“Pic ‘n’ Paddles” are day trips out of Ladner Harbour combining kayaks and the sailboat “Libra Star”.
A shorter version of our Guided Kayak Tour (GKT) from the harbour will rendevous with the sailboat anchored somewhere in the estuary. Picnic lunch (clients bring their own food and beverage) followed by paddle or boat cruise back to harbour.
Imagine. You and your family are paddling out of Ladner Harbour in Delta. You follow your guide into the mysterious Ladner Marsh and islands of the Lower Fraser River estuary. Within minutes of leaving this historic and picturesque fishing village the cattails and bull rushes cover all traces of buildings, commerce and people.
The kids call out in delight at the first Great Blue heron and bald eagle. When they shout in alarm that a bear is swimming in the channel up ahead you remark with impressive authority, “No, my dears. That is a beaver.”
Just as the first plaintive cry of “I’m hungry” pierces your newfound serenity (like, it’s been a whole hour), you spot the glistening white hulls of the sailing catamaran “Libra Star” waiting at anchor. And look! On the aft deck, waving wildly at your approach are your parents and yes, your husband. As you glide up to disembark into the inflatable tethered astern you make eye contact with your beloved and softly remark, “They’re all yours, bud.”
Moments later, the sounds of little people demolishing your well-organized picnic basket (Martha Stewart, eat your heart out.) reverberate from the spacious cabin of Libra Star. As you stretch out on the foredeck, a refreshing beverage in hand you are still amazed at the beauty of this area – so close to our bustling Lower Mainland yet, in some very important ways, an incredible distance away. Truly, this has been a day of renewal.
Okay, the “Martha” bit might be a little over the top but the scenario described is very much a reality. “Pic ‘n’ Paddle” (Picnic and Paddle) is only one of the exciting options offered by Kaymaran Adventure Tours. K.A.T. is entering its fourth year of operations in the estuary. Hundreds of guests, young and old have discovered this rich, unique and ecologically important area either by kayak or on one of K.A.T.’s larger vessels.
“Families want choices and flexibility,” says K.A.T.’s Tony Dales. “The concept of combining the Guided Kayaking Excursion with our sailboat results in an ideal venue for adventurers of all ages – those that wish can paddle to their heart’s content while others in the family may laze away the time on board the “Libra Star”. We can also provide a couple of “kid-size” kayaks if the younger ones want to try paddling while we are at anchor.”
“Pic ‘n’ Paddle” outings are also a great idea for youth groups and office staff (kind of a mini-retreat). Groups provide their own food and drinks – K.A.T. will put on the coffee and there’s always plenty of bottled water on board. “Libra Star” carries all mandatory Canadian Coast Guard safety equipment. Amenities on the sailboat include a private washroom (we call it a “head”), an enclosed cockpit and a heated cabin for those chillier days. This area is world renowned by birders – the early spring months are the best for bird life of all descriptions and sea mammals such as harbour seals and sea lions.