February 15th, 2020
The feeling of being the first out there
One of my favourite times to go kayaking in British Columbia is during the spring after the winter storms have passed, but before the summer crowds swoop in. It offers a unique opportunity to explore a place for the first time with a heightened sense of calmness and tranquility before the busiest part of the season begins.
A real treat early in the season is the feeling of being secluded in nature. We paddle in areas that are popular for visitors because of how special they are, but what adds even more magic to the first trips is how quiet it is. There is a feeling of wonder and pride in being the first ones out on the water.
“Bold and brave, testing the waters before everyone else and feeling like you’re out there all on your own.”
May and June is a weather sweet spot for outdoor activities. When it’s just right, it’s as good as it gets. Not too cold and not too warm. Not so hot that a swim at every break is appealing, but a few courageous souls will go for a dip in the cold water at the end of the day, refreshed and proud to be adventurous enough to jump in. Then the evenings are just cool enough to really help you embrace the bright fire on the beach as you sit around laughing with your new friends.
As the seasons are changing, the trees and plants begin to show new life. Evergreen salal shrubs, growing all along the edge of the beach, start budding their delicate pink flowers, soon to give away gifts of plump dark berries. Bright red huckleberries scattered about are a delightful treat on a stroll through the forest while listening to the robins and thrushes that share the same treat.
Although it is a little too early to expect the resident orcas to make an appearance, we love the company of the seals and sea lions popping their heads up, curious to check us out.
We might even hear the loud billowing blow of a humpback whale, among the first of many to arrive from a long swim eager to fill up on herring all summer. You never know for sure what you might see, so be sure to scan the horizon from time to time. But don’t forget to look down too! No matter the time of year, you’re still likely to see an array of intertidal life dotting the rocks just below the surface – colourful sea stars, anemones and other strange and interesting creatures waiting to be found.
As a guide spending my winter in a snowy wonderland, I still daydream about the next season of paddling.
“After months of cold and snow, the first dip of my paddle into the water is highly anticipated. I look forward to new friends, stories, and the excitement of showing my favourite places to new people.”
With each guest we bring onto the water, we get to view the environment from their perspective, with fresh eyes. We know these places well and while the rocky shorelines and islands are ever familiar, they still capture our attention and curiosity as if we’re exploring them for the first time. Between the mild temperatures, late sunset evenings, and the feeling of being the only ones out there, I can’t say enough about the beauty of paddling in the spring. It’s a time for new life, fun adventures and the excitement of a special time of year that keeps me wishing I could get more of that sweet, sweet shoulder season.
Photo credit: kayak guides Aleia Wylie and Brendan Kowtecky
Come join us for a unique early season adventure! We offer multiple tours in this special time of the year. Reserve now to secure your space!
4-day Johnstone Strait Ultimate
June 30-July 3, July 3-6, July, 6-9 July 9-12
4-day Whales and Wilderness Glamping
June 19-22, June 22-25, June 25-28, June 28-July 1
5-day Desolation Sound Expedition
June 1-5, June 8-12, June 15-19, June 22-26
6-day Johnstone Strait Expedition
June 26-July 1, July 1-6, July 6-11, July 11-16