Kelp tails, jellyfish and sea lions welcomed us as we slid through the waters around Discovery Island! Recently, we joined one of the TIDES adventure group members, Ocean River Adventures for their water and land exploration around the islands just off the shores of Victoria.
Our travels began from the beaches of Oak Bay Marina on the Discovery Shuttle. Captain Tom whisked across the calm waters of the morning to the far side of Discovery Island. Here, we unloaded the kayaks, were given paddling and safety training and set out on our voyage around the nearby islets.
The guides provided commentary on the flora and fauna of the beaches and kelp beds as nearby seals kept a close eye on our movements. We followed the shore line comfortably paddling with the current passing cormorants perched drying their wings and turkey vultures soaring above. Lunchtime called us to the beach where we enjoyed delicious sandwiches, fruit and cookies. Pleasantly re-energized, we headed off on one of the island trails through the typical Gulf Island surroundings of Douglas Fir, Arbutus and Ash forest with a floor covering of ferns, salal and ripening blackberries. Our hike brought us to the now-abandoned lighthouse with its wide sea views east to Mount Baker.
Back on the Discovery Shuttle, Captain Tom toured us around the several islets which are home to gulls, cormorants and seals. The inhabitants lazily gazed as we drifted by in the warm summer sun. The Mediterranean climate of this area, in the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains provides wonderful water and land playgrounds. Come play in the Salish Sea!