Discovery Islands Archipelago
Quadra Island is located within the Discovery Islands archipelago, in the Straight of Georgia, between the eastern shore of Campbell River, Vancouver Island and the mainland of British Columbia. To read more about the Discovery Islands, click here.
The Wind – Rebecca Spit
It is very windy here on Vancouver Island. I think so, anyway. I’m no expert on weather, but there seems to be a bit more wind blowing around here compared to Nova Scotia. Maybe I’m imagining it? Maybe not.
Whatever the wind difference, the wind blowing across Quadra Island IS a very different story from Campbell River! A pleasant, breezy day in Campbell River, Vancouver Island can mean white caps and gusts at Heriot Bay, Quadra Island.
White caps and gusts qualified my wind experience yesterday while kayaking at Quadra Island.
Launching from Heriot Bay, I paddled into the wind and waves towards the northern tip of Rebecca Spit. My goal was the eastern side of the spit to see humpback whales, recently spotted in the area. Excited for a possibility to see whales, I pushed on. I’m a relatively experienced kayaker, and have successfully paddled some crazy conditions in Nova Scotia. As I paddled the waters along the Rebecca Spit, I never let my guard down, constantly watching the water, looking for wave patterns and direction, while mindful of sudden strong gusts of wind.
As I neared the tip of the point, the wind and water eventually became too much for me. I turned the kayak to ride the whitecap waves towards the tip, to steer left – hoping the eastern side of the spit was calmer. However, the wind kept blowing my stern sideways – I struggled to keep the kayak straight. With determination, I surfed the waves towards the head of the point, making it safely to shore, knowing I had to stop there.
I walked the kayak, meaning I held the toggle at the bow and dragged her on the shallow waters of the shoreline, back towards the lee side of the spit. At times, I was waist deep in the waters of the Georgia Strait, as the waves pushed me and the kayak towards the beach. It was messy, but doable while walking on barnacle covered rocks. Thank you Keen! Never underestimate quality footwear!
At one point the wind gusts and waves increased – rolling the kayak over! That was when I pulled her ashore – and asked for help from people walking a wooded path along the top of the beach. They helped me carry the kayak, on the beach, to the lee side of the spit, where my weary body could launch in calm water!
I felt it was safer to walk the kayak then surf the waves with strong winds trying to turn me sideways. I’d rather be pulling the kayak and it roll, then be in it and roll, amidst waves and wind, while paddling alone.
I didn’t take any pictures of this adventure as obviously I was too busy staying safe! I could have taken pictures of the friendly people helping me carry the kayak to the lee side of the spit…
…me thinks my ego was taking a beating – embarrassed – but humble. Never underestimate the power of the ocean. She teaches harsh lessons that can end in death if you don’t pay attention and learn.
Rebecca Spit Beach
I coasted peacefully along the interior shore of the spit, the wind at my back, and found a parking spot on the beach for lunch. Rebecca Spit is actually the Rebecca Spit Marine Park. There were many boats with their anchors dropped along the shoreline, along with many people walking the spit. I had a lovely picnic! The beach is not sandy – it is rocks and pebbles. Lots of barnacle covered oysters inhabit the shallow, low tide water!
After lunch, I packed up and headed out onto Drew Harbour. This was an easy, relaxing paddle. I slowly made my way across the harbour, back to the marina.
As I returned the gear I rented from Quadra Island Kayaks, I had a conversation with local kayakers about the wind. They suggested I upload the app Windy. I sure did and I like it! I can keep an eye on wind conditions at Heriot Bay – looking for calm days to paddle!
Quathiaski Cove – Coveside Seafood Eatery
While waiting for the ferry back to Campbell River, I had one piece of halibut from Coveside Seafood Eatery, located dockside to the ferry. Their fish is delicious!! I had some company while eating… the owner’s dog, I think! I don’t know her or his name, yet! I saved him/her a small bite…
Quathiaski Cove – Ferry Ride Back to Campbell River
I had front row, aisle seats for the ferry ride back to Campbell River!
I had a wonderful afternoon on the water! Some excitement, yes! Thankfully, a happy ending!