Saturday, 27 August 2016

Sea kayaking from Village Bay Lake to Main Lake on Quadra Island

by Keith and Heather Nicol
Heather paddling into our lunch spot
    On Wednesday, August 24 we decided to head to Quadra Island to do some more exploring via sea kayak. We had been sea kayaking only once before on the island and that trip was in May 2015 when we paddled in Heriot Bay and the Breton Islands ( .  We drove north from Courtenay and caught the 9:30 am ferry and we stopped at the visitor information centre in Quathiaski Cove where we picked up a great map of the island (ask for the Backroads map). From there we headed for a series of lakes just north of Village Bay. There are 2 boat launches on either side of the bridge and there were several people off loading kayaks and canoes so we thought this must be a popular spot (10 U 0343659E 5560454N). 

Paddling through the reeds between 2 of the lakes

   The first lake we paddled down was Village Bay Lake and it had a number of cottages along the shore but as we moved north the cottages thinned out and we paddled a narrow passage full of reeds into another lake before following another narrow passage into Main Lake. We found few places to pull in along the shore but we did find a nice place for lunch on a bedrock and cobble beach (10 U 0343209E 5563839N).After lunch Heather decided to go for a swim off the bedrock shore line while I paddled out into Main Lake and found a fine campground with a good beach at 10 U 0343125E 5564047N and then paddled around 3 islands in the lake before heading back to our lunch spot. Main Lake is the largest of the lakes and is about 3 km long in an east – west direction.  From there we returned to our launch spot. We were gone for about 3 hours including about 30 minutes for lunch and our distance was about 11.5 km.  These lakes would be a good bet if you are on Quadra and high winds are a problem for ocean paddling and another bonus is that they are good for a dip on a hot day.However try to swim where there is bedrock since the most of the lakes have a muddy-soft bottom. 
Paddling on Main Lake around one of the islands.


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