Amanda had to teach a class today and we needed to come over to Victoria tomorrow. So to make the most of the situation I decided that we’d bring the canoe with us, and Brie and I would go for a paddle while Amanda worked.

We got on the early ferry, first in line so we got the un-impeded view of our wake.

After we dropped Amanda off at work, we drove out to Thetis lake. I knew it would be packed on a Saturday that was forecast to be 30 degrees. However it’s close to town, and an interesting lake to paddle with its convoluted topography and islands.

Portaging the canoe down to the beach was alright, but I’m definitely not happy with my yoke. I think I’ll swap it out for a lighter and simpler thwart. After we were done and heading back to the car I lashed paddles on to the thwart and front seat that was much more comfortable. So I’ll probably stick with that system for now.


Not long after putting in, Brie saw some water lilies with pink flowers. We had to get a close up look at those.

As we paddled through every group of lily pads we’d stir up a seething mass of giant tadpoles. I assume they are from the invasive bullfrogs.

There were lots of lily pads to paddle through though. Canoeing in the ocean is great fun, but I really love the margins of lakes, creeks and swamps for the aquatic plant life.


We cut under the bridge that seperates upper and lower Thetis lake. The upper half of the lake is less busy for sure, and has more nooks and crannies to explore.

After we had poked our bow into most of them, it was time for lunch so we landed on one of the islands in the lake that was unoccupied.


Brie insisted we make a table before we could eat. So we collected sticks and she made this. Entirely her own design. We had a delicious lunch and spent a while just poking around our island and seeing what was on it.

There were a few Cascara trees on the low lying part of the island.

Cascara isn’t that common unless you’re around a lot of boggy areas. The tree is known for it’s having a laxative effect, particularly the berries when ripe. It’s conspicuous because of the symmetrically opposite veins on its leaves.


This is the ‘dashboard’ of my canoe. I’ve got all our stuff clipped to the thwart for easy access (and security in case of an upset). It’s pretty crowded, but I’ve yet to work out a system of organization for it. I may make up some pouches that I can tie to the scuppers to keep it less cluttered.


The beach was even more crowded by the time we came back around 13:30. There were dozens of watercraft on the lake, and hundreds of people at the beach and in the water. Gabrielle really wanted to go swimming so after we got the boat squared away we put on suits and had a dip to cool off. The lake was very warm. Much more so than the ocean swim we had last week…