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Summer Idea - Bowen Island Paddle-Boarding

When you're dodging umbrellas on the way to work, you know fall has officially hit. If you're dreaming of summer plans already, here's a great idea: head to Bowen Island for some ocean paddle-boarding.

Bowen Island is only 45-minutes from Vancouver, but it felt miles away: it's small, quaint and laid-back. After the ferry docked, a short stroll led us to an open-air market, galleries, studios, stores and restaurants (we stopped for fresh fish-n-chips on a patio).

Soon we were in need of cooler temperatures, so we headed to the dock to try paddle-boarding. This not-so-extreme water sport is like a cross between kayaking and surfing: there is a wide, long board and an equally long oar, and you're supposed to stand up and paddle.

Sounds simple, right? Well it's trickier than it looks (balance is key) - and I definitely made the first splash into the ocean (luckily the water was cool and refreshing).

After a few wobbly moments, we all picked it up and spent the rest of the hour cruising around - even spotting a pack of glossy seals likewise enjoying the water. Another great thing about paddle-boarding? It's very affordable! This left us plenty of money to snack on the delicious, authentic tacos, conveniently located on the pier next door to the kayaking/boarding shop.

Paddle-boarding available from Bowen Island Sea Kayaking.

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Taken on October 25, 2010