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  • The Compass blog
    The Compass blog
A Paddling Circumnavigation of James Island

A Paddling Circumnavigation of James Island

James Island is located in Haro Strait about 1.3 nm (2.4 km) off the east coast of Vancouver Island and is 315 hectares (778 acres) in size with approximately 6 nm (11 km) of shoreline.  James Island is privately owned, so while you can’t get out and explore this beautiful Gulf Island, it does make for a delightful circumnavigation with its high sandy bluffs, forested…
A Paddle Trip to D’Arcy Island – Gulf Island National Park Reserve

A Paddle Trip to D’Arcy Island – Gulf Island National Park Reserve

A Kayaking Day Trip to D’Arcy Island D’Arcy Island is actually two islands lying about 3 1/2 nautical miles off the east coast of the Saanich Pennisula just north of Victoria. Big D’Arcy is the largest of the two at around 83 hectares and is  part of the Gulf Island National Park Reserve.  It has 7 wilderness campsites with picnic tables and pit toilets. Little…
Paddling the Inside Passage: Q & A with Going Solo Adventures

Paddling the Inside Passage: Q & A with Going Solo Adventures

Over the span of two months Kelly Durst and Paul Everitt paddled from Skagway, Alaska down into Sidney, British Columbia for one epic trip. Following the Inside Passage, these two adventurers were surrounded by the many wonders of the Pacific Northwest. Okay! Let’s talk trip Firstly, when did you start and how long did the trip take? A: Kelly and I started early May by…
Life Jackets and PFD’s, do you really need to wear them?

Life Jackets and PFD’s, do you really need to wear them?

Life Jackets and PFD’s, do you really need to wear them? Transport Canada’s Small Vessel Regulations state that: “PFD’s must be comfortable and functional enough to be worn at all times. Highly visible, short models with pockets for distress flares, radio, and whistle are preferable”.  You should also be aware that the Transport Canada regulations also apply to stand up paddle boards, even when leashed. …
Do You Really Need a GPS?

Do You Really Need a GPS?

Do you really need to take a GPS on your paddling adventures? The simple answer is no, but there are some very compelling reasons why they can be a valuable asset. However, if you do decide to try one, don’t expect to be able to plug in your destination and happily follow the arrow and turn directions until you arrive. The small handheld units suitable…
The Victoria Waterways Loop

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.…
Safety Guidelines for Paddling Around Victoria & Vancouver Island

Safety Guidelines for Paddling Around Victoria & Vancouver Island

Safety Guidelines for Paddling Around Victoria & Vancouver Island Victoria is the gateway to world class paddling destinations around Vancouver Island, BC. Being surrounded by water, Victoria offers an endless variety of paddle sport experiences from the serenity of a calm lake, or the bustle of an urban paddle on the inner harbour, to the excitement of a fast moving tidal current. Whether you’re a…
Whiffen Spit to Cabin Point, East Sooke Park, Paddle Route

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 of Vancouver Island without having to drive for hours and plan over-nighters. You can explore an exposed a rocky coastline and windswept cliffs with a background of rain forest interspersed with dry hill tops and scrubby…
BC Marine Trails

BC Marine Trails

If you are thinking of planning a trip on the BC coast, you should check out the BC Marine Trails website. BC Marine Trails is a non-profit and charitable organization working together to help secure long term public access to the BC coast. The BCMT is dedicated to the design and development of a network of marine access points and campsites and day use areas…
Emergency Communication Electronics for Paddlers

Emergency Communication Electronics for Paddlers

There are a lot of Emergency Communications Electronics available for the paddler It makes a lot of sense for paddlers to carry some kind of electronic communication device for the additional level of safety they can provide, especially now with their compact size and affordability. If you’re in a life-threatening situation the advantage of being able to call for help and know that your distress…
Kayaking to Race Rocks Lighthouse

Kayaking to Race Rocks Lighthouse

A Kayaking Trip to Race Rocks Lighthouse and Ecological Reserve Race Rocks is located just one nautical mile off the southernmost tip of Vancouver Island.  It is an archipelago of low rocky islets lying in the narrowest point of the Straits of Juan de Fuca. Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula is only 22 km (12 nautical miles) away. Race Rocks is aptly named for the strong…

About Ocean River

Located in Victoria, British Columbia on beautiful Vancouver Island, Ocean River is one of the premier speciality kayak and adventure companies in North America. Brian Henry, the founder & current owner, has been running Ocean River since 1981, and Ocean River continues to be recognised as one of the most significant outdoor/paddlesports instructional & tours provider in North America.

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SUP Adventures on the West Coast

Wesley takes on SUP adventures on the west coast of British Columbia!

Moving back to the West Coast from the Rockies ...