Canada is rich in natural beauty and most Canadians like year-round outdoor nature activities, especially in the summer. Canadians enjoy boating, swimming, cycling, hiking, sunbathing, etc. One of the most popular activities in my city is kayaking, which is mine and my husband’s personal favorite leisure activity.
Speaking honestly about myself, I was (and still am) an indoor person and I was reluctant to go kayaking for the first time when I was asked to go. We went to Dundarave Beach in West Vancouver with inflatable kayaks and I was quite apprehensive; however, once we set off in the ocean, I found it to be more fun than scary. When I was left alone in the deep ocean, I was surrounded by rocks. At first, I was afraid that the inflatable kayak might have been torn open and I would sink and be eaten by a shark. Even though I wore a life jacket (Personal Flotation Device), possessed a Pleasure Craft Operator Card and had knowledge from the boating course we took, “scary” was my first impression of kayaking.
When we went kayaking for the second time, my view changed. We went to an estuary on Campbell River on Vancouver Island, and I was able to enjoy kayaking without fear. The spot is near Tyee Pool, which is a part of a beach ocean with beginner-friendly shorelines. We enjoyed looking at landforms, plants, various birds and aquatic life along the shoreline. As we paddled under and around an old ship, a flock of Canadian geese said “hello” to us. We also found a secret waterway that appeared only at high tide. It became our short cut on the return trip. I felt the calmness of the nature around me and that became my first peaceful marine leisure experience.
The third time, and the most enjoyable kayaking experience I have had to date, was at Manson’s Landing on Cortes Island. There was an extremely clear and calm water area and we really enjoyed seeing various creatures, such as orange and purple starfish, small crabs, small octopuses, salmon fries, and sand dollars! The sand dollars were the most surprising and interesting creatures to me; they are shells with petal-like patterns consisting of five paired rows of pores. They are also known as sand cookies and pansy shells. They are very beautiful and the pattern on each shell was so elaborate that I couldn’t believe they were not manmade. The area was connected to a bay where some medium-sized ships were anchored for vacation mode. We really enjoyed both the mysterious nature and ocean bay at the same time.
In my experience, kayaking is a marvelous activity. Paddling gives us splendid views and precious experiences. Each time offers a unique trip that is well worth all the preparing, clean-up and inevitable muscle pain that often comes the very next day.