I must admit my initial excitement was masked with a tinge of nervous tension as I was kitted out in my finest Kayaking ensemble by a boy not long into his teens. As I stood on the shore admiring the vast body of water framed by a coastline of tree-covered mountains and palatial homes, my fiancée sheepishly asked, “Have you done this before?”
Like a character from a softdrink commercial full of bravado I slowly wiped my chiseled chin, sporting a rather handsome three-day growth (let me embellish a little…) with my muscular forearm, and grunted, “Of course, we’ll be fine”.
Kayaking at Deep Cove
As those final words left the corners of my dry mouth I remembered with apprehension my last kayaking experience, unbeknown to my now confident fiancée Sarah. It ended with me cold, wet and embarrassed with glowing red cheeks dragging my kayak to shore to the cheers and laughter of my ‘supportive’ classmates. Ah school, such fond memories!
As we slowly slide into the glassy cold unknown, venturing into our kayaking at Deep Cove adventure (a mere 20-minutes ride by public transit or car from North Vancouver), I recall the instructions – first, drop rudder for steering; secondly, make sure pedals are properly adjusted to operate rudder and finally the easy part, paddle. Why am I getting wet when I paddle? I keep telling myself it’s all part of the fun – until my bottom begins to feel moist… quite moist.
There are several directions available to have a great daytrip, but today our destination was towards Jug Island (one of the closest destinations to Deep Cove). Like two Olympic kayakers we paddled for a solid twelve minutes directly east to shore towards Indian Arm Channel before we ran out of breath and started to overheat. Surprisingly distances can be quite deceiving to the uninitiated and inexperienced. We paused for a photo opportunity and admired the many yachts and boats of all different shapes and sizes that glide effortlessly by us.
Deep Cove is the epitome of the Canadian West Coast lifestyle. It truly is a magical place of beauty and serenity, occasionally punctuated by the sound of a two-stroke motor being driven by jovial kids singing hip hop tunes. We laughed and sang along as we enviously watched them fly by. Suddenly we were confronted by the overwhelming presence of their boat’s wake heading towards us. My fiancée, Sarah, begins to show signs of concern (evident by the growing panic in her voice). “We’ll be fine,” I assured her… Just listen to the sultry sound of my voice as I rock the kayak side to side hoping for a more panicked reaction (boys will be boys).
We recharge our batteries and paddle slowly towards Jug Island. Birds fly silently and float around us disinterested in our presence. After 45-minutes relaxing paddle we reached our destination and captured copious amounts of photos while drifting aimlessly with the current.
There’s something quite therapeutic about being surrounded by a great mass of tranquil water. Thoughts become clearer as your lungs fill with clean fresh air. ‘Picture postcard’ clouds hover and hug the wooded mountains like halos, as the sun’s ray’s warm chilled skin.
We fantasise about owning one of the many gorgeous homes dotting the coastline until our conversation is interrupted by a dog barking from the veranda of a beautiful home perched high above us. More importantly, we were faced with the realisation that we had to paddle another kilometre east back to Deep Cove Marina.
The marina, home to a plethora of yachts in the distance is our guide as we begin the arduous paddle back. To Sarah’s surprise and horror we were greeted by another speed boat cruising towards us and like any typical bloke, I can’t help myself and once again rock the kayak to the (amusing) sounds of panic from Sarah.
By Cooper Dawson