Sooke has many attractions in respect to its wild rainforests and trail systems, but the big one is the most obvious: its local waters and the ever- tantalizing invitation to go paddling in a kayak, a canoe or paddleboard.
Turning the first corner towards Sooke, in the tiny hamlet of Saseenos, is Cooper Cove, a small inlet that connects to the Sooke Basin.
Here, you’ll find Rush Adventures, a local business-oriented towards marine sports that offers kayak, and paddleboard rentals (including the unique paddleboard yoga).
From there, you can set off towards the harbour and enjoy the sound of birds above, while gently being rocked along by slow currents. Rush Adventures also do the occasional kayak water polo, a one-of-a-kind sport that fuses the best of both worlds into one fun (and fun to watch) activity.
It’s certainly not the only place, or the only way, to get a piece of Sooke’s marine side.
East Sooke’s rugged coastline also offers numerous opportunities to explore several beaches, including Beecher Bay.
For those who are more experienced and bringing their own kayaks to explore, the open waters around southwest Vancouver Island have much to offer. In town, paddlers can launch from several spots, including the docks at the Prestige Hotel. West Coast Outdoor Adventure also provides day-long kayak rentals and lessons.
And you won’t be alone out there either – marine life, such as seals, sea lions and otters are often hanging around or moving about, while whales, such as humpback, minke and grey, can also be seen frolicking in the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
The calmer waters of Matheson Lake, in Metchosin, invite exploration. Launch from the swimming beach and paddle the perimeter of the lake or pull ashore on Gillespie Island and go for a swim. The lake is stocked so take your fishing rod.