Keats Island kayaking, 31 May 2009

Five of us – myself, Maria, Brenda, Susanne and Dawn – caught the 7.20 am ferry from Horseshoe Bay over to Langdale and rented kayaks in Gibsons. We were on the water by 9 am and, after consulting Dawn’s chart, crossed over to Keats Island at the narrowest point. That’s not to say it was quick or easy, though. The wind and waves made it slow going (and a little nerve-wracking 15 minutes into our trip) but we eventually reached the island (well, it took 20 minutes but it seemed like forever to me :-). We turned north and followed the coast past houses with their docks. It took me a long time to get into any kind of rhythm so I don’t remember too much about this stretch.

Keats Island Kayaking, 31 May 2009

We passed island-side of a pair of islets, greeting other boat owners and spotting a seal as Maria and I rafted up for a snack. The sun was warm, the sky was blue and the water was calm. Perfect time to be out on the water. We continued our leisurely paddle along the shore, around Observatory Point at Plumper Cove Marine Park. We went in closer to shore by some small cliffs to look for interesting things and we spotted lots of pink Sea Blush flowering in every nook and cranny. Very pretty.

More houses, more docks and jetties. We paddled in and out and under walkways, peering down into the water for occasional fish sightings. At one point a tiny fish swam along near the surface and I felt like I could reach out and grab it. Rounding another headland, our view opened up and we were treated to the sight of Mt Garibaldi, Sky Pilot and other craggy Howe Sound peaks. Just beautiful…

Keats Island Kayaking, 31 May 2009

We came to the bible camp we’d been told about and checked our watches. It was time to turn around and head back. We paddled around an old disused pier which was clearly a remnant from logging on the island, and past a spot where several logs were angled down the bank in the water – I’m guessing it was a log dump where the trees were rolled into the water to be rafted up and towed to the nearest mill.

We returned to Plumper Cove and aimed for a small gravel beach where we hauled out and had a nice lunch. At first I sat in the sunshine but it was too hot and so most of us ended up eating in the shade. The park looked like a nice place to camp and explore. Something to think of another time. All too soon it was time to get back into our boats and paddle back to Gibsons. Before lunch my legs had relaxed into being stretched out in front of me (not a natural position for me), but getting back in to the kayak was torture. The next 20 minutes were really uncomfortable. I guess I need to do some stretching…

Keats Island Kayaking, 31 May 2009

We kept up a steady pace and made our way back to the crossing point. Fortunately this time the waves weren’t as steep, and of course I was getting used to how the boat behaved so it was less intimidating. I kept up a rhythm as best I could, enjoying the roll of the waves, and before long we were back in the sheltered waters off Gibsons. Another ten minutes and we were back at the dock. Time for some gelato! A gorgeous day out on the water.

Distance: about 11.5 km
Photos on Flickr

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