Trip began with Shannon asking how I felt about a sea kayaking trip for August. And it came up again. And again. She’s serious. So we planned and took courses at UofC on charts and such, Shannon did more prep than I did, she did extra paddles and such. We rented a kayak from the UofC and put it on Upper Kananaskis lake with Karen and Ryan. Low and behold we found we could paddle together because we can’t dance together lol. I was happy to discover this style of kayak can be paddled without clashing paddles if out of synch like another we had used. Day two of that rental was Glenmore reservoir where we had a fair bit of wind. Shannon was sure I was going to run us into the S.S. Moyie (paddlewheeler). Sea kayaking is pretty fun. It turned out most boaters are very courteous and throttle down to pass etc. Most.
The planning caused me a little stress. Sort of like backpacking, which I am quite familiar with, but usually with backpacking you aren’t planning for a week of fresh water. How much does one need? Will it all fit in the rented kayak? Will Shannon kill me if it rains and everything gets wet? Drybags for everything. How far can one paddle in a day? Well, it came together well and the only thing I wish had fit that was on the cut list was my tripod. And Shannon chirped me about wanting wine – but as we hadn’t brought any it wasn’t technically ‘cut’. Hahaha… good times.
Crammed a week’s worth of work into three days and shoved off from Okotoks Thursday Aug 3. Shannon did most of the driving, so I was free to doze off or read a bit of planning material I should have read months prior. Busy, you see 😉. Hope BC was our home that night and was just as smoky as the days drive. A summer of fire. By Friday afternoon we were in Powell River and filled up on Thai food before connecting with Ryan, Karen, and Adrienne at the motel. Our group was complete with the addition of Robb and Anna at the coffee place the Saturday morning. Off to Powell River Kayak in Okeover for a run down of what not to do (run aground, drop the kayak on our fingers) and what to do (have fun, bring the kayaks back on time or else) and we were free to load. With some creativity and a few things left behind we bobbed out into the Okeover Inlet and made our way by days end to Tenedos bay. A bit of rough water had me worried the forward engine would barf or worse but she held it together.
Tenedos bay would be our campsite for the first five nights. Aside from a few wooden tent pads with our overflow on the edge of the clearing and a Parks maintained outhouse there aren’t any facilities. One thing that really worked out well was the creek behind the campground where we could bath at the end of the day and get the salt and sweat off. Unlike mountain streams this was quite warm. Unwin lake is a good place for a swim as well. Boaters come here to use the lake and walk their dogs etc so the bay itself was a busy place at times.
Daily our start times were leisurely and most of the day outings averaged 20-25km of paddling. We went to Curme Islands, part way up Homfray channel among a string of islands there, across to Roscoe bay and walked up to Black Lake, and basically explored & looked for wildlife. Evenings were enjoyed by the water. Unfortunately the smoke lingered but we were blessed with sunny days and no rain. On our second to last day we crossed to Refuge Cove for burgers/pizza/beer/ciders and then camped at Feather Cove for the night. We were happy to get the last tent pads there and this positioned us to be off the water before lunch the next day. The last morning we were able to ride the tide into Okeover Inlet, return the kayaks and make the trek via two ferries into Vancouver to White Rock to see Mustards before heading back east.
It was a grand adventure, and an exclamation point in a full summer.
© Clayton Ditzler