Thursday, 5 March 2015

Sea Kayaking and Herring at Point Holmes near Comox

by Keith and Heather Nicol
Herring caught at Pt Holmes
   On Tuesday, March 2 we decided to check out what happens when the herring arrive in the bays near Comox.  We had received an email the night before from a friend who had told us that he had been cycling past Pt. Holmes and that he had seen lots of activity in the water just off shore. He wrote “I saw hundreds of gulls, sea lions, and one man paddling through the green water of the herring spawn ”.  So with sun and light winds in the forecast we headed to Pt. Holmes to see this action for ourselves.  Pt. Holmes is on Lazo Road and is easy to get to from the Courtenay – Comox area.  There is a handy boat ramp which makes launching relatively easy. The GPS coordinates of the parking area/boat launch are 10 U 0365267E 5506114N. Upon arrival immediately we could hear the barking of sea lions, flocks of gulls and there were even people fishing for herring from the end of the boat launch. 
Heather paddling toward a group of eagles
Evidently the herring seek out shallow estuaries and bays for spawning and arrive in such large numbers that they colour the water green with the milt from the males. We set out for Kye Bay which is located to the east and paddled out into the green water which was just off shore. Seals popped their heads up everywhere and in the distance we could hear sea lions barking. Eagles flew overhead and further out herring seiners were busy at work. We came across numerous rocks which seemed to be perfect places for eagles to congregate and we had a great time taking pictures of these eagles with the snow capped mountains of mainland B.C. in the background. The action seemed to die out as we rounded the cliffs at Cape Lazo so we paddled another 500 meters toward Kye Bay before returning to photograph more of the eagle congregations and sea lions off of Pt. Holmes. We can’t wait to return to check this out again.  

We have posted many blogs on where to paddle in the Courtenay - Comox area and they can be easily found on this blog by typing `sea kayaking in Courtenay - Comox`in the search bar in the top left margin of the blog
There were several groupings of sea lions just off shore as well

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