Kayaking Deep Cove and Facing My Fears
Growing up I was always a cautious child that avoided anything that had a significant amount of risk associated with it. Whether it was swimming or riding a horse or even riding my bicycle, I was overly careful and weighed the risks in my mind.
Despite my cautious nature, I sometimes surprise myself. A few weeks ago the idea struck me to go kayaking. I’ve never felt totally safe on the water, but I’m slowly trying to overcome some of my fears. Although I’m a fine swimmer, there’s something about deep water that creeps me out.
My boyfriend and I decided to go kayaking in beautiful Deep Cove, which is a small community located past North Vancouver. It’s an ideal place to go out on the water; the only thing you have to look out for is motor boats passing by. On sunny weekends the cove is filled with kayaks, canoes, boats, paddle boarders, hikers, and sunbathers.
We reserved a double kayak at Deep Cove Kayaks a few days ahead of time to ensure availability. I would highly recommend booking in advance because it does get very busy during the summer months.
As soon as we sat down in the kayak I felt uneasy. When the first small waves gently nudged the kayak I was panicked. I was shrieking and yelling at my boyfriend for the first few minutes and I’m sure he was rolling his eyes at me.
We paddled out of the cove and headed south where we encountered a friendly wild seal that kept popping his head above the surface of the water before diving down again. The coastline here is beautiful and the longer we were on the kayak, the more comfortable I began to feel.
We stopped and pulled the kayak ashore on a tiny island south of Deep Cove where we took a few minutes to relax and explore the beach, which was covered in seashells, starfish, and crabs. Last year it was reported that starfish were dying out in large numbers along the Pacific coast so I was thrilled so see them.
After our short stop we made our way back towards Deep Cove. By then I was more relaxed and in tune with the motion of the ocean.
We only booked the kayak for a short two hours, and afterwards I realized that I needed about half that time to get used to being on the ocean. Even though it was a rocky beginning for me on the water, it’s experiences like these that slowly chip away at my ridiculous fears. Next time, we’ll be back for longer!
What to Bring
We were a little under prepared for what to bring on our first kayaking trip. Since we’re not total amateurs anymore, here’s a list of what you’ll need on a short kayaking trip:
Waterproof watch (probably the number one thing we wish we had since we rented a kayak for two hours and had to keep asking other people for the time)
Water bottle (and some small snacks)
Wet Sandals (you can sit in the kayak with bare feet, but if you want to get out and explore somewhere it's better to have some shoes that can get wet)
Sunscreen (the reflection of the sun on the water will undoubtedly give you a sunburn)
Hat (optional, but a good idea for longer trips)
Bathing suit (not necessary, but nice on a hot day)
Quick drying shirt & shorts/pants (be prepared to get wet)
Sunglasses (even better: sunglasses with a strap)
Gloves & Moisturizer (Our hands were so dried out from the salt water and paddling)
Getting to Deep Cove
Finding a parking spot is a nightmare in the summer months, especially on weekends. If you have to drive, I would recommend going on a weekday or waiting until the fall when it’s a bit quieter.
You can also take public transit. The #212 bus departs from Phibbs Exchange in North Vancouver and will take you directly into Deep Cove.
Do you like kayaking? Would you go kayaking in Deep Cove?
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