A day relaxing at Saanich Inlet

A day off in the summer is rare indeed for a B&B innkeeper but I’ve just had a wonderful one relaxing at Saanich Inlet – kayaking for the first time. My Father’s Day gift from Linda was a day off with my housekeeping work covered by my sister-in-law Pam. It was a busy one so two posts cover it – they offer good ideas for our guests.

B&B reservations have been down a bit (hence our Summer Special – 10% discount on two nights or more) so I left before breakfast despite a yearning for more sleep and headed the short distance to Brentwood Bay. I was to start the day with my first kayaking experience and later do some hiking.

I met Peter of Pacifica Paddle who showed me the ropes, sort of.  Some recent guests had had a good tour with Pacifica and I knew the waters to be quite sheltered so felt reasonably comfortable about this first time. I became totally confident about setting off with Peter whose calm professionalism allayed any fears. After kitting up (first time I’ve worn a skirt!) we put out a kayak and I gingerly stepped aboard for some instruction. It was a bit wobbly at first but later I realised that that was the only time, once out it was “plain sailing”.

Launching out there was an instant feeling of calm and relaxation: I’d left the world behind. Occasional instructional comments fitted into easy conversation. I remember Peter asking an odd question “How often have you changed the wheel of a car?”. “Never” I replied. “Well, that’s about as often as a kayak tips over”.

Senanus Island, kayaking
Kayaking in Saanich Inlet

Not only was it a lovely morning but the water was remarkably warm. Only two boats passed, one the little BC Ferries Mill Bay Ferry, and it was fun to rock gently in their wake but otherwise it was so calm. I realised that Saanich Inlet is ideal for kayaking with sheltered water, very few boats and lovely scenery near the Butchart Gardens.

We approached Senanus Island traditionally used by the Tartlip native band as a burial ground. Respecting this we circled it and returned to the Pacifica dock. In about 70 to 80 minutes I had covered only part of one of the tours they offer but it was a great introduction. Yes, I loved every minute.
Without doubt I’ll be out with them again and hope some of our guests can do so too: what a wonderfully relaxing way to enjoy this part of Vancouver Island!
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