Saturday, December 3, 2011

Cadboro Bay to Oak Bay Marina

All week we have been waiting to get out on the water with the forecast of cold (6C) but calm sunny skies so I loaded the kayaks on the truck while the defroster did it's magic on the windows and got the cab nice and toasty. The goal today was to be on the waters of Cadboro Bay by 10:30am and right on the money..... we paddled off into the winter sunrise.  LOL

We have been following Kayak Yak's blog and decided to invade their home paddling sea gardens and the experience didn't let us down. Our first port of call was the Royal Victoria Yacht Club and we talked to some of the sail boat captains readying their Illusions and Deceptions racing boats for the weekly Saturday regatta. These little sail boats are scale replicas of America Cup boats and I have to admit it was neat to see them all lined up on the dock.

Next up was taking a look at the new Oak Bay Beach Hotel so we paddled through some of the small islets on the way past Cattle Point to Mary Tod Island to get another Geocache on the way.

Robyn a.k.a. RVTraveller logs her Geocache find on Mary Tod Island

We paddled through the Oak Bay Marina to get a close up view of the monstrosity of a hotel being built and believe me.. it's not worth a photo at this point as it is all covered with scaffolding and tarps. Heading back we navigated our way back under the Marina Coffee House to where the tourists were feeding seals. Neither the seals nor the tourists seemed to care that we were taking their photo. The seals sure have a good "gig" going here. LOL

It was time to head back to Gyro Park and we paddled through the boats moored outside the marina. I checked out what looks like a aircraft fuselage being invaded by sea otters. It actually is some form of a hovercraft and the otters use the base to dine on after retrieving shellfish from the bottom.

After casually paddling along the shore of Willows Beach and back around Cattle Point we decided to put our increasing paddling skills to test and cross Cadboro Bay towards Jemmy Jones Island Ecological Reserve.

Caught by the Willows Beach web cam.  LOL

The tide was running against us at about 1 knot as we rounded the right side of the island and found a seagull feasting a rock fish on the shore. I wondered how a seagull would end up getting a fish like this but he had no idea that the eagle that just flew over our heads with talons and full flaps down was about to steal his catch! Talk about one angry gull as the eagle pounced on his dinner and flew off! LOL

Now... have you ever felt a bump on the bottom of your kayak and wondered what the heck was that? Well the water was so clear today that we could see what was happening and "who" was doing the bumping. Seals... yup those spotted furry little fellows with the big eyes seem to be very curious of kayaks and today one in particular liked zipping back and forth under our boats. Then to my amazement he rolled inverted and swam up to Robyn's rudder and started bumping it with nose. I scrambled to get my camera ready and I just managed to capture him checking out the rudder. Pretty cool!

Heading back along the shore we passed Flower Island and saw numerous Oyster Catchers chattering away on the shoreline. Their brilliant long red beak is such a contrast to their black feathers. We also got to see close up of some of the mansions on the north side of the bay....holy cow!! BLING!!!!!

A couple of other kayakers pass by us on their way to their house next door

Yeah.... I have some work to do on capturing the GPS file.... another day.

Back at the beach at 14:15 in what turned out to be a fantastic December day. Now..... where do we go tomorrow???? LOL  


  1. Hey Mark and Robyn, Cool paddle and pics...this is such a GREAT time of the year to be on the water and you're obviously enjoying it - always good to hear! Paddling and geocaching sounds like a fun combo! Duncan.

  2. Hi Duncan,

    As long as it isn't pouring rain we will be on the water through the winter. I'm looking forward to our first snow paddle though. Geocaching just adds to kayaking since it gives us a good opportunity to stretch our legs and have lunch as well.

    BTW... where are good locations to put in where you paddle?


  3. We're at Maple Bay, so usually just launch from the beach there. If we just have a little time (which is usually the case), we can paddle over to Saltspring, along towards Vesuvius and back across the channel and along beneath Maple Mountain in about 2.5 - 3 hours. It's always beautiful and feels remote even though we're close to home. We paddle the other direction as well - over to Saltspring, along to Burgoyne Bay and back to Octopus point and home. About the same time. Crossings are easy but it can get "bumpy" so you just watch the weather. Good launching at Genova Bay and Cowichan Bay as well. As with where you are, it really is a paddler's paradise! Duncan.

  4. Thanks Duncan for the info. Maybe one day you might see us paddling in your paradise.