you are my galaxy
you are my sun
you are the stars i use to navigate this night
you are the beautiful planets
you are my zodiac
my orion and my moon”
– danielle m, ‘you are my zodiac’
Tuesday October 29
We were hanging out yesterday (after Yoga and lunch) when we received a text from Dave and Laurie asking us if we’d like to come out today and go for a boat ride.
We’re meeting them at ‘Pedals and Paddles’…what is Pedals and Paddles you ask?
Well…Sechelts founding kayak outfitter, has (since 1991) been renting Canoe, Kayak, SUP (stand up paddle boards) to people who want to take advantage of their close proximity to 9 free campsites (accessible by water) or just paddle around and see some of the awesome scenery and wildlife. They also do group kayak tours and now, tours aboard their 22′ Zodiac Hurricane (which we’ll be riding in today).
You might remember Dave and Laurie (our hosts) from both the Wilderness 1st Aid course and from Saturday’s ‘Coast Gravity Park’ outing. They are experienced outdoors people, they know the area very well, they’re awesome and we’re looking forward to spending the afternoon with them
We are to meet them at Pedals and Paddles at 12.30pm.
To get there from Roberts Creek (or Gibsons), take Hwy 101 to Sechelt, turn right on Wharf Rd., right again on Porpoise Bay Rd., left on Sechelt Inlet Road…go 6.7km and turn left into the drive.
You’ll pass a Starbucks and an IGA on the way….which is great since we have to pick up coffees, potato salad, pickled beet and onion salad, hummus and baby carrots for lunch. After you get onto Sechelt Inlet Rd., just enjoy the scenery.
You’ll know you’re in the right place when you see the yellow kayak over the laneway and arrive at the little hut
We love this idea…”I Love Kayaking” in as many languages as you can imagine. Did you know that in Australia they say ‘Kayakin is Bonzer Mate’ (i did not know that)
Dave and Laurie are pretty much ready to go…c’mon, let’s follow Laurie down to the boat
Wow…what a view
Wow…what an awesome boat
You can still see the ghostly outlines of the lettering from its former life as a ‘Government of Canada Rescue’ boat.
This is so cool…it’s what they call a RIB or rigid (hulled) inflatable boat. It was first designed in Britain and made it’s North American debut right here in BC at the Lester B. Pearson College of the Pacific in Pedder Bay. Some of the high performance ones are capable of 130km/h…sweet! (it’s the same kind of boats the Navy Seals use)
I can’t wait to get on this thing…can I come aboard Cap’n Dave?
Funny enough, there is a right and wrong way to climb aboard a RIB…and then there’s my way. In my excitement I sort of do a Fosbury Flop onto the inflatable tube and bounce ass over teakettle into the boat. It’s neither pretty nor hugely effective (as the massive bruise on my shin will attest to). Laurie and Wendy mount easily and Dave gets Wendy and I to sit on a large sea chest (cooler) just in front of the cockpit.
We each receive a very cool life preserver (it’s got pockets for gadgets all over it). I get a Large and even with Dave’s help in letting out every centimetre of strap…I still feel as trussed up as Jane Russell in ‘The Outlaw’ (look it up)
So guys…where are we going?
We’re heading from Pedals and Paddles, up the Sechelt Inlet, past Mt. Richardson, past the Salmon Inlet, into the Narrows Inlet to Tzoonie Beach in Sechelt Inlets Marine Provincial Park. There are a ton of cool sites, camps and dive spots along the way and we’ll take a look at some of them as we travel. Right now, Dave has the motor in the water and we’re heading out
(this Pedals and Paddles map is fantastic…it’s the best area map that we have found online)
As the Zodiac starts to pull out, Laurie tells us that it’s best to close up our jackets, put on our gloves and pull down our hats…it’s going to get cold.
The ride is smoothe, fast and cold. Wendy says she’s thankful for the life vest…it’s keeping her warm. The scenery is remarkable…I know I keep saying this but it really is ‘Supernatural British Columbia’
Along the coast you see plenty of beautiful Arbutus trees…none cuter than this little guy though…it looks like a Bonsai
Dave slows, asks us how we’re doing (we’re all good) and then points out a rock ledge that has ancient Petroglyphs on it. We’d go right in for a closer look but he doesn’t want to disturb the oyster beds…
…these are buoys for the oyster beds
While we’re sitting, Wendy catches this ethereal pic of some Bull Kelp
Off we go again…Dave says it’ll be another twenty five minutes to where we are heading. The Zodiac can go 75km/h but we aren’t going as fast as that. It still feels like we’re flying though. I want to jump up and yell, “I’m King if the World”. I don’t (you know what happened to that guy)
We hang a right…we must have entered the Narrows Inlet. If we’d kept going up the Sechelt Inlet, we would have run smack dab into the Skookumchuk Narrows…and rapids (September 15 & 16 Posts)
Yes, that’s snow you see on the mountain in the background
We’ve already seen plenty of wildlife…Cormorants, Eagles and Seals (no, not Navy Seals) but then Dave slows the boat again and tells us that what we’re looking at now may be a Mother Sea Lion and her pup. They’ve scored some fish and that’s why the gulls are pestering them…apparently that’s quite common behaviour for the gulls and a good way of spotting the Sea Lions. It’s hard to see what kind they are but Dave doesn’t want to get too close…some of the big Steller Sea Lions can grow to 1,000kg (2,200 lbs) and are territorial (think mother bison…with a calf)
Even at this distance, you can clearly hear each of the mother’s breaths
Despite the heavy wilderness and it being only accessible by water, people still live out here
Ahhh…there’s our destination…Tzoonie Beach
As we approach for a landing, we can see the lovely little lawn area where we will have our lunch.
We have some work to do…land the boat, anchor, unpack, get my ass off the boat without killing myself…I’d better give all of this my full attention. As soon as we’re settled, I’ll tell you about the rest of the trip. Good ja?
“So, how do you get out of this thing?”
Moose and Wendle