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    The Compass blog
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The Salish Sea Marine Trail needs the public’s help

Trans Canada Trail (TCT) and BC Marine Trails Network Association have come up with the perfect recipe for connecting Vancouver Island and the rest of Canada by trail: the Salish Sea Maine Trail.   The Salish Sea Marine Trail will be a blueway – a saltwater route designed for paddlecraft and small beachable boats – that will connect The Great Trail (the new name for […]

SUP circumnavigation of Saturna Island

Circumnavigating Saturna Island by Paddle Board

Circumnavigating Saturna Island by Paddle Board By: Wesley Choban How an idea of circumnavigation became a reality: Saturna island, a paddlers paradise Arriving at the dock on the last ferry of the night I am greeted by two individuals expertly geared up for a paddle boarding expedition; little do I realize they will soon change everything I thought I knew about stand up paddle boarding (SUP) and […]

Top 5 Rivers Near Victoria

Top 5 Rivers Near Victoria by Graham Litman 5. Cowichan, Marie Canyon (Class 3, 1.5 hours) The Cowichan is the South Island’s bread and butter run. It’s fairly  free of major hazards, has fun play spots, and warm water (Cowichan supposedly means “the warm land” in Coast Salish). The Cowichan is runnable at almost 365 days of the year, due to a weir at Cowichan […]

Wet Launch from Uchuck

The Uchuck – A Novel Way to Reach the Remote West Coast

One of my favourite Vancouver Island kayaking trips is from the tiny fishing village of Kyuquot, nestled in a protected harbour in Kyuquot Sound, down the coast to Friendly Cove (Yuquot) in Nootka Sound. What makes destinations like this so special is their remoteness and what makes this a truly unique and special trip is using the Uchuck III to access and depart the coast […]

The Gorge Boardwalk

The Victoria Waterways Loop

The Victoria Waterways Loop The Galloping Goose trail and the more recent E&N Trail are well known to bicyclists and pedestrians as a way to make a complete circle route from downtown Victoria to the 6 Mile Pub area and back again. However, there is also a water route that also allows you to travel a complete circle from the inner harbour and back again. […]

Into the Strait

Whiffen Spit to Cabin Point, East Sooke Park, Paddle Route

Whiffen Spit to Cabin Point in East Sooke Park This pleasant day trip is an excellent opportunity to experience what it is like to paddle the exposed west coast without having to drive for hours and plan overnighters. You can explore an exposed a rocky coastline and windswept cliffs with a background of rain forest interspersed with dry hill tops and scrubby pines shaped by […]

Cowichan River

Whitewater Paddling on Vancouver Island

Get involved with the whitewater paddling community on Vancouver Island and learn about some great spots to check out Whitewater paddling around Victoria and Vancouver Island is primarily a winter sport. While the rest of the country is prepping for snow sports, here on the island we are grabbing our paddles and hitting the rivers and ocean surf. There are few large lake fed rivers […]

Emerald Waters of Tod Inlet

Brentwood Bay to Tod Inlet Paddle Route

Tucked in behind the famous Butchart Gardens is a beautiful tree lined inlet accessible only by boat or by a walking trail just off Wallace Dr near Benvenuto Ave. This is an ideal paddle for beginners as the waters of Tod Inlet and the launch at Brentwood Bay are very sheltered and the total route there and back is only about 5 kms.  (See map […]

Kayaking near Cole Island

Esquimalt Lagoon to Cole Island Paddle Route

The Esquimalt Lagoon to Cole Island paddle is an excellent day trip which can take a couple of hours or half a day or more depending on how much you would like to explore.  When you consider that this route encompasses a migratory bird sanctuary,  beautiful natural areas, many interesting historical sites and a busy, working naval harbour, best to allow yourself lots of time. […]

Trial Islands

MacNeill Bay to the Trial Islands Paddle Route

The Trial Islands are located in the Strait of Juan de Fuca just off the shores of Oak Bay with easy access from MacNeill Bay.  It is an excellent short day trip, which can easily be accomplished within 1 or 2 hours. Strong currents of up to 3 knots can be found in Enterprise Channel and even stronger currents of up to 6 knots,  occur […]

Paddling to Discovery Island Marine Park

Paddling to Discovery Island Marine Park

This spectacular paddling route takes you from the shores and stately homes of Oak Bay, crossing through the Chain Islets (part of the Oak Bay Ecological Reserve) to the Chatham Island and  Discovery Islands. This popular destination offers a true west coast paddling experience.  You will feel as though you are hundreds of miles away in the wilderness, though you are only a few miles […]

Flemming Beach

Ocean River Sports to Flemming Beach Paddle Route

This route explores the north and west shores of Victoria Harbour and the more exposed shoreline of Esquimalt Municipality on the Straits of Juan De Fuca.  Because of this more expose section,  should you plan to do this entire route, you will need to carefully check the weather forecasts before you go. Plan to stop for a picnic lunch or snack at Flemming Beach, or […]