Kayaking Gabriola Island

Recently I did a trip to Tofino, BC and on the way I stopped over at Gabriola Island for some rest and relaxation.

Gabriola Island is one of the Gulf Islands along the West Coast of British Columbia.

Gabriola is a small island with a population of only 5000. There is basically one main road that will take you around the whole island in about twenty minutes.

It is ideal for relaxing, walking the beaches and essentially doing nothing, which was exactly the plan. It is a beautiful and tranquil place with an easy going atmosphere that is full of artists of all kinds.

The trip consisted of several stops including Gabriola, Tofino and then Vancouver for a couple of weeks. My vehicle was completely full and at the last minute I decided to leave my inflatable kayak behind as there was truly no room to bring it. Going to Gabriola and not kayaking would be nuts so I rented kayaks this time instead.

Kayaking Gabriola

The weather was beautiful and sunny although fairly windy and the water was quite choppy outside of the inlets.

I checked out the two main kayak rental companies on the Island and settled on Jim’s Kayak Shack which was located at the Silva Bay Resort and Marina on the south end of Gabriola Island.

Jim was friendly and a true easy going resident of Gabriola Island. He has well over fifteen years of experience paddling around the waters of BC and had a lot of knowledge. We picked out our Necky kayaks (mine a long pink one!) and suited up. The wind was a little too strong for my comfort level so I decided to stay within the inlets which were very calm.

The shoreline of Gabriola Island is beautiful… nature at its best. Untouched beaches, beautiful forests and amazing views. I kayaked slowly around the inlets careful to stay out of the way of the motor boats… of which there were quite a few.

The water in this area happened to be very clear and alive with sea life. As the day progressed I decided to venture out a little further but quickly realized that with the strong wind my paddle strokes were taking me nowhere and causing me to feel tired.

Choosing to stick to the shoreline and the sheltered inlets made for a relaxing and beautiful experience. After a few hours I had seen a fair amount and had a good workout while not feeling over tired. Time to head back to shore and eat!  Gabriola Island happens to have a fantastic wood fired oven pizza place that is worth the stop for lunch or dinner.

All in all a great day. I would like to go back again when the water is a little more calm so that I can venture out a little further and see more of what the waters around Gabriola have to offer.

For more information on great kayaking destinations to explore see our Kayak Travel section.

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