Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Sea kayaking from the Ecomarine Paddlesport Centre on Vancouver’s English Bay

By Keith and Heather Nicol
     On Monday July 8 we decided to head out on the water and try sea kayaking from downtown Vancouver to iconic Siwash Rock. Siwash Rock is an 18 meter sea stack which sticks out along the popular sea wall and is a prominent landmark in Stanley Park. It makes a worthy goal for a 2 hour paddle from Ecomarine’s Paddlesport Centre on English Bay and we opted to rent a double kayak to make it easier to take pictures.  Ecomarine’s English Bay location is conveniently located for anyone living in downtown Vancouver and it is right on one of the most popular beaches in the city. We decided to head out in the morning since often winds pick up in the afternoon and we were rewarded with a very pleasant paddle past the highrises of English Bay toward forested Stanley Park. Along the way saw many people walking and biking along the seawall which rings Stanley Park.  
Paddling past the highrises of downtown Vancouver
    We didn’t see much birdlife or other wildlife but enjoyed views of downtown Vancouver, Stanley Park and the North Shore Mountains in the distance and after 40 minutes we rounded Siwash Rock. We enjoyed paddling the narrow passage between the shore and Siwash Rock and we then paddled back to our launch point. By now the wind was picking up and we were glad we had chosen a double kayak since it was very stable in the choppy water. Another factor to consider in paddling in this area is that there is lots of boat traffic further out in English Bay and this can result in some big waves being created as large boats move in and out of this area. The shoreline of Vancouver is very photogenic and a great way to see it is from the seat of a sea kayak. Ecomarine Paddlesport Centres have 3 locations in Vancouver and the English Bay location is well worth checking out for sea kayaking -- see:  for more information.  They also rent paddleboards and single kayaks from this spot as well.

We rounded Siwash Rock as part of our tour

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