Outer Island Expeditions' fleet of kayaks and boats safely cruises at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour through frothy crests ebbing amid the striking sights and wildlife of the San Juan islands. Venturing as far as 50 miles into Canadian waters, whale-watching excursions foster personal rapport between patrons and boat-side orcas, gray whales, or humpback whales trying to learn human etiquette for future espionage missions. Tours of Stuart Island's Turn Point lighthouse begin aboard a 22-foot Kodiak skiff, which buoys patrons through 16 miles of waters inhabited by sea lions and porpoises before they disembark and hike to the lighthouse's historical museum. Fishing charters set sail in search of ocean creatures and potable salt water from all of Outer Island Expeditions' four launch points: Smuggler's Villa Resort, Semiahmoo Resort, Lopez Island, and The Willows on Lummi Island.
The extreme athletes at Feral Kiteboarding School harness and fuse the raw powers of wind and water to fuel kiteboarding sessions. Driven by a passion for the outdoor lifestyle, they have also studied the demands of their environment to design apparel and equipment for the sport. Lessons with a BKSA- and IKO-certified instructor take place along the sandy beaches and shallow waterways of White Rock. Wave-cresting staffers also specialize in introducing beginners to the pastime, organizing equipment packages complete with trainer kites, instructional DVDs, and jars big enough for students to trap their own gusts of feral wind.
When most of the local boating club's members decided to venture into sailing large cruisers and racing, a small group of sailors remained loyal to their first love—sailing dinghies. This tightly knit crew formed Rocky Point Sailing Association, which today encompasses a fleet of about 40 boats and a staff of more than a dozen Sail Canada instructors.
At their headquarters inside of Rocky Point Park's Old Mill Boathouse, the sailors instruct kids as young as 4 years up through adults in all levels of sailing. Rocky Point's team also extends membership privileges, such as the use of a restored Columbia 27 cruiser, the Orane. To indulge competitive spirits, RPSA's crew also maintains a race team.
The abundance of natural splendour surrounding Burnaby's small lake inspired the creation of Deer Lake Boat Rentals. With blue herons standing tall in the waters, eagles soaring overhead, and turtles playing duck-duck-goose with Canadian geese, the region is teeming with wildlife. Fourteen years under the current ownership and opened in 1972, Deer Lake Boat Rentals rent kayaks, rowboats, pedal boats, and canoes to make the lake and its wildlife accessible to families. They are also equally focused on safety, so they provide all the requisite necessities, including lifejackets and staff a skilled crew ready to assist in any way necessary.
The non-profit Burnaby Canoe and Kayak's nationally certified coaches impart paddling techniques to all ages and skill levels on peaceful Burnaby Lake. The lake is nestled in a wildlife sanctuary where birdwatchers often glimpse great blue herons, belted kingfishers, and airplanes and the scenic North Shore Mountains peer over its waters.
The organization's fleet—one of the largest in Canada—even encompasses the War Canoe, a uniquely Canadian boat that holds 15 paddlers. Students can hone their skills during drop-in sessions or during more structured summer camps and sprint programs, where members develop strength, endurance, and technique.
Takaya Tours takes patrons gliding across the waters of the Burrard Inlet and Indian Arm on trips accentuated by the cultural heritage of the Coast Salish Nation, the indigenous inhabitants of the area. Guests plumb the open-water majesty astride a replica of a 25-foot Salish canoe or in a single or tandem kayak as the guide imparts nuggets of cultural lore and sings ancient songs that echo off of the rock faces surrounding the placid waters. Guides expose tourists to the area?s native flora and fauna and the sites of original Coast Salish villages while implicitly affirming the principles of buoyancy. Takaya Tours also rents out kayaks to let individuals or duos explore the scenic waterways and start splash fights with pelicans on their own time.