ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Kayaking the Sooke Basin on Vancouver Island

Updated on June 19, 2011

A Beginner's & Intermediate's Kayaking Experience on the Sooke Basin

The Sooke Basin on Vancouver Island is located 40 minutes from downtown Victoria, BC and is a gorgeous place to kayak, canoe or sail. It's a sheltered ocean bay that few people have heard of and offers spectacular views, quiet coves and the convenience of being located just outside of a major city.

Kayaking the Sooke Basin

I love kayaking around the Sooke Basin. In the morning, the air is still, the water is calm and the silence is unbelievable. There are plenty of coves with thick forests down to the coastline and a huge amount of wildlife (eagles, herons & seals).

The Sooke Basin is about 3 km by 4 km wide and is surrounding by the communities of Sooke, Saseenos and East Sooke, BC. We spent a week at a waterfront cottage in East Sooke, on the southwest side of the basin, and leisurely explored Cooper, Roche and Anderson Cove from the convenience of our own private dock. For day trippers, there are three public launch sites located at Anderson Cove (near East Sooke Park), Cooper's Cove (5 km before the town of Sooke) and the Government Dock (located in town).

We started exploring the waters from the southwest side of the basin and went clockwise. In the afternoon, there was a wind from the southwest and we decided to keep it behind us. This meant that on the way back, we would be protected by the hills of East Sooke Park along the southern shore.

From Comfort Cove Cottage, we rounded the small island in front to warm up our shoulders & backs. We were told that the island was sacred to the local T'Sou-ke natives and so we didn't make landing. Besides, another couple was already there enjoying a romantic embrace on a rocky outcropping.

We followed the shoreline to the north and paddled past Head Hill. Not knowing the tide schedule (oops), we didn't enter this narrow channel where the tidal flow would obviously be quite a bit faster. Instead, we slowly drifted past the oceanfront homes and condos along Kaltasin Road. There, tucked into the shore, was a classic longboat that was built in celebration of Sooke's bicentennial landing by Manuel Quimper (June 1790). Its crew was not enjoying the autum afternoon.

Next we went past a small marina that had large yachts parked in its slips. We felt a bit out of place in our narrow, yellow kayaks and so continued to paddle eastward towards Cooper's Cove. The lack of boat traffic on the basin made for a quiet afternoon.

Cooper's cove was a picturesque bay which sheltered some industrial ships and smaller yachts. At the rear of the cove, we could see a large dock with plenty of kayaks. This was where Rush Adventures, a local kayak outfitter, was based. A few days later we would again enjoy the view of Cooper's Cove from the table at the Fuse Waterfront Grill Restaurant.

As we made our way along the shoreline, leaving Cooper's Cove, we had an unexpected chat with a couple walking their dog along the Galloping Goose Trail. They and their dog were enjoying a leisurely stroll along the waterfront trail and asked if we were enjoying the magnificent west coast views. We answered, "How could we not?"

We continued our journey and made our way to the eastern side of the basin to Roche Cove. It greeted us with a small entrance spanned by a wooden trestle bridge. The narrow channel could have been hard to exit if the tide was coming in, but the serene enclave looked too inviting to pass.

Thick forests surrounded Roche Cove and made it seem like this small area was wrapped in a green blanket. The air was still and the water was glassy The secluded cove was about 300m long but still felt cozy. This coastal jewel was truly amazing.

As we exited the cove, an assist from the outgoing tide made the travel easier. We paddled to the nearby Goodrich Islands, a group of three small islands directly in front of the Roche Cove channel. Similar to the other island in the Sooke Basin, we had previously read that these were sacred grounds for the T'Sou-ke people so we didn't venture forth. We could tell that other people had recently landed here to enjoyed a quiet moment together.

We made our way back along the southern shore, skipping Anderson Cove. The afternoon sun began to make us weary and so we leisurely paddled back to the dock at the cottage. Sheltered by the hills of East Sooke Park, the winds didn't slow us.

After we pulled our kayaks onto the large dock, we made our way up to the cottage for some food and rest. We love paddling the Sooke Basin.

Important Local Contacts

How to Get Here

From Victoria, take the TransCanada Highway #1 heading north. Turn West at Exit #14 onto Highway #14 (Millstream Road) and head towards Sooke. Turn right at Sooke Road and follow this road (Highway #14) to the town of Sooke, BC.

Flights to Victoria, BC

There are daily direct flights from across Canada to Victoria.

BC Ferries

WestJet Airlines

Air Canada

Harbour Airlines

Boating around the Sooke Basin

New Guestbook

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • MatijaB LM profile image

      MatijaB LM 

      6 years ago

      Good lens and beautiful photos.

    • profile image

      sportintouch 

      6 years ago

      Very nice photos.Good to know ,where to go next holiday

    • Countryluthier profile image

      E L Seaton 

      7 years ago from Virginia

      Vivid and beautiful photos. Thanks for including us.

    • xbumper profile image

      xbumper 

      7 years ago

      Looks Beautiful and Un Spoiled. I will have to take a trip up there. Love the Lens

    • athomemomblog profile image

      Genesis Davies 

      8 years ago from Guatemala

      Lovely lens! I used to live on Saltspring Island and spent a lot of time kayaking there.

    • profile image

      mine123 

      8 years ago

      Thanks for all the information you delivered this has kept me occupied I

      hope you have more information in the future thanks cool!

      front fog lamps

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      8 years ago

      Definately looking forward to heading out there this week end! I'll post my pics at www.pinnacledivecharters.com

      fernie!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      9 years ago

      My husband and I were trying to find information about kayaking in Sooke Basin, and your entry basically planned our trip for us. Thank you so very much for sharing your experience and for connection us with Rush!

    • Dragon 40 profile image

      Ken McVay 

      10 years ago from Nanaimo, British Columbia

      Beautiful photos - 5 stars! Please join the new Island group!

      http://www.squidoo.com/group/create_lens/vancouver...

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)