Since moving to Oregon we’ve spent many a weekend exploring Portland and the surrounding areas from the coast to the mountains, going as far south as Crater Lake.
We took one slightly longer weekend to Vancouver Island, Canada for a long kayaking trip to see whales, seals, and many eagles. It was a great pre-baby trip, kayaking for hours at a time-not something possible when breastfeeding a newborn.
We arrived in Victoria and stayed in a very contemporary and functional studio via air b’n’b. The entire wall was a convertible including a Murphy bed (something like below)…I love functional living spaces.
We checked out and grabbed breakfast and wandered around beautiful downtown. In reflection of this trip from about a year ago brings back feelings of nausea and fatigue. Life with a newborn is exhausting at times but for me much more preferable than first trimester pregnancy.
After picking up our rental car and snacks for our drive we made our way up the island to Telegraph Cove. We checked in to receive our wet bag to pack up all our belongings to get us through the next 3-days, mostly things to keep us warm at night.
After grabbing a bit to eat, there were three options I think, we headed to sleep both excited and anxious about the days ahead (well at least me). I slowly awoke the next morning, fixed a small breakfast, and put on all the water resistant/warm clothes. I can’t remember what that looked like at this point-wetsuit pants and socks, keens for shoes, a bikini top for a bra, exercise tank top, airwick long sleeve shirt, and a waterproof jacket. After heading over to the kayaking company I then also put on the kayak skirt which prevented water from getting in and my lower parts warm.
After getting the lowdown on our route and an idea of what we would see over the next 3 days we got in the kayaks and were on our way.
Kayaking is probably my favorite form of exercise. I feel strong and at piece at the same time.
After getting out of the harbor we pretty quickly saw a bald eagle and it’s baby. Followed by a porpoise, several elephant sea lions which are huge and curious, which means they want to get up close-also they are pretty darn loud.



Later that evening after stopping for lunch, then kayaking for another 3 hours and dropping our bags at the campsite, we headed back out to catch a pod of whales-the first orca siting of the trip. We ended up also seeing a few humpback whales, as well as some annoying cruise ships-they moved too fast disturbing calm water for both us and the whales.
Catching the whales was exhilarating and rather easy to do as we were moving in the direction of the tide. The way back was another story. We actually spotted another pod as we headed back to the campsite that came much closer to our kayaks. To catch some good photos Ryan had to put down his paddle, which meant it was me and my first trimester queasiness against the tides. When we reached the camp I dove straight for my bag and quickly devoured a granola bar.
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Meals during the weekend were simple but yummy. Our first night was the best with a cheese plate appetizer, grilled salmon and vegetables with rice pilaf. We had a dessert with each dinner but I can’t recall what at the moment. There was also hot water for tea, which I kept refilling because it was chilly even with my wet clothes off. I was never really able to knock the cold despite having several layers of clothes. And putting wet clothes back on in the mornings was by far my least favorite part of the trip. There was never enough sun to get things to dry. And because of fire warnings we were unable to have a campfire. As a result meals were cooked on a grill.
After dinner I retired to bed on night 1, night 2 I tried to wait for nightfall to see the milky galaxy-I saw a bit but being that far north meant staying up pretty late to get a purely black sky. I would love to go back with a heavier coat.
The second day was probably my favorite of the trip. The sun came out and I was soaking it up! I wasn’t the only one as the humpbacks would breach ever so often. That afternoon we stoped at another campsite for lunch. The tour company has 6 seasonally permanent camp sites with tents, dining area, and “bathroom.” I was expecting just a hole in the wall but there was actually a make shift outhouse and we would put wood chips on top to cover our business.


That afternoon, as with the first, we saw two pods of orcas. These including a handful of babies which was the cherry on top of a wonderful day.
The final day was taken at a slow pace and because the tide was low we were able to see some other sea life in the reef including several sea stars. We also took a brief hike when we stopped for lunch and got a great view of the islands as well as a glimpse of a porpoise.
When we reached the boat launch a few hours later I cared about nothing more than putting on some new warm clothes. Well, actually we took the time to exchange contact information but then I ran to the bathrooms. Once warm we started on our drive back down the island. And where I will leave this rather lengthy post.