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Did a day trip kayaking out to the South Winchelsea Islands off of Nanoose Bay.  We had a strong winds from the north west blowing on the day which caused some good sized surf in addition to some decent swells.  The conditions were not ideal but the sun was shining and temperature was fair.  Matt and his wife Kim brought their son Hemingway, nearly one years old, for his first kayaking trip.  Having recently purchased a family sized (double) kayak this was their first opportunity to get the boat in the water.  Kim tended to the baby in the front seat while Matt drove the kayak.

As we exited Fairwinds Schooner Cove Marina in Nanaoose Bay we got our  first taste of the North West winds for the crossing.  I was immediately blown south by the wind and struggled to stay close to my companions in their larger boat.  The strong wind blowing on my empty kayak proved too much to counter and I was blown off course during the crossing.  Good experience fighting strong winds like this and knowing just how much the wind can affect your course.

We came back together at Winchelsea Islands where we encountered a couple dozen Elephant Seals as well as a few sea otters. On South Winchelsea we found a well kept cabin which is part of the Land Conservancy.  The cabin is solar and propane powered and contains a kitchen, wood stove, multiple bedrooms and comes with amazing views!  After the weekend I inquired about renting the cabin but sadly the Conservancy is no longer renting it, sad to see that it is now sitting dormant.

On the paddle back the winds had diminished slightly so the crossing was more comfortable.  We popped into Nanoose Bay and had a look at the military base there.  Heading back to the harbour we stopped off on another little unnamed island right off Nanoose Bay point which provided great views of Ruth and Southey Islands.

There is still much to explore in this area and I hope to get to Maude Island directly east of Nanoose Point this summer. Oh by the way, Hemingway was a natural on the water and seemed to enjoy himself for the most part 🙂

Keeha Bay Hiking Trip
Valdes Island Kayak Trip

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