My better half and I recently visited Victoria by the Sea. As I drove through the quaint village to the water, I couldn’t help but feel like I was transported back to the Victorian era. Charming tree lined streets and beautiful traditional homes make this the perfect seacoast village to explore for an afternoon.
We pulled up at the shore and the two racks piled high with kayaks was a good indication we were in the right place. We were greeted by Paul, the owner of By the Sea Kayaking, and I must say he embodies every quality that PEI hospitality is so well known for, kind, charming and friendly.
We were fortunate to have great weather for our kayaking adventure. One of the things I love about getting out and being a tourist in our own backyard is meeting the people who come from afar, we were joined by a family from Ottawa who were visiting PEI for the first time in 14 years and they were brave enough to bring along their furry friends for the ride. Paul told us that for experienced paddlers Victoria by the Sea kayaking is pet friendly!
I knew we had a gorgeous day ahead of us as we set out for a sandbar we could see in the distance. We paddled along the shoreline and stared in awe of the stunning red cliffs until soon they were far behind us. We spent most of our time making sure we kept pace with Paul so we could catch every word. It was truly fascinating to listen to him talk about the history of the area. I will never forget learning about the different roles that our Island range lights and lighthouses played; and how they both worked together to guide thousands of ships through the narrow channel. With conversations like this, it really didn’t take long to arrive at our destination.
What looked like a small sandbar Island from the shore was a different picture when we arrived. At the peak of low tide, the sandbar spans 200 acres! We docked our kayaks along the shore and began – what I think was the best part of the experience: clam digging. I have lived on Prince Edward Island my whole life and I’m ashamed to say I’ve never gone clam digging before. We eagerly grabbed our rakes and Paul explained exactly how to find them. Clams are buried about 4-6 inches under the sand, but a breathing hole goes straight up to the top of the sand. If you can find that small impression in the sand, you are well on your way to digging up a clam.
After scowering the knee deep water for what seemed like a lifetime, I was starting to believe that I needed a stronger glasses prescription, but lucky for me, my heel landed right on that mysterious hole and I heard a quiet crackling noise. I dug my rake into the sand sure enough dug up the first clam of the day! We became so wrapped up in finding the next clam that all of a sudden we lifted our heads up and the tide had gone out and the sandbar stretched like a flat prairie field.
Our clam dig came to an end and we began paddling for the shore with our catch in tow. The sun was shining, the waters were calm, and before we knew it, we had made it back to shore. Paul sent us off for 20 minutes to explore the area while he began to prepare the clam chowder. It gave us just enough time to dash for the Island Chocolates store, after all I could eat away the calories I had just burned off while paddling.
We hurried back for some clam chowder and boy it did not disappoint! The creamy chowder was simply delicious, filled with delicious PEI potatoes, carrots, top-secret spices, and the very clams we caught just an hour earlier. It doesn’t get any fresher than that! The perfect end to a fantastic day!