We have been having awesome weather here on the west coast! Its been sunny and warm and this weekend we reached up into the high 20 degrees. As the weather was forecast, Matt and I decided to take a trip into the Gulf Islands in the kayaks. We launched Friday evening out of Cedar which is just 15 minutes south of Nanaimo. After a 90 minute paddle we came to Pirates Cove on Decourcy Island and made camp for the night. There was a large group of students from Kelowna camped on the island so we had to camp in the bush. We were also surprised to find out there were no fires allowed on the island which we had to violate in order to cook our dinner for the first night. We did however take care to keep the fire small, contained and ensured it was put out at the end of the night.
In the morning we head south to Whaleboat Island and then made the crossing to Valdes Island. I imagined Valdez would be an island full of residences like Gabriola or Saltspring. I was surprised to note that Valdes is in fact almost completely uninhabited, most of the land belongs to the logging companies and the good portion is a Native reserve. So the island is for the most part unspoiled and completely beautiful! On the island we met one of five inhabitants, in fact perhaps a squatter, who went by the name “Crazy Pete”. Pete was a genuine guy, living the dream, living off the land on this amazing island. Among his stories included that of a cave system originating on the island which connected to a neighbouring island nearly 5km away. At first I thought that a 5km cave system under the sea was impossible, but in fact the Wikipedia page for Valdes Island seems to confirm this story!
We had nearly perfect weather and conditions for the entire trip! During the trip we spotted raccoons, bats, and eagles on the islands. In the sea we saw numerous otters, jellyfish, seals, starfish, massive schools of fish and a pod of Killer Whales. On both nights we witnessed Bioluminescence activity in the sea, this is an amazing sight to witness! Basically Bioluminescence consists of creatures under the sea which emit light, at night you can see the small organisms moving around under the water.
Valdes Island Kayaking Trip by Michael Paskevicius is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.