lodge

Kayak Glamping On Saltspring Island

Feb 3, 2021 tripreports

by Jennie Sutton

Through Beth Haysom’s website on kayak friendly accommodations Kayak Friendly on our Southern Gulf Islands, I booked Spindrift Cottages on Welbury Point. Spindrift Cottages

The older, basic cabins are positioned at the start of the 7 acre private property which is surrounded on three sides by the ocean. All the cabins have ocean views and there is a lovely short walk out to the point where a few chairs are situated to sit on and soak up the vistas or to watch the sunsets. My accommodation was a self-contained very cute studio, in one half of a duplex. One of the two decks had lovely views across the water looking towards the Long Harbour ferry terminal. I had sunrises on that side and sunsets from the other deck. Both deck railings worked well for drying kayak gear! Due to the Covid-19 protocols many smaller places were stipulating a minimum number of nights booking this past summer, so I was there for 3 nights. The two gorgeous white shell pocket beaches on the east side of the point had steep access trials which made launching there for me on my own not easy. After some contemplation, I decided to launch elsewhere for my paddles…thus the advantage of having a vehicle! Also, with being an island, there is always a windward and a leeward side for finding sheltered (or not!) paddling. Catching the 9:00am ferry allowed me to head straight to Burgoyne Bay for a wind-sheltered paddle.

Launch sites:-

  1. I discovered a nice small gravel launch site to the north of Burgoyne Park, next to the public wharf….rockier at lower tide heights. Easy parking just uphill from the dead-end dirt road.
  2. Boat launch next door to the RVYC outstation at end of Quebec Road in Long Harbour….only a 5 minute drive from my cabin! Fine gravel beach at all tides and a very easy sloped launch at waters edge. Roadside parking for 4-5 vehicles. There is more parking up the hill.
  3. Hudson Point, north of Fernwood Road where there is a long public jetty.

Paddles:-

  1. Burgoyne Bay heading through Sansum Narrows. I paddled up the east side to Musgrave Landing, crossed over for lunch then paddled back, below the spectacular cliffs. Crossed back to the north side of Burgoyne Bay and shore noodled back to the launch- 9n. miles

  2. Launched at Walkers Hook (muddy at very low tides!), but would recommend launch #3 above. A short crossing to Wallace Island (campsite) as well as Jackscrew Island, a private island with amazing totem poles…at least 1.5 dozen along the shoreline.They are along the shoreline so easy to enjoy from your kayak. The main house is on the Crofton side of this private island and there are about a dozen poles there. Then at the south end of the island, facing Wallace Island there is a smaller house and a cove next to a major private wharf where there are another half dozen poles plus a dugout canoe under a roof. Even the dock has First nations decorations! The other Secretary Islands are pretty to noodle along the shore. One needs to be aware of the current as Porlier Pass is nearby! Paddle length variable depending how much one explores!

  3. Boat launch and circumnavigating Prevost Island.The shoreline has several deep inlets and along the south side there is the pretty Portlock Point Lightstation. https://lighthousefriends.com/light.asp?ID=1179 . You can land there and walk up to look at it more closely if interested. The nearby Red Islets has a beautiful white shell beach. It used to be a campsite but now has signage to not even land there. There are nice looking beaches nearby to stop for a break on this 11n. mile paddle.The long, narrow islets on the SW side of Prevost have many holiday homes.

  4. There are other paddling options depending on one’s skill, time available and of course the wind forecasts…

Saltspring Island is the largest of the Southern Gulf Islands and is more populated. If one does not wish to kayak every day or cannot, then…

Other activities:-

There are more shops and stores to explore.

Hiking & Eating!

Jennie Sutton Summer 2020

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