James Bay

Anyone sea kayaked James Bay, Canada? - we are an experienced paddling group researching a trip there - specifically eastern side of the Bay - Quebec - you can drive to almost to the top of the Bay - we are looking at leaving from Chisasibi but haven’t found anyone else who has paddled in this area to tell us about / camping / tides / parking / exposure / wildlife / etc.

James Bay
If you haven’t already done so try posting inquiry at:


Ontario Northland Railway’s (800-268-9281) Little Bear train could transport you & kayaks from Cochrane to Moosonee if you’re interested in access @ S end of James Bay

James Bay
There are a couple of paddlers (canoes) over at ccr who have done James Bay. Mostly it isn’t recommended because of high tides and winds. Might be easier in a sea kayak though.

My group paddled the Missinaibi last summer. We took a Cree freighter canoe out to the bay from Moosonee. Not a place I would want to paddle on purpose. The driver had several stories of rescue and death out on the Bay. In fact he lost several members of his family in one tragedy out there.

i thought about doing this trip
I bought the maps and everything. I was going to paddle from chisasibi to Long Island and get picked up. I was told though that the tidal range was really high and that you could be swept miles off shore during the day with high winds and then if you needed to land it was across mile long stretches of tidal mud flats. This really discouraged me, BUT I don’t think it should discourage you. The high winds I wasn’t worried about per se, it was high tidal ranges with no where to land. I wish someone had done the trip or even some of the coast nearby so I could verify this. Mcwood seemed to know somebody who had done part of the trip in a canoe. MAybe it was verlen kruger I don’t know?

another rumour
I have heard of being a couple kilometers out when the tide was ebbing. Wind driving waves 4-6 feet high. Boat becomes stranded on bottom between waves and is pummeled by the crests.

Fairly accurate…
We paddled from the Seal River down to Churchill years ago when we were younger and still cocky.

We got hung up on the tidal flats 5km from shore and waited it out until the tide came back. Lucky for us it just crept in and did not have any wind behind it. Talked to locals after and they thought we were nuts. A month later two guys bought it doing the same thing and their bodies were found way south of Churchill. That’s probably the reason the original poster can’t find many writeups.


james bay
sounds wild up there - thanks for the reply - we are going to be in sea kayaks - I hear if you camp on the outer islands which are steeper and rockier the tide / mud flats aren’t such an issue… we are still gathering info and deciding whether to go or not…


Paddling the Bay
I dont know if this is too late but I have paddled from the Harricana across to Moosonee. The bay itself is awesome to paddle across but you have to be prepared. Firstly you need to bring water (obviously). I would bring enough for 3 days for every 2 days you are on the bay. The weather can transform the bay from sunny with a few ripples, to storming with massive winds and waves in a extremely short time. The tides also need to be looked at before you cross. The tide fluctuates 4.5 feet every 6.5 hours (about), and because the bay is so flat, sand bars can go out for several km. Often it is better to get beached and wait it out, then to paddle around the sand bars. The wind and tides can make it hard to regain shore. However the bay is awesome to paddle on. It is one of the most unique experiences and you should definately do the trip if you havent already.