Sunday, 3 May 2015

Early May sea kayaking in the Courtenay River and Comox Bay

by Keith and Heather Nicol
   On Saturday, May 2 there were wind warnings for the Strait of Georgia with 15-20 knot NW winds forecast. But the weather was sunny and warm so we opted to put in at the Air Park Marina in Courtenay which would provide us with generally protected paddling down the Courtenay River into the estuary. We hadn’t kayaked from this location since November 17, 2014 when the river was teeming with seals, sea lions, eagles and salmon. But this area is good for wildlife sitings in many seasons so we were curious to check it out at this time of year.  As we were putting in our kayaks we could see that the river was getting lots of use from paddlers since a group of 3 kayaks were landing as we were launching. Once on the water we saw several more groups of sea kayakers and even some stand up paddle boarders taking advantage of the good weather. It was nice to see paddlers of all ages including some young kids learning about sea kayaking.
There were sea kayakers of all ages and stages out on this day
  The tide was rising as we headed down the river but we still paddled in the main channel. There is a small island in the estuary and we had seen quite abit of bird life here in the past so we wanted to check it out. We weren’t disappointed since we saw 2 snow geese in one location and 2 eagles sitting on some low trees at the tip of the island. We continued out into the bay to the Comox Marina before we decided to turn around and return to our launch point. Check this area out if you are interested in wildlife/birdlife or when you want a protected paddle from NW winds.
Heather checking out some snow geese

And further along some eagles

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