Paddling by moonlight

Night kayaking returns to Ladysmith

Full moon kayak tours start at dusk and offer adventure seekers a new world of experience on the water.

Full moon kayak tours start at dusk and offer adventure seekers a new world of experience on the water.

If you stand on the shores of Transfer Beach on any given full moon, you may just hear the kayakers howl.


On August 12 and 13, Sealegs Kayaking will continue their 14-year tradition of navigating the nighttime waters of Ladysmith Harbour with their moonlight tours.


The tour got so popular that Sealegs started offering a second ladies’ night edition.


“It’s romance for the soul,” said Sealegs owner Sheryll Bell.


“You’re one with nature and yet you’re doing something that’s refreshing and exciting and healthy.”


While it may be considered the more unconventional side of sea voyaging, moonlight kayaking can provide a unique and memorable experience for singles and couples alike.


“You always remember your first time,” Bell said.


“At night, if we’ve got good phosphorescence, the tours are beautiful. I remember one time doing a full moon tour and I spent more time splashing in the water, I was so fascinated.”


According to Wikipedia, phosphorescence is described as a process in which energy absorbed by a substance is released relatively slowly in the form of light. Some may describe it as underwater glitter.


Bell said kayaking at night opens a whole new world. The Ladysmith Harbour lights up with a visual feast when the moon rises over Thetis Island.


“When you’re out there, you’re much more in tune to what you’re doing,” Bell said. “You get a sense of peace. You get that anyway when you’re out on the water, but at nighttime, your senses are that much more acute.”


The full moon tour starts at dusk with a pre-demo and fitting to make sure everyone is secure and ready to tread the dark waters.


For those who still feel unsure about being in their own kayak, double kayaks are available for those who want to get cozy, however because of the co-operation required to operate one, couples need jump aboard at their own risk.

“It’s sometimes called the divorce boat,” Bell quipped.


All kayakers need to be prepared for the cooler nighttime temperatures and wear light/white-coloured layered clothing.


A personal flashlight or headlamp is also required.


“We want to be as visible in the water as possible,” Bell explained.


Best of all, no experience is needed to take in a full moon tour.


“If you’re really stressed out, you can imagine how wonderful it would be to go out there and enjoy some time with people,” Bell said.


“Even the sound of water and the paddling is very calming.”


The tours can accommodate up to 12 kayakers and sea-goers can expect a variety of personalities.

“You never know who you’re going to get to go out with,” she said.


“Sometimes during a quiet moment people will break into song. Then sometimes people get crazy and start howling at the moon.”


“It’s great for story or joke telling, because you have people’s captive attention.”


For more information on the moonlight tours, contact Sealegs Kayaking at 250-245-4096 or visit