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