Victoria Ride Out RecapCommunity Location: Canada Paddle Boarding
Posted by Lydia Burdett
Words by Brian Raymer of South Island SUP
Earlier this spring we hosted a Red Ride Out with South Island SUP in Victoria, BC. The purpose of this Ride Out was to provide an exhilarating two-day adventure in natural landscapes, fostering a deep physical and mental bond with the ocean, islands, and mountains. Fortunately, the weather was on our side, offering us two remarkable days of serene waters, enchanting mist, gentle and not so gentle breezes, exciting currents, and occasional sunshine. We extend our sincere appreciation to Red Paddle Co and our paddle community for their support. And we are excited to expand our community by organizing more Red Ride Outs soon.
On the first day we were presented with a little fog and smooth paddling on glassy water that blended the sea and the sky together onto one giant canvas. Looking up into the sky was a dangerous move as one of our paddlers discovered with an unplanned swim. Seals and a sea lion were ready to greet us near the start of our adventure. Extraordinary ocean conditions allowed us to modify our plans and head down Finlayson Arm (a deep ocean fjord carved out by glaciers). Eagles, sea stars, crabs and other sea life provided entertainment along the way to our lunch stop at a beach next to Spectacle Falls.
As we headed home the fog lifted and the sun tried to say hello. The trip back went fast on smooth waters and a brief stop for water and snacks was shared with a few seals at Willis point. The final leg of our journey brought us back just in time for Happy Hour at the Brentwood Bay Resort.
Appies and beverages helped make our day complete. The grand finale was a draw for many amazing prizes donated by Red Paddle Co, Blackfish Paddles, Vaikobi Ocean Gear, Mer Tales Ocean Journeys and South Island SUP.
Day two of the Ride Out was all about sandstone and currents and a little wind. We launched from Roberts Bay, a migratory bird reserve in Sidney, BC. The geology of this area was very different from the previous day. Small islands dominate the landscape with distant mountains and the views are spectacular.
The weather was a bit cloudy and a little that provided a challenge for our paddlers to overcome. Some of our paddlers had never paddled on the ocean before! They did great with a few paddling and navigation tips along the way. We headed toward a group of islands that were out of the wind and met a strong ebb current that provided a perfect playground for practicing ferrying and finding back eddies. Lots of fun in the current amongst Fernie and other small islands.
Our snack break was on shore at a beautiful small white sand and shell beach. Snacks were provided by Origins Bakery. A local gluten free bakery that makes very delicious muffins, scones and bread. The sun even peeked out occasionally and warmed us up for the paddle home. From our beach we followed an easy path through the sandstone shorelines and were able to take advantage of the current for a free ride part way home. Our last leg was a little windy. Good thing we had just fuelled up with baked goods!
A little effort and we were most of the way home. Then a walk along the tidal flats and back to our cars. So great to meet new paddlers from near and far. We hope we see the same faces again next year and maybe a few more!
More Red Ride Outs
Definitely another two day Ride Out at the end of April 2024 for with South Island SUP! Stay tuned.