How to Have a Truly Canadian Holiday
I made my way onto the docks with a dry bag and paddle. Captain Josh and the Long Beach Lodge crew were there, loading the nine-foot boards onto the boat cabin. It was an overcast morning but the weather and the tide were turning. The surface looked calm but the current moved quickly amongst the steel hulls and barnacle covered pilings. I watched jellies drift by helplessly while little perch hovered with ease.
In silent anticipation, we found our seats inside. From the comfy blue bench, I took in the panoramic view. Captain gave us a trip breakdown: ‘”Up the inlet”, he said, and off we went.
We arrived at our launch point and we all proceeded to wiggle into our wetsuits. Standing at the stern of the boat, I awaited my turn to step off the back deck onto the S.U.P. (stand-up paddleboard). The five-inches of epoxy separating me from the chilly pacific waters beneath was remarkably sturdy. We paddled away from the boat and over shallow, crystal-clear waters. From the young Dungeness crabs scurrying among multi-coloured rocks, to the eagles soaring above our heads, I felt part of a national geographic ad. The area was brimming with wildlife above and below us. We were no longer passengers observing nature, we had become part of this wild pacific experience. My little neoprene wolf pack skimmed by a herd of sea lions slumped over a rocky outcrop, over acres of kelp forests, and past trees that have lived for hundreds of years. I couldn’t resist immersing myself completely in the moment and dove into the frigid waters. It was pure bliss.
Back on board the boat, I was invigorated by this perfect escape. I ate my lunch and relished in the sounds of laughter from my friends, wild animals passing by, and tiny waves lapping against the shoreline. I let the fresh, salty air dry my hair as we made our way back to the dock. Seeing Clayoquot Sound from the water made the journey a true highlight of the trip. From the moment we stepped on board, to board, and back again, this was an unforgettable experience.
I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate this beautiful, picturesque country!
Happy Canada Day!
Learn more about this unique wilderness adventure
Images: (c) Jill Nancy Photography