First experience of sea kayaking

There’s an image in my mind, carried with me for as long as I can remember, of a modest glass fronted house.  Nestled amongst tall pine trees, lightly raised so looking down onto a turquoise lake.  On the other side of this quiet space are snow topped mountains.  A total cliche of Canadian living!  When it turned out that Mrs K also harboured similar dreams this trip started to rapidly take shape.

So maybe one day, when this ‘no fixed abode’ adventure ends we can settle in Canada and live that cliche for real.

There’s a long and winding road ahead of us before that, but it doesn’t mean we can’t prepare.  So Mrs K and I took the first of many steps forward.  Kayak lessons – a seemingly necessary life skill in Canada.  Sea Kayaking to be precise.   We took a two-day course for which we attained our ‘Level 1’ status.  The first day was play-time in the harbour.  Learning how to roll and exit a Kayak.  Then learning the ‘scramble’ back in (which was tough!).  Both Mrs K and I are covered in bruises and were so sore the day after we could barely move, but we soon had to as the second day was a 5hr paddle, Island hopping.  There is a multitude of Gulf Islands in and around the tip of our peninsula.  We visited a couple and lunched on Coal Island, just across from the excellently named Goudge & Fernie Island.   We shared the space with motorboats and the state ferries, birds, flying-fish, and lots and lots of kelp.  A magical day.

Our Kayaking lessons also introduced us to a nearby town that we’d overlooked;  Sidney.  For the Brits reading this it felt like a mix between Brighton and Eastbourne (but with better weather and calmer seas).  There are walks either direction along the water.  To the north the marina and a divulgence hour pretending to be in the market for a luxury yacht, or south to a more rustic pathway.  Either with views over to Mount Baker on the west coast of the US.

Sidney also has a very active amateur crab fishing area on the peer.  Many people seem to spend the entire weekend throwing their crab nets/baskets into the shallow waters and 45mins later hauling them back up.  Strict rules must be applied; only selecting mature males.  Females and youngsters are returned.  We learnt from the helpful locals how to differentiate, but have yet to give it a go.

We’ve got two more weeks in Saanichton so I hope we can go Kayaking again, and bed-in to this lifestyle.  We’ve never been so relaxed…




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