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This Saturday we went kayaking on Buntzen Lake , here in British Columbia. We arrived early at the boat launch around 8 am, since I read that the park has limited parking and they close the entrance once it gets full. Also we like the dead calm you can get in the early hours of the morning. The water can be like a mirror, which provides you with some great photos, plus the paddling is so easy.
I took the GPS with me again, like last week. Since last week I had got a better waterproof container for it, so I was less concerned having it above deck. I found out from the GPS that in Buntzen lake, we could paddle at peak speed of about 8 km/h. Which was faster than last week. Perhaps it was the water conditions, but also we were getting more comfortable with the new kayaks. I guess it takes a while to get to know them and get 'in the groove', so to speak. I know I was focusing more on making my paddling more smooth, and efficient, and that made a difference.
This lake is a lot smaller than Alouette lake. It is about 4km long, which I confirmed with the GPS. They don't allow powerboats here, except small electric ones used for fishing. There were lots of people fishing, and although we were early, a lot of people were out on the lake ahead of us. Once we got out. the first thing we did was to go up to the north beach, just over 2 km from the boat launch. On the left side of the beach was a small floating dock, and in the crystal clear waters you could see many fish, illuminated by the early sun. It was amazing to see. Pat enjoyed some blackberries on a bush nearby, and we got some nice photos as you can see.
The scenery is absolutely majestic. It is hard to believe somewhere so beautiful as this is so close to home. I kept looking up at the towering mountain peaks on each side of the lake.
Last week we had to pay to park but at this lake parking is free. I had not been to this lake before, although Pat had. It was a fun experience for me, and without all the powerboats and waterskiers, the water was not so turbulent. In a larger lake, with more waves we would have stayed close to the shoreline, but here we felt comfortable to paddle up the middle of the lake.
From the north shore, we went down the lake to the floating bridge at the south end of the lake. Along the way we would go in and out of the bays and stop and see all sorts of things. From the south end we went north to the boat launch and had some lunch.
The sun was as hot as last weekend, I hope it stays warm for a few more weeks, I enjoy the weather for paddling. Also, at this lake we practiced some wet exit and rescue manuevers, so we were glad that the water was warm to do that. I had read before that this lake can get quite cold, and I was surprised that it was so warm. Lots of people were out swimming that day.
There are a few small islands in the lake, which we explored from the water. One was barely more than a rock sticking out of the water. Pat insisted on landing on it, where she took some photos of me.
We went up to the north beach again in the afternoon. Pat had lost her sunglasses, and thought she left them up there. By time we returned to the boat launch, we had gone up and down the lake twice, covering about 15 km, and about 7 hours on the water. By then we were tired, so we went home, throughly satisfied with our day.
I have more photos here. I expect to return to this lake again soon, it is very kayak friendly. I look forward to reading your comments below.