The Isle of Discovery

Finding things that you didn’t know were there… the best part of an adventure.

From the small but exciting things that drive us to get out there, we found ourselves on another boat ride searching for an island we’ve never seen.

Prepping the boat and leaving our home launch spot we traveled along our regular and familiar channel of water on our way to reaching the channel inlet.

Always changing, the busy channel again somehow seems to find way to keep us entertained at the slow 5 knot speed limit. An interesting boat at the ship yards or a large vessel of the Canadian Coastguard, or getting surprised by a low flying helicopter coming in for a landing. Small conversations interrupted by the variety of things active in the harbour of our small city. Interesting parts… if you’re looking, they can often be found among the boring parts as well.

Next comes the bad part, or at least you would think it would be. Rain so fine that you don’t even see it falling, it just seems to appear a foot from your face. Soaking what ever it touches, everything becomes slowly saturated. A moment you would expect the complaints to begin from the young “first mate”, however nothing but grins from young B. Instigating the days journey, it was Brendan that asked for this. “It’s gonna rain Dad, we will just have to be ready for it”. Never would I have known this bravery and commitment from Brendan if not for these days. While you can buy things like our new neoprene boots, warm feet are nice but it’s the positive spirit that is the most valuable and makes experiences like this, good.

Bits of colour shining through what would otherwise be a grey horizon, we skim our way across the chop. Sailboat after sailboat appearing through the haze. One after another we dodge the path of the quiet vessels until we spot the beginnings of the islands we were so keen to discover.

A dangerous part. Taking the path between the two islands was fun until it wasn’t… Expecting a few shallow spots the area became completely unpredictable, almost. Blackness all around then suddenly to shells, rocks and sand followed by underwater rock mountains rubbing on the bottom of the motor’s leg… “I’ll read the land and you watch the water…” I said. Team work ensues and we slow the pace to a crawl when the land stretches out into tiny islands on the left and right telling us to be careful. Like a mountain ridge a foot below the surface, Brendan calls out. I have to move quickly and pull the motor out of gear and tilt it out of the water… with a slight scrape we coast over the ridge with our propeller still in tact. Skimming across the water only moments before, this could have been a bad one. An area likely only passable with these small boats, we wanted an up close experience… and we were sure getting it. I think a spare prop will be joining our kit on the next one.

With a beaching and a short break we then continued clockwise around the island of Discovery finding an abandoned boat house, light house and a group of chubby friends…

Different this time, there was no current and very few of the intimidating heavy weight ocean dogs. Sitting still in the kelp we shut the motor off and just sat with the group. Nervous grunts turn to long stares as the sea lions get comfortable with our presence. Swimming all around us, their curiosity brings them to the surface. Exhaling as their faces exit the water they sound more like small whales all around you. Not aggressive and seemingly much more afraid of us, they keep their distance and just glance over. This was a pleasantly calm part.

Rowing our way out of the kelp we start the motor and tear our way further around the island. Hugging the shore you watch for rocks, kelp and wildlife, always finding plenty of all of them. Landing at the remote marine park it was the first one we had ever seen of its kind. Clean toilets and tables on a very quiet island with a very nice view. Next time we’ll have to stay the night here and really experience such a rare spot.

The glorious part. After navigating the large minefields of kelp we completed the circle around the island. In perfect water conditions we laid back in our seats and speed along at full throttle across the calm water. Stirring up flocks of birds as we cruised away from the island there was a bit of magic in the air. Barely speaking a word for quite some time, we simply enjoyed living a moment together that was only a dream the night before.