|NOTHING SAYS SUMMER like a day of paddling off Vancouver's shores. The heat of the sun, the fresh smell of ocean air, the buzzing sound of boats and the gentle gliding of waves. These are the tranquil moments out on the water. There are many spots to launch a watercraft along the coast, but this spot is a local's favourite - just far enough from the city that it feels like a get away. Views of skyscrapers become mountains and waterfalls. This is where we can truly unplug. PLACE: Deep Cove (CLICK FOR MAP) LOCATION: North Vancouver, B.C.|
I liken Deep Cove to a Whistler by the sea. It's just half an hour from downtown Vancouver, but feels like a world away. Even the houses are similar to those of my old mountain town - wooden chalets built into the forest and overlooking the spectacular and wild Indian Arm Provincial Park.
Deep Cove is much more than a walk through the quaint village and indulging in an ice cream cone. It's also a favourite for water sports: wake boarding and kayaking in particular. The town is also the launching point for the famed Baden Powell trail - a 41.7 kilometer trek that takes you all the way to Horseshoe Bay (which I am half way through this summer).
For this unplugged adventure, I chose to spend the day on the water, and thanks to the generosity of Deep Cove Canoe and Kayak, was able to get out onto a kayak with my bestie for an afternoon of exploration. It's their 30th anniversary this year, so they are the outfit to go with.
Before venturing out, the staff gave us a few safety pointers and told us about the wind conditions. Our best bet was to paddle against the wind heading North and then return South with the wind at our back. We headed out into what felt like the open ocean. Due to heavy boat traffic in the area, there were quite a few choppy waves, but sea kayaks are pretty stable so we didn't have any "man overboard" situations.
There's lots to explore in the Deep Cove area. To the North Arm, there are beautiful million dollar homes dotting the shoreline, as well as several small private islands. To the South, there are 8 miniature islands, as well as view points at Belcarra Beach, Jug Island Beach, Strathcona Bay and Twin Islands.
There's much to see in Deep Cove and we only scratched the surface. No doubt, we'll be back for more adventure some time soon!
DEEP COVE KAYAKING TIPS
Full Moon Kayak (head out for a guided night paddle)
Cheap Date Night ($39 for a 2-person kayak and $29 for a single on Fridays May - Sept)
Lessons and Certifications (a variety of lessons for all ability levels, from beginners to professionals)
Check out the Deep Cove Canoe and Kayak webcam to find out what conditions are like