Text- Getting There

We walked our kayaks aboard the ferry in Anacortes, and walked them off on Vancouver Island. While it seemed non-standard to us, the customs officials in Sidney, B.C., were perfectly used to dealing with kayakers, bicyclers, pedestrians and even tourists in cars. Heiko brought his car which we shared as a storage locker for our wheels and other accessories which were not needed for the camping part of the trip. We walked around the fenced ferry terminal to a park and boat ramp immediately south of the terminal. In very short order we were ready to embark on our two day trip.


Boarding the ferry in Anacortes

Boarding the ferry to Sidney in Anacortes.


Our group on the ferry.

Becky used the first part of our ferry ride to brief the trip. This included the launch plan, the forecast currents and weather, a review of the charts and the boating traffic we might expect, and camping options if our first choice wasn't available. Here pictured are Jan, Don S., Sarah, Becky (trip leader), Heiko and Don W.


Packing boats

Don W. and Heiko packing their boats. (Photo: Becky H.)


Launching the boats in Sidney.

The public launch was immediately south of the ferry terminal in protected water. The park has rest room facilities nearby and water. Not knowing this, we had packed our water for the weekend in the boats from Anacortes.


Paddling past Sidney.

We enjoyed perfect conditions as we paddled past Sidney on our six mile passage to Portland Island. Even the current gave us about 1 1/2 knots of push, something Becky had considered when choosing the trip date.


Seal rocks

Sarah paddles past a bull seal who's rocky perch has just been submerged by the rising tide.


Seal rookery

The seals were undisturbed so long as we kept our movement tangential to their rookery. (Ph: Becky H.)



A healthy bed of barnacles catches sun before the tide comes up.


Navigation Light

Information from charts can be hard to recognize in the horizontal plane of reality. These navigation beacons are numbered, have coded lights, and may even give off sound, making them useful to boats small and large.

Succulent growing by the water.

A succulent growing on the old lava rock adds a splash of color to the shoreline.


Approaching the campground.

We approach our planned campground on Arbutus Point, Portland Island.


Map of Portland Island.

Portland Island was initially given by British Columbia to Princess Margaret, and so named. She later gave it back to B.C. with the stipulation that it be used as a park. It features three campsites and well maintained trails which enable crossing the island in about 20 minutes.


The campsite

The campground was spacious, with prepared pads and a raccoon-proof food locker.

More kayakers arrive

On this long Victoria Day weekend, we were soon joined by other groups of kayakers, which was no problem.


Sunset with Becky and Don S.

A long sunset and mild weather made for a relaxing evening.


Ferry passes in front of Mt. Baker.

Canadian ferries fromTsawwassen sped by the island, here passing in front of our Mt.. Baker view.


Jan and Sarah enjoy the sunset.

Jan and Sarah find the tide pool a good place to enjoy the sunset.



Our exposed reef was clearly home to clams and other shellfish.


Catching up

Even more than baseball, kayaking provides an ambience for good conversation.



The sun puts on its show. (Ph: Becky H.)