Kayaking At Jericho Beach In Vancouver

As our kayaks are launched, we begin paddling east. In front of us are sparkling skyscrapers that make up the metropolis of Downtown Vancouver. Straight ahead, to the right, is Jericho Beach, which is usually brimming with people whenever the sun shows its face, and mountains fill our peripheral vision to the left. It is a beautiful evening and the conditions are perfect for kayaking.

The weather is warm but not too hot, the water is relatively calm and there is a slight breeze. There is just enough cloud cover to protect us from being fried, but not enough to make it gloomy. Altogether, the setting can be described as tranquil. 

Last time I went kayaking was a few years ago in Lincoln, England, where I lived for a while. I had joined a kayaking club and spent a few sessions paddling up and down a river, dodging huge, grouchy swans. I also did a bit of sea kayaking in Queensland, Australia several years ago.

But this is a completely different experience. This time, instead of going out a short distance from the shore, or meandering along a narrow river, I am kayaking further out. It is both exhausting and exhilarating.

My friend Stephanie is accompanying me and is paddling away comfortably. She makes it look easy and I get frustrated with my uncoordinated self as I struggle to keep my kayak in a straight line. But it is fun and a good workout.

At around 4pm on a weekday, it is relatively quiet. There are no other kayakers about. In fact, all I can spot are a couple of small boats.

Later on, a group of paddleboarders can be seen in the distance and eventually pass us by. Canadian geese sweep past in perfect synchronisation. Besides these moments of activity, it is strangely quiet. There are not even any seals around to pay us a visit.

A few weeks earlier, I had taken a walk along here on a boiling hot day and spotted numerous kayakers, windsurfers and boaters sharing the water.

Vibrant sails filled the background and some colourful kayaks were lined up ready to embark when their occupants arrived. We make our way back to shore and later visit the nearby Jericho Sailing Centre for some delicious ice cream.

 

Thank you to Ecomarine Ocean Kayak Centre for sponsoring us on this tour!

  • If you would like to try out some kayaking in Vancouver, there are also centres located at English Bay and Granville Island.
  • It costs $39 per person to hire a kayak for two hours and, at the time of writing this article, there was a two-for-one offer available on Tuesdays.
  • There are different types of kayaks available, depending on your skill level and preference, including double ocean kayaks.
  • If you are a solo paddler, you will need to be able to demonstrate verbally how to carry out a self rescue.

 

Have you ever been sea kayaking?