Making a quick getaway is easier by water than by land, as sea vessels such as whale mouths and origami hats leave no trace whatsoever. Get away from it all with a good chance of returning with today's Groupon: for $375, you get $750 toward a houseboat rental at Island Houseboats in Lake Cowichan.
Landlubbers soak up sun and scenery along Lake Cowichan's sweeping 150-kilometre shoreline from Island Houseboat's decked-out watercrafts. Guests outfitted with a Pleasure Craft Operator Card are eligible to rent a Moon Cruiser, which accommodates up to 10 adults, their pets, and unlimited pirate-slang dictionaries on its spacious deck. The Operator Card is only required of captains who are Canadian citizens, so border skippers may freely join their northern counterparts in choosing among Island Houseboats' seasonal packages, such as a three-day weekend during the low season ($750), Labour Day weekend during midseason ($1,099), or a week-long watery extravaganza during high season ($2,499).
Before sending water campers on their way, knowledgeable staff members brief a group's designated captain on the boat's controls, oversee a trial run of the ship, and perform timed tests on tying pretzel knots. Tidy vessels disembark topped with fuel, supplies, and amenities to keep the hull handsome and the experience safe and enjoyable. During the jaunt, speed down the boat's waterslide into the freshwater lake or watch raptly as bald eagles drop fresh trout into the on-board hot tub with a wink to the crew. Mornings can be spent casting along the banks for supper or admiring the surrounding mountains before retreating from the nature's pristine wilderness to adventurous DVD watching in the cozy cabin.