Last week Keira and I were invited over to the Island for a girls getaway adventure in the Parksville and Qualicum region. Our time was action-packed from the minute I arrived at the Departure Bay ferry terminal and we headed up Island toward Nanoose for our afternoon kayaking trip.
View Adventuress Kayak Trip in a larger map
I first learned to canoe and kayak in summer camp, over 15 years ago, so my recent refresher over in Deep Cove came in handy when we faced strong wings and boat-rocking swells.
In Nanoose we met up with Jan Kretz of Adventuress who runs a business offering wilderness adventures for women. Jan arrived full of energy and seemed encouraged by the fact that we didn’t shy away from the less-than-smooth conditions out on the water.
After helping us load into our boats, she armed us with valuable information and safety tips, and then we were off to explore Craig Bay – just around the corner. Steering in through the choppy ups and downs of the ocean I knew my muscles would hurt for days after.
Jan pointed out the snow-capped mountain ranges, the names of Islands, and led us into the Bay as we drifted in calmer waters, trailing a family of geese that was also out for a little cruise.
Sometimes I think I haven’t found peace with the Pacific since I’m always hesitant to swim amongst its creatures, white caps and sea kelp however I don’t think I’d ever miss the opportunity to head out for a paddle. There’s just something about being out on the water that is empowering and at the same time brings peace. I can look back on land at all of the houses I wish I could buy, the mountains I could aim to hike, and the forests I’d love to explore, but at the same time sitting in that boat and experiencing the open water is amazing in its own right. My muscles did end up hurting for days after, and I blistered the inside of my thumb with the paddle, but it was definitely worth it.
One thing I noticed recently about kayaking tours is that the people who run them are truly passionate about what they do – and Jan was absolutely no exception. With Adventuress she offers anything from 2-hour tours like we experienced to overnight escapes with either camping or cushy B&B accommodations (which seems like the ideal plan for the next Girls Island Getaway).
Jan also teaches lessons and does themed outings year-round. These special tours include, the Sea Lion Paddle, the Full Moon Paddle, the Sunset Paddle, trips over to Mistaken or Newcastle Island, and coming up this month, a Gulf Islands Escape.