Kayak in Indian Arm waters off B.C.’s Deep Cove and feast on famous doughnuts

About a half hour drive from Vancouver, Deep Cove is a great kayaking spot for locals and tourists

About halfway through a kayaking tour on the waters of Indian Arm, expect the Deep Cove Kayak instructor to whip out a bag of the area’s famous doughnuts for a snack while taking in the view of the fjord and likely spotting some wildlife.

Kayaking in North Vancouver’s Deep Cove area offers breathtaking scenery and an abundance of wildlife. The village is a short trip from Vancouver and visitors can enjoy many other outdoor activities in the area, including hiking, if they wish to stay longer.

Deep Cove is close to Vancouver and the waters are calm, making it a great kayaking spot for locals and tourists, said Joel Viehweger, 23, who has worked as a kayak instructor at Deep Cove Kayak for three seasons.

“There’s a bunch of other neat stuff to do,” he said, highlighting the area’s eateries and nature.

It’s nice “just being out where it doesn’t seem like you’re in a big city,” he added. “It has a really small-town vibe.”

The most popular tour is a three-hour exploration of the area that Viehweger says runs three times a day during the high season months.

READ MORE: Kayakers rescue dog from raging Adams River

Participants receive a quick demonstration on land, teaching them how to paddle effectively and get in and out of the boats — a not-so-glamorous process that involves straddling the kayak and popping in butt first so as not to damage the boat.

Once on the water, instructors discuss the area’s flora, fauna and history.

The water there is brackish, meaning a mixture of salt and fresh water, making for a slightly salty taste. They can point out harbour seals, great blue herons and moon jelly fish — don’t worry, they don’t sting.

As paddlers pass through the small, scattered islands they’ll learn about the folklore of Jug Island. Some say the island was a drop-off spot for bootleggers during prohibition.

At some point during the journey, instructors will treat the guests to doughnuts from Honey’s Doughnuts & Goodies, which has been a fixture on Deep Cove’s main shopping drag for decades.

“That’s the tradition,” Viehweger said.

The cafe, known mostly for its decadent doughnuts, hit a new level of fame when actor Kate Winslet raved about the treats during an interview at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival.

“I pine for Honey’s doughnuts,” she said, before repeating herself, heavy emphasis on the word “pine.”

The bakers make the preservative-free, high-quality ingredient doughnuts fresh, said co-owner Ashak Saferali, and sometimes customers have to wait for a new batch.

They come in plain, maple chocolate, maple bacon, coconut and cinnamon flavours, he said, and the recipe remains unchanged since he bought the original business in 1996.

It helps the business when Hollywood celebrities like Winslet call attention to the cafe, Saferali said, adding she’s not the only actor to have dropped by the store.

He also believes the tranquility of Deep Cove helps bring patrons to the restaurant.

“The area is really beautiful… It’s like going into a small village.”

If you go…

— Group tours cost between $75 and $120 per adult, plus GST. The company also offers private tours and lessons.

— Viehweger recommends bringing lots of water — even on cloudy days — and wearing athletic clothes. Leave the jeans and cotton shirts at home.

— If kayaking with a romantic partner, know the doubles kayaking is jokingly referred to as “the divorce boat” sometimes because it can prompt some heated arguments. But Viehweger swears he’s never seen anything too serious.

Aleksandra Sagan, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. NDP leader John Horgan and B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau. (Black Press Media)
OPINION: Examining preliminary results from the 2020 BC Election

Some thoughts to ponder as British Columbia awaits the final results from mail-in ballots

Your Columbia River Revelstoke candidates; Nicole Cherlet (NDP); Samson Boyer (Green) and Doug Clovechok (BC Liberal). The polls are closed and ballots being counted. (File photo)
BC VOTES: Clovechok preliminary winner with 52 per cent of the vote

35 of 77 polls have reported and The Canadian Press is calling Clovechok winner

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)
VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

Sonia Furstenau became leader of BC Greens one week before snap election was called

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

Most Read