The Best Places To Drop In

I woke and looked out the window to see a beautiful blue sky this morning, no wind moving the trees, and my first thought was about going stand up paddle boarding. I knew that if I was serious about going that I would need to make sure my husband wanted to go too, we'd have to decide on a place to drop in, we'd have to check the tide table if we were heading out on on the ocean, and then dress for the cooler weather.  The hardest part of getting ready is deciding where to drop in. Here in Sooke, we like going to Muir Creek, Whiffen Spit, or Cooper's Cove in the Sooke Basin. 

Muir Creek is located 12 km (7 miles) past the Village of Sooke. There is a gravel area just past the Muir Creek Bridge for parking. It's a very short walk to the location we drop in, directly below the bridge. From the mouth of the creek we can paddle out in either direction to the sea, or if the water is too choppy, we can stay in the more sheltered area of the creek as long as the tide is in. 

Whiffen Spit Park is a very popular spot for locals and tourists wanting to walk the gravel walkway to the lighthouse at the far end of the spit. There is limited parking in the paved lot right at the entrance of the walkway so we like to go as early as possible. The water is always busy with boaters leaving the marina, but there is an abundance of seals in the area, and they always pop up around us with curious looks. 

Cooper's Cove, or as I have nicknamed the area, Jelly Fish Bay, has a large gravel area for parking and another short walk to the drop in. There are a number of areas to explore from the cove, and even on windy days there is a protected channel you can paddle to and practice short, fast strokes against the current. This is a good skill to have for the choppy waters around the basin.

We've taken our boards to a number of lakes around the Greater Victoria area, and my personal preference is Prospect Lake. I found Thetis Lake to be too busy, Matheson Lake to be too windy. It's a longer walk with the board to drop in at Prospect Lake, but it's a beautiful drive to the north end location of Whitehead Park where a public dock is located.

When the decision of where to go is the complication of my morning, I reflect that life is pretty wonderful here at the south end of Vancouver Island.