Sunday, May 12, 2013

Workin' In The Bay

The start of an extremely busy month of kayaking for us, (wait a second, that is every month for us LOL) we decided to do a laid back paddle in Cowichan Bay with Sheila and Neil yesterday. For us living on the Saanich Peninsula there are several options to do this paddle including launching from Moses Point on the tip of the peninsula, crossing Saanich Inlet / Satellite Channel and then hugging the shoreline into Cowichan Bay. 

As always the weather forecast plays an important role in our decision making process and with the predicted SE 10-15 knot winds we decided to drive over the Malahat to Cherry Point and put in there. Arriving at Cherry Point about an hour after the 2.3 ft. low tide, the distance to carry our kayaks to the water was still several hundred feet and the SE wind was creating a bit of choppy conditions. Did we want to work this much on a laid back paddle? Heck no!! So we decided to just drive up to Cowichan Bay and put in there.

Closing my new Watershed man purse at the boat launch. The first leg of this paddle
would be a long one .... to the yellow building with the red roof behind Sheila. LOL

Launching out of the CVRD boat launch we headed over (maybe 100 meters? LOL) to Cowichan Bay Kayaks to check out the shop and touch base with Huw Jones and Dave Nichols. We first met Dave on our Ukee weekend and have been intrigued ever since with their little kayaking business ever since. Situated right in the heart of the tourist destination of Cowichan Bay, the business has transformed into a really professional operation with a great inventory of kayaking gear and I think the first dedicated showroom for kayak sales that I have seen. They are also making a name for themselves when it comes to tours and lessons with their personal "have fun while doing it" approach. If you are ever in Cowichan Bay you have to stop by and see what Huw and Dave have put together. As one of their slogans say "Nice people to paddle with"

Heading back onto the water for the laid back paddle we headed towards the Westcan Terminal dock where a couple of relics, one being what looked to like a paddle wheeler were tied up along with the Canadian Coast Guard Polar Prince. Paddling our way through the maze of pilings of the dock we made to the other side and through the log booms close by.

As Dave had mentioned, there was a colony of seals that call the logs home but they were in the water all around us today. It was also the first time that Robyn and I got to see Osprey and were lucky enough to watch one hunting as it dove completely under water after a fish.

Leaving the nest an Osprey flies over head to check us out.

Ready to make the plunge into the water for dinner an Osprey starts to fold it's wings. So cool to watch!

Hugging the shoreline we paddled into picturesque Genoa Bay where we found a floating gallery shop, a bunny rabbit living on the deck of a houseboat and one of those whale sculptures that we have seen around Victoria. 

As we made our way around the marina and towards the opposite side of the bay it started to rain  creating such an amazing tranquillity that is hard to explain. For Robyn and I we have only encountered this once before during the winter but today the rain was warm, soothing and such a pleasure to paddle in. Really quite a beautiful moment for us.

Robyn, always with a smile in her kayak. 

We made the crossing of Cowichan Bay as the early evening sun started to show itself in the direction of our put in location. It was sort of like a beacon telling us which way to paddle home .

Neil, me and Sheila heading towards our put in location in Cowichan Bay

Arriving back at the CVRD boat launch, Dave arrived after closing up the shop for the day and joined us for a pint at the Bay Pub before we headed back to Victoria. We definitely have to return back to explore this area at some time during the summer. Maybe even take some of the Cowichan Bay Kayaks demos out for a test run. Wink, Wink CBK ;-)


At the request of our readers, here is a picture of the bunny living on a float home in Genoa Bay. See ... pretty cute huh?

2013 Paddle # 27 Cowichan Bay
Distance:  12 km  (6.48 nm)

YTD: 269.64 km (145.59 nm)


  1. Where's the pic of the bunny?

  2. The bunny was a highlight of the trip for sure. Imagine being a bunny and living on a float home, beautiful waterfront view, seals to talk to, paddlers come by and visit. What a great life!
    Here's the link to the bunny photo:

  3. For one of our readers, I have uploaded the bunny picture. I wonder if he would like carrots next time we visit?? LOL

  4. Hi Mark and Robyn, welcome to our home coordinates! :) It really is a nice area. Genoa Bay is another delightful place to launch. We cycle down there there several times a week from Maple Bay and always enjoy a short break at the marina just to take in the scenery and look across the Bay. We did the same paddle circuit last month - lots of variety and always enjoy it. You guys are getting lots of water time in! Cheers, Duncan.

    1. Hi Duncan & Joan, well not quite at Maple Bay yet :-) but we plan to run Sansum one day as our exploration footprint expands. Over the next month we have 3 weekends of advanced training as we prepare for our "Haul In The Fall" Gulf Islands multi day (10)tour in September. We just can't get enough of being on the water.... sad isn't it? LOL