All I could hear was the sound of my paddle dipping into the water. The bay was completely still, like someone had place a giant mirror, face up, between green rounded mountains, amongst rocky headlands and ancient forests. I stopped paddling to take it all in. A bald eagle broke the silence with its cry and I watched it circle overhead.
The grey cloudy sky held in the warmth from the day before. I crossed Toquart Bay from the recreational area, making my way to the other shore. I went passed Snowden Island, amazed that tall swaying cedars had managed to grow on what little soil this rocky island provided. From the other side of Snowden I saw the mouth of Pipestem Inlet.
Toquart Bay is tucked deep in Barkley Sound. It is accessible by gravel roads or by boat and is one of the most beautiful recreational areas on the west coast of Vancouver Island...in my opinion. For those who live in Ucluelet getting to Toquart Bay is quick and easy and it’s an incredible place to spend a Saturday.
There is a recreational area with visitor parking as well as a boat launch and a beach for launching kayaks. There is also a rocky beach and a few great spots for collecting shellfish. Sport fishing is popular in Toquart Bay. The Toquart Recreation area asks that all visitors check in with the office upon arrival.
I got to the mouth of the inlet and continued into it keeping close to the shore. The glass like water started to bend in smooth ripples and crows called to me from the trees.
I love paddling close to the shoreline and up against the sheer cliff-like rocks that drop deep into the ocean. From this vantage point I could see purple and orange starfish clinging to rocks, surrounded by bright green seaweeds and other sea slime that grows in contrast to the wet, black, and grey rocks.
I made it about halfway up the Pipestem Inlet when I decided to turn back and head home. I passed a sailboat of happy passengers. They waved at me as they moved up the inlet, probably planning to anchor and spend the weekend relaxing in the calm wilderness.
An hour or so had passed when I made it back to the kayak launching beach. The tide had come up and I was able to kayak right up to the shoreline. I loaded the boat onto my car and took one last look at Toquart Bay. What a great day out on the water!
Learn more about life on the west coast at Ucluelet Webcam.
The Gray Team