The rowing plan for the Nicomekl River is to ride the tide upriver, the low low was at 6:10am, 1.4m/4.6′. The low high is at 12:50pm, 3.2m/10.5′ and then ride the tide/current down, the high low tide is at 5:30pm at 2.6m/8.5′. The tide will only drop 60cm or 2′ during the day.
I print out three Google Earth Views of the Row. This is the first leg of the row:
I also have a topo map and the blueways map from the city of Surrey:(http://www.surrey.ca/files/blueways.pdf) It shows the Nicomekl River Surrey Floating Nature Trail. The trail goes from Blackie point to 184th Street. I am going to launch at the Crescent Beach Marina and row up river as far as I can get in five hours and row down (the faster way) in three. I ballpark the trip as 16 km each way.
I launch Gwragedd Annwn at the Crescent Beach Marina and park the FJ & trailer in their lot. I row away fromt the dock at 9:35am, just a little behind schedule.
Heading South, the railroad goes along the White Rock waterfront to the Peace Arch Crossing. I remember to turn on and reset the GPS.
I row into the creek estuary.
This side channel to the West is too shallow to go up. The Google Earth photo shows that Chantrell Creek comes from this branch.
I row back out and pick another side channel to explore. This one heads West, but the Google Earth picture shows it deadending. I Look to the East.
It is hard to tell, but Google Earth shows this channel going to the river and it may connect well enough for Gwragedd Annwn to return to the Nicomekl. I back down the channel in case I cannot turn around at the end.
The channel is getting narrower all the time. I am glad that the tide is still rising. Thisis as far as I can go…The channel is too shallow and narrow to continue. It does not look as if it reconnects to the Nicomekl.
I rowed out, along the pilings and the shore, between the boat dock and the river bank..The little side channel did not connect up with the Nicomekl.
I did speak to a woman on the dock as I rowed past, who told me that she and her friends could see my hat moving along the marsh, and the occasional oar as I poled myself along.
There is a boat launch here, shallow water. I could have launched here. It is shown in the blueways map.
The river is controlled by sea dams located just south of King George Boulevard under Elgin Road. The dam consists of gates which open when tides are low to allow fresh water to flow to Mud Bay. When tides are high, the gates prevent brackish (salt water) from migrating up the river into farm land.
Looking East upriver from the dam. The bridge carries King George Blvd. I have no way to get Gwragedd Annwn down to here.
Looks to be reading 0.8 meters. That is about a two meter differance. I guess the sea dam works…but not for rowing. I recheck the blueways map. It shows that there is a “walk in” launch here. I guess one seaward and one landward. There is no portage for Gwragedd Annwn as I do not have a portage cart for her and she is too heavy to carry up to and across Elgin road, and down to the river again.
Just past the boathouse, I see what I think is a small dolphin or porpose. I get out my camera but it does not surface again. You will just have to take my word for it.
A fellow rowing to his boat. I actually have to row a little more off of the shore, as many dinghies are anchored with a line to shore to pull them into shore for loading and out to the mooring for waiting.
I back in to the boat launch, beside “A” dock. The row is over. Now to pack up Gwragedd Annwn and drive home.