We joined a paddling club so we could meet people and learn good places to paddle and get good advice on how to plan for tides, winds etc. it has been great so far with 4 trips already completed. We were lucky enough to be able to join a group doing a 4 day camping trip to Gabriola Island. It is car camping which is easy-peasey. No loading and unloading. And we scored a water-from site overlooking the harbor. This is my view as I reflect on the day’s experience. Not too shabby.
We are a group of six. Five women older than me and then there is Bill. They are all experienced so we have lots to learn from them in the next couple of days.
After setting up camp we did a short paddle around some really nice little islands called the Flat Top Islands. What a great experience.
The islands are similar sandstone with the amazing erosion patterns we saw at DeCourcy. So much fun to paddle close to the shore and enjoy the organic shapes.
The highlight was seeing sea stars in the water. These guys were decimated in 2013-14 with a terrible wasting disease but are making a comeback. They love clinging to rock walls and in low tide they become visible. I did not risk submerging my iPhone in salt water so these are taken from my boat.
We continued to toodle around the islands. Conditions were great with a little wind for some rollers but nothing scary.
The surprises just kept coming. We found a large seal colony. Some decided that needed the protection of the water and waddled down the shore. Others judged us from shore and felt safe. The were noisy and stinky and the one in the water were curious, popping up to see us and we could see there big brown eyes. It was fun to see.
So all in all a pretty good day. We we happy to have seen so much in such a short paddle and look forward to a couple more days of exploring.
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