Stand Up Paddling day-trip SSI to Wallace Island Marine Park is awesome. Fairly challenging, beautiful, and a great workout. I was super stoked to do it, and just as stoked after. My route was approximately 8.5 km round trip. I would suggest this to individuals with an intermediate to advanced skill. Mainly due to strong currents and choppy water.
Here’s my approximate route:
I suggest starting out at Southey Point in the early morning. That way you’ll avoid fighting against a strong current and wind. Heading back will also be easier as you’re heading downwind and with the current. You’ll have some decent sized swells helping you back. You’ll be heading a little cross current but I found it relatively manageable.
If you have only paddled around Vancouver, the swells and currents you’ll experience there will be bigger than what you’re used to.
About half way to Wallace Island is Jackscrew Island. It’s private so may not be an ideal place to take a break. I don’t suggest stopping there on the way back, since to get back to Southey Point you’ll end up heading perpendicular to the current.
Once you’re at Wallace Island, the water is nice and calm. There are places to land, take a break, and enjoy spectacular views. Check out this 360
Don’t forget to bring water and some snacks. I would also suggest bringing your cell (in a waterproof bag) in case the current pushes you somewhere you don’t want to be. Tell someone where you’re going. Make sure to check the forecast. And be in shape.
(Sorry, I have a family and am kind of obsessed about staying safe when I’m out).
SUPing around Gulf Islands is beautiful but also challenging, and definitely not for beginners. You’re dealing with cold water, motor and sail boats, strong currents, wind, and decent size swells. Strong currents and swells mean that if you fall in by the time you get back up you may be significantly off your planned course. Make sure you have the endurance to cover at least double the distance you’re planning to go.