Vancouver Island is the biggest island on the west coast of North America. Almost twice the size of Hawaii it has an area of 32,134 sq. Km (12,408 sq. miles).
Over 700 miles of coastline, almost 400 of which face the wide open Pacific Ocean, make Vancouver Island the destination and home of open sea kayakers who love to paddle among whales, see lions, otters, and a myriad of other sea creatures. The prowess, skill, and courage displayed by those who ride the surf and ply the stormy reaches have captured the imaginations of thousands of people. Have a look at the trailer for Pacific Horizons to get some idea of what these daring folks do.
Less adventurous paddlers experience the Pacific Ocean’s beauty and grandeur by exploring its many sheltered coves, island groups, and bays. They gaze on scenic vistas at every turn.
But this 451 kilometres (282 miles) long island also contains many hundreds of lakes, some in the heart of towns and cities, others so remote that virtually no one ever visits them.
Though I am an occasional ocean paddler and love the ocean and all its wonders; my temperament, philosophy, aesthetic values, and my current life situation and interests draw me more to lakes than oceans. I will be unpacking this attraction for small waters as I go along. For now let me say that marshes, ponds, and small lakes and streams, hold subtle attractions for a paddler that are very different from the rolling waves of Vancouver Island’s rugged coast. Not better or more beautiful, but worth experiencing in their own right. This is where I will be - these next two years.
Image of Vancouver Island captured from Google Earth