The Charming Floating Lodge: Paddlers Inn, British Columbia

Here Andrew and I were — on a boat gliding over the calmest water after leaving British Columbia’s Telegraph Cove.
IMG_0113Even better?  In a sheer miracle, I did not get seasick.  Let me rephrase: For the first time in my life I did not get seasick.

However, this is when I had a sudden panic-realization: Andrew and I were supposed to be kayaking on the open salty water . . . all day . . . every day for a week.  What — and I do mean what — was I thinking?!  I — the person who gets ‘seasick’ by simply standing on a dock.  How did this thought only now occur to me?

“Andrew!” I was in quite a tizzy.  “Andrew-I-just-realized-we-are-going-on-a-kayaking-trip-and-I-get-seasick-so-what-do-I-do-if-I-get-seasick-on-my-kayak-and-am-seasick-the-entire-trip?!”

This, as you may have guessed, came as one massive word.

I saw the panic wash over Andy’s face as he quickly concealed his worry.  Then, just as fast, his rationalization: “L — You have not gotten seasick so far on this boat — “

“Yes,” I told him, “because this must be a magical boat.”

“And you did not get sick when we kayaked on the river — ”

“That was a quick river paddle though not — ”

“BUT,” he said the word loudly and slowly, “you did NOT get sick either of these times.”

While this was true, I was willing to debate my body’s stubbornness when it came to proving its desire to binge over water.  Luckily though, food came just in time to distract and so we agreed to disagree, silently knowing we soon enough learn the answer — for good or for bad.

And so the rest of our lunch and boat ride consisted of flitting from kayaker to kayaker to chat while also taking in these incredible British Columbia views . . .20190810_13455820190810_141422The breeze was soft and cool while sun warmed my skin, and I could have happily lived on that boat but even more magical destinations were in store: We were headed to Paddlers Inn.IMG_0151IMG_0136IMG_0121IMG_0125IMG_0147Located near near Echo Bay and North Vancouver Island, Paddlers Inn is a charming floating lodge owned by Boat Captain Bruce and his wife.  Desiring to immerse themselves fully in nature, live off the land, and be self-sufficient, they had appealed to Canada’s government for the right to build on and live in this little forested island.

They alone live here too with their dog and together, they have built a company that welcomes travelers.
IMG_0134Still, besides the visits from family, friends, and tourists, they connect most with nature, which was visible the moment we arrived and found a black bear strolling along the shore.
IMG_0118Filled with color, wildflowers, and evergreens, Paddlers Inn felt a dream or a secret tucked away from the modern, busy world.
IMG_0141It is so beautiful, in fact, that Andrew and I talk of going back and getting married here.

Speaking of marriage, this was the topic of our first conversation as our guides announced this was where we were spending our first night so it was time to determine sleeping quarters.  We had the ability to choose from a private one-room building or the larger building next to it where there were several rooms.

“Is anyone here on their honeymoon?” our guides asked.  No one answered.  “What about a celebration of some kind — birthdays, anniversaries, something?”  Again, everyone shook their heads.  “We like to offer the private room for that first but if no one here has special reasons to celebrate, then you all decide!”  And here, dear reader, is how kind our kayaking group was: “Give it to Andy and L!” Crispin said, explaining that we deserved the room based solely on our hellish travel to get there.  Everyone immediately agreed, which caused tears to brim in my eyes.  While our trip to Canada was pure torture, it reminded me that there are people in this world that are kind and caring, even if they do not know you.  In the end, we protested their decision but they overrode it and so this cute, private beauty became our home for one night.IMG_0124
Given time to unpack and organize . . .

Picture courtesy Dave

we then had our first kayak mission: Our guides wanted us to claim a kayak to hop inside for a paddle in the cove.  Suited with our lifejackets, we learned about kayak “skirts,” which are the blue material (you will see worn under the lifejackets) that tuck around and into the top of the kayak to prevent water from getting in).20190811_091535From there, we joined the group to pick a kayak, learn the proper ways to enter and exit our vessel, and individually adjust our rudder pedals.  This is the important bit because I thought I adjusted my pedals correctly.  As instructed, I sat so that my knees were slightly bent, my toes were pointed outward, and my heels were angled toward my kayak’s center — easy!

Finally, the moment we were all waiting for — our first mini-kayak.  Somehow I became the last one to get inside but I wasn’t going to let that get my spirits down!  I took the extra dock-time to observe how a proper kayaker should appear.
20190811_093054Andrew (of course) easily pulled this off . . .
IMG_0162and according to Andrew, I did too, though proof of that has disappeared so you can use your best judgement.  Still, I was able to steer my kayak in the water as I delicately paddled so I ended this mini-kayak feeling good.  My hopes were high, my attitude was positive, and my excitement amplified.  Plus, I did not feel the slightest bit seasick!  This adventure was in the bag for me, I was sure of it.

Having a delicious family-style dinner together, our group said goodnight to one another as Andrew and I watched the sun set in the pastel sky . . .
The next morning, our time had arrived — Our kayak journey was set to begin!

The start to this day began a bit rough for Amy and me though.  Amy somehow managed to trip over the uneven dock boards, which caused her to take a nasty fall and tear up her legs.  I tried to console her the best I could saying it was comforting to know that I was not the only one accident-prone and that I fully understood her pain and that I was sure to embarrass myself later . . . but I realized none of this was actually helping her so I slyly scooted to the side only to hear Andrew loudly ask, “L, is this yours?”

All eyes turned to him as everyone witnessed him pinching something between his fingers before producing it high into the air and here, dear friends, is when I realized he was holding was a thong . . . my thong covered in Valentine’s pink and red hearts . . . which somehow managed to find itself outside of my dry sack and on the middle of the dock.

So in case you were curious, that’s how I started my first full day of kayaking as we left Paddlers Inn . . .

(And in case you were curious, Andrew just now reminds me that I should feel lucky this was in fact my thong because if it was someone else’s — well, as he says, “That would have been embarrassing for everyone.”  Somehow though, I don’t believe him . . . )

For more on kayaking and camping adventures, seek We Left Our Hearts in Canada: Kayaking with Whales and Wild Camping in British Columbia.


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Disclaimer: Due to COVID-19, I want ensure all reading know this trip was in August 2019 before the virus.

Author: L

Hi there! I am the impulsive do-er, the jumper, the one tugging to move past comfort zones to embrace a life of sheer surprise. I am a writer -- a pursuer of stories -- because I believe in the destination over the journey. I am a chaser of sunrises and sunsets and cherisher of the moments between. I have an overwhelming curiosity, an insatiable desire travel, and an obsessive yearn to turn dreams into realities. For all of these reasons, the word that best summarizes who I am is "seeker" -- I am forever a seeker.

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