Kayaking, 21 Sep 2008

It’s been a long time but we finally managed to get out and spend a couple of hours kayaking near Deep Cove. Actually to say it’s been a long time is an understatement really – it’s been three years since we spent a moonlit evening in a double kayak near Galiano Island. As often happens, it takes a visit from friends and/or family to get us out of our hiking boots and out doing something different. My sister Karyn is staying with us for a week and she had mentioned wanting to do some kayaking. Coincidentally, my aunt and uncle Dawn & David are also in Vancouver at the end of a road-trip holiday, though they were happy to wander round Deep Cove while we went for a paddle. The weather cooperated and we found ourselves sitting in kayaks, wearing our fashionable spray skirts and PFDs and listening eagerly to one of the Deep Cove Kayaking staff reminding us of a few things.

That done, he gave us all a shove and we scooted backwards off the gravel beach onto the water. For a few short seconds my mind went blank wondering what I should do next. My next reaction was to paddle backwards out of the slight swell as waves broke on the shore. Once I was in flat water I remembered my rudder and pulled the cord which dropped it into the water. A quick check of the rudder pedals to make sure I knew which one to press for going left and right and then I could get on with actually getting myself going with a few tentative paddle strokes. Now I was settled, I looked up to check on Maria and Karyn and saw that they were doing the same thing.

Time for a little practice. We paddled about for a bit, reminding ourselves of the basic strokes, turning, and rafting up. Happy, we set off in search of a seal encounter. Well, that was the truth – the main reason for going out on the water was the hope of a critter encounter. The exercise was secondary. :-)

We were soon paddling away quite happily and set off south from Deep Cove, following the shore line with its big houses. The big rock outcrop over at the Deep Cove lookout was clearly a popular hangout on a pleasant September afternoon. As we turned the corner, the sun came beaming out from behind a cloud and bathed us in warm lazy sunshine. Except we couldn’t be lazy due to a headwind which slowed us down. But the sunshine made for some great views, looking back up Indian Arm and over at Diez Vistas & Eagle Ridge. Just gorgeous, and it was so peaceful out on the water. So peaceful.

We headed south towards a small island with several rocky islets to its east, searching for seals of course. But there were none out today, so we just admired the clear water and white sandy bottom below us. We completed our circumnavigation of the little island and headed steadily back to Deep Cove, this time with the breeze at our backs which made our travel a little quicker. We turned into the cove where the water was now the flattest calm imaginable and we leisurely paddled our way back to the beach. I couldn’t resist swinging by the dock in search of starfish but I only saw real fish :-) A burst of speed and I was beached. No seal sightings, but still a great way to spend a couple of hours. And just in time too as it started raining shortly after we met up with Dawn & David for a welcome cup of tea!

Photos to come…

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