Information | Cowichan Bay Kayaking

Renting Equipment Means You Are Experienced. Here's What You Need To Know

  • Previous Experience
    Requirements

    Full Sea Kayaks: Because full sea kayaks are "closed" cockpits, most rental companies require previous wet exit and rescue experience. We do. You will need to produce proof that you are knowledgeable about rescues, either with a card or certificate, or by answering several skill testing questions. If you cannot, you are welcome to rent a sit-on-top kayak that cannot fill with water.
    Sit-on-top Kayaks: Sit-on-top kayaks are "open" cockpit and their bodies are all flotation. They cannot sink unless they are punctured. They cannot fill will water and become so unstable they cannot be reentered or paddled like a full sea kayak.
    Care of rental equipment: Rented equipment is borrowed, therefore you are responsible for any damages. You will leave a deposit to cover any damage or lateness. Paddles are fragile and can be broken or the blades damaged. They are not swords for play fighting on the water. The boats are actually remarkably fragile. They should not be paddled into the beach where rocks and barnacles can scrape away the fiberglass or plastic. Stop before shore and get out without the boat touching the beach.

  • Water Safety
    Knowledge

    The waters in Cowichan Bay never really get over about 15 ℃ (59 ℉), which only really happens in August. You can still become hypothermic in 15℃ water, but you would have to be virtually unmoving. So there is always still a risk of hypothermia in Cowichan Bay waters. The water temperature is still usually below 10℃ (50 ℉) into June, so you must be able to get out of it an back into or onto your boat as soon as possible. This is why rescue skills and self-rescue knowledge is essential for renters. On tours, a trained guide is there to meet tha need, but if you are renting, it falls back onto you.

  • Navigation
    Skills

    Cowichan Bay is remarkably large. If you are renting and get across the bay and the wind picks up, you might have a hard time figuring out where to paddle back to. Having some kind of an idea of where you left from is important. Look back from where you left so you can recognize it. Look for obvious landmarks on the way out to know what to paddle back to. It is hard to get lost in Cowichan Bay, but it can be disconcerting if you are not quite sure and conditions worsen. Ask before you leave what to look for.

  • Weather
    Knowledge

    Cowichan Bay has a fairly consistent weather pattern, particularly from May into early September. Morning and late afternoon/evening are typically calm and clear. THE BEST TIMES TO PADDLE ARE EARLY MORNING AND EVENING.But thermal winds begin to rise about 11 am and continue until about 3:30 to 4:30 pm. These winds blow right up the valley, so the deeper waters at the edge of the estuary get all the wind buildup on the water from the fetch up the bay. With Cowichan River flowing out against the wind, the chop can be dramatic on the north side of the bay. We don't run tours in the early afternoon because of this, and will typically not rent full sea kayaks unless someone is exceptionally experienced. We will still rent the pedal boat to play in the small area around the dock, or sit-on-tops.

You can read or print the Rental Waiver Form here.

Get In Touch

For more information, please contact us. We will be happy to answer any questions you have for us. You can send a direct email to us from the email form. We should answer your questions within 24 hours.


Offices:
4865 Bench Rd
Cowichan Bay, BC
Canada

Location:
1769 Cowichan Bay Road
Cowichan Bay, BC


E: info @ cowichanbaykayaking.com
P: +1 250 715 0034

What Our Guests Say

  • We did 8pm-10pm kayak to/through estuary and then to log booms and back to Cowichan Bay. Good overview before we left, quick fitting kayaks to everyone. Clear signals if safe/require assistance. Had the wonderful luck of seeing red sun set and then blood moon/full moon rise on the same trip. Lots of bio-luminescence, good guides. Thanks!

    Dean P
  • Our guide Jenny was wonderful and knowledgeable about the estuary. My husband and I rented kayaks and had her as our guide for a 2 hour paddle. The kayaks are in good condition, and Jenny took us to see seals basking in the sun. It was a nice easy pace for paddling, I got some wonderful photos and had a great time. Thanks Jenny and Coastal Bliss!

    Lynn
  • My son and I rented a double kayak for two hours. We explored the bay and marina. Saw lots of sea lions and osprey along with many fascinating boats. We definitely plan on doing this again! Gary was really helpful before and after our excursion.

    Ocean K
  • thanks again for another great day on the water. your team always makes renting a fast, enjoyable experience. you're always my go-to option for a quick afternoon paddle!

    Vince A
  • Our 2 hour kayak tour of Cowichan Bay estuary with our guide Travis was relaxing, educational, and a great way to spend a hot evening on the cooler waterway. Travis was professional, personable, and very patient with our limited experience in kayaks, and got us settled in them quickly, and safely. We enjoyed the leisurely pace, sighting different birds, and getting information about the local area from Travis.

    MMisto
  • Cynthia and I really enjoyed our Gulf Islands kayaking adventure with you. You happily tailored the trip and our days to meet our needs and accommodate the weather, tides and currents. The food was excellent (loved the spinach!) and the equipment you provided was of the highest quality that we have ever rented. We had such a good paddle with you we've been haunting craigslist etc and now are owners of a used Tyee fibreglass kayak like you have.

    Cynthia and Dave
  • I have very much enjoyed the Broken Group Island kayaking trip with you and Gary. I will definitely try to do it again, should I get back to the west coast in the near future.

    Martina
  • For two years in a row we have used Coastal Bliss to guide us through the Wild West Coast Trail. This year we also added a 1/2 day kayaking. Using Coastal Bliss ensured we get to see the best there is to see. A further advantage is that you will learn about the fascinating fauna, flora, history and geology on the coast. People do hike up on their own, but apart from the risk they take by going at it alone, they also rob themselves of a superior experience. While we were setting up camp they were cooking incredibly delicious snacks and meals. Who knew dehydrated foods could taste so good.

    Trina
  • A friend and I booked the two hour evening kayak tour in Cowichan Bay and it did not disappoint. Georgia and Gary were extremely friendly and helpful in teaching two newbies how to paddle properly and maneuver the kayak, and then Georgia guided us around the bay. It was a beautiful evening, the water was calm, and the scenery en route to the estuary was breathtaking. Georgia pointed out different bird species and we even spotted some seals swimming nearby. This was my first time on a kayak tour, but I will be back!

    Abbie
  • Reservedly we contacted Bliss Adventure Cowichan Bay to see if they could cope with old girls..2 with no experience. No problem, BUT "why dont you try our moonlight kayak experience?" It happened the moon was almost full just now. So we went for it. A whole new experience great fun and oh boy to see the moon rising up above the mountains as we paddled out at sea was unforgettable.We were made most welcome really enjoyed it. Thank you, it was BLISS.

    Fussy
  • I have done 4 brilliant multi-day trips with Coastal Bliss including 2 amazing kayaking adventures; 6 days in the Broken Group off Vancouver Island in 2014 with guide Phillip and 6 days in Nootka Sound in 2016, guided by Georgia. Both trips were fantastic. Georgia even organised a special trip for me to fit in with my itinerary as I had limited time, travelling from New Zealand. Coastal Bliss is well organised for everything; the food is fabulous, the guides have indepth local knowledge and the locations are outstanding - all reasons why I have signed up on 4 different occasions with Coastal Bliss.

    Jan