesday Sunrise built and owned by Randy van Eyk.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row I had a nice chat with him, he built the boat in 1987.  He is now waiting for engine parts to arrive.  He has been anchored here for a while.  Google Earth picture of July 14th, 2014 shows his boat:Randy van Eyk's boatRandy is a member of the BC Nautical Resident Association.  Their website is:  www.bcnr.org

The BCNR’s mission statement is to:

1. Preserve and support the tradition of living aboard one’s vessel;
2. Promote environmental awareness among liveaboards;
3. Establish effective communications and resolve issues of concern to liveaboards;
4. Serve as a voice for liveaboards regarding activities that affect BC waterways;

With a mandate to liaise with community and government groups regarding development and activities that affect BC waterways and the people who live upon them.

 

Randy seemed like a nice guy.  I wish him and the BCNR well.

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row The pier where the Brunette enters the Fraser.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row I stick my nose out to check conditions.  Looking East in this photo.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row Looking South here.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row South-West towards the Pattullo Bridge.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row Pattullo Bridge, Sapperton Landing park.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row I decide that it is too windy to row up the Fraser, so I row back up the Brunette.  Let us see how far up I can get.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row I leave Randy van Eyk and  the Tuesday Sunrise behind.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row Another gauge.  It does not seem as if the gauges are cordinated together.  I can just make out the numbers 8, 9 & 0; maybe the number 1 at the top.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row No wind and little current.  Nice rowing here.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row Back at the Canfor Avenue Bridge junction.  I am looking East, up the Brunette.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row Looking down the “Through the middle of the old Canadian Forest Products site”, to the Fraser, fork.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row Looking West down the Brunette.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row I now row up the Brunette River.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row I think that this railway bridge is abandoned.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row The second Canfor Avenue Bridge.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row I row beyond the Bridge.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row This is the new Braid Street Bridge.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row Still shiny and new.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row I row under the Bridge.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row Up the Brunette I row!

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row The current begins to quicken.  The river shallows.  I am nearing the end…

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row The end of the row.  I cannot go any further, the current is too strong and there is an obstacle across the river with breaking standing waves.  I need higher water to go further on.  There is a fisherman by the rapids.  I am the first rowboat he has ever seen here.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row Another gauge at the new Braid Street Bridge.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row I let the current carry me downstream.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row Back at the fork to the Fraser through the old Canadian Forest Products site.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row A last look down the Brunette, and I row under the Canfor Avenue Bridge towards the Fraser.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row I leave the junction behind.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row Back under the I-beams.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row The tide should be rising, but there is a slight outflow current.  Wierd.  I guess the tide is not rising quickly enough to push water into the Brunette and cause it to  flow backwards here.

 

 Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row Almost through.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row The river looks pretty calm.  Maybe I am in rowing luck.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row I leave this unstable area for more stable areas.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row West towards the Pattullo Bridge.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row East towards the New Port Mann bridge and the Maquabeak Park boat launch.  I row between the log booms and the shore, staying out of the wind and current.  I just hope that there is enought room for me to row between the shore and the booms.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row Well, I had to pop out from between the booms and the shore…the way was blocked.  I am in the current, but I find that the wind is pushing me up river strongly enough to nearly counteract the current.  Still, it is tough rowing.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row Geese on a barge.  Not as good a title as “Snakes on a plane”, but much more realistic.  Canadian Geese can be pretty nasty.  Ever try to walk on a grassy area where they have been?

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row The log sort excavator working.  I am not taking as many pictures as I have to keep rowing to make progress.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row With the wind blowing upriver, this piece of foam was making better time than I was.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row A tugboat, the Harken No.7 comes up from astern.

 

Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row Nice guys, they give me a lot of searoom.  I am almost at the boat launch.  I row Gwragedd Annwn to the dock and pack her up for the trip home.

 

Brunette River Sapperton Channel Row Google Earth2GPS track of the row.

 

Brunette River Sapperton Channel Row Google Earth1 The Brunette River part.

Sapperton Channel ChartCopy of the chart I took with me.

 

Brunette River Sapperton Channel Row end plateThe Brunette River part was the calmest, with the Sapperton Channel being the most challenging part to row.  Being given a good run for the money by a foam block was pretty humbling.  The hardest part about rowing in the Fraser is the downstream current.  The upstream wind helped even if it did kick up a lot of chop.

 

The trick is to row upstream with the incoming tide, downstream with the outgoing tide and plan your row accordingly.

 

Mike

2 Responses to Brunette River/Sapperton Channel Row. March 31st, 2015.

  1. jmv says:

    A very interesting perspective; thanks for the ride!

  2. MS says:

    I took the kids up the Brunette in the Canoe early this summer all the way to the swimming pool at Hume Park and back. Started and finished at the old BC Penitentiary dock at Landing Park on the Fraser. I had to walk a half dozen times and drag the canoe through the mud, but the kids only had to hop out one time, I think at the point where your progress was stopped. The Brunette seems to be tidal only as far as that concrete item that I think stopped you. Upstream of that you probably couldn’t row, but the depth seemed to be controlled by outflow from the dam at Burnaby Lake.

    Thanks for sharing the photos, I wish I’d seem them before we tried this..

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