February 2008

Found 2 blog entries for February 2008.

The Nanaimo River Estuary is just south of downtown. The clean, rushing water scatters all kinds of sediments into the ocean to form a wide delta loved by gulls, eagles, oysters and log booms.

Three of us took to a canoe and a kayak, and explored this beautiful desolation on a sunny Sunday in February. Here's a satellite image of where we went:

Nanaimo River Estuary satellite

We started on Maki Rd by Southgate Mall, putting into the water in a narrow canal cut into a marshy area. We could see a lot of gulls congregating at the other end of this canal, so we figured it emptied into the ocean. Turns out we were right, but, not in the way we imagined.

Deploying boats in a drainage canal

The canal came to an abrupt end, narrowing into a culvert that ran under the hillside. The culvert was large enough that we

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Snake Island location thumbnailFour of us went to Snake Island in a couple of canoes. It's a long way: 6 km from Downtown Nanaimo. The waters were calm that day, which was very good because Snake Island is out in the bigger waters of the Georgia Straight, and canoes aren't good for that.

It took an hour to inch across that expanse of ocean, safely out of the way of freighters and the three BC Ferries routes. As we got farther out to sea, Nanaimo opened up behind us, and the mountains got a lot bigger.

Paddlers approaching Snake Island

As we approached the island, we could see there were already tons of mammals already occupying the beach, and they were staring right at us. Were they murderous, two-tonne sea lions bent on our destruction? Or, just cute seals the size of golden retrievers? It was hard to tell

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