February 17, 2020

Long Weekend in Sooke, BC

British Columbia, Canada

Video by Luke Gibson - Youtube @LifeOfLukeFilms

It was Family day long weekend in Canada, and me, my friend Luke Gibson and Nina decided to visit Vancouver Island and explore some not-so-known slash popular locations in Sooke, a small town few kilometres west of BC's capital Victoria. The 2.5 days ahead were not planned to be the most adventurous but for a short amount of time, we covered a lot of interesting places.

Our first stop was at Cooper's Bay to see the abandoned HMCS Cowichan, a Minesweeper that served in the Royal Canadian Navy from 1957 to 1964 and now is retired and rusted. You can find more information about it on Luke's video above. The light was very strange in that afternoon and made this whole experience look like we're on a terror movie.

The abandoned HMCS Cowichan in Sooke, BC.

More boats decaying on BC's coast

Some more abandoned and rusted items

Light is starting to fade and it's time to leave

This night we slept in the car at the trailhead of our next day hiking. 0/10 comfort but 10/10 cost effective.

Waking up to condensation in the car

Nina is happy we finally woke up

Good morning kisses

We were actually woke up by hundreds of locals that use this trailhead to walk their dogs first thing in the morning. It's always fun to watch people's reaction when they noticed you slept in the car and you're brushing your teeth with bottled water and spitting it in the grass.

The morning hike was to Cabin Point, a 10km loop trail with many ups and downs and incredible views of the amazing coast of Vancouver Island. The weather that day must have made all the meteorologists go crazy, it repeatedly rained for 30 minutes and the sun would come out for another 30 minutes. If the photos don't look from the same day, blame the weather.

This tree knows the meaning of "hang in there"

Luke taking photos

Checking out some Petroglyphs before the storm

Luke and Nina

I don't know the name of this beach but it's one of the most beautiful spots on the way to Cabin Point

Photo by: Luke Gibson

A classic and beautiful PNW setting

"Stop taking photos and let's play" — Nina

After going back to the car, we grabbed something to eat in the city of Sooke and waited a few hours until our batteries were charged to start our hike to Mount Quimper firelook, a 6km trail with a little bit over 500 meters of elevation gain. Not the hardest, not the easiest, specially when carrying heavy backpacks and being tired from the previous 10km trail after spending the night sleeping in a car. It took me almost 2 hours to complete. As I reached the top, the daylight was about say goodbye.

Mount Quimper fire lookout

The sun finally peaked above the horizon

Time to make some coffee and warm our bodies from the cold night

Luke enjoying the view and his morning coffee

Coffee and sunlight, great energy sources

One of the cables that hold the fire lookout

Nina, the fire lookout security

Attempt to dry the tent

Even with the tent still wet, we started putting our camping gear in the backpack and started our hike down back to the car. Going down is easy for me, I (still) have great knees and in less than one our we reached the trailhead and after that we went to the city one more time to eat hamburgers and get ready for our next small adventure.

Luke knew about this trail in Sooke which is an abandoned pipeline that used to take water all the way to Victoria a few decades ago. Today it is covered in moss and the people who know about it use it as a trail. It is not an easy find and not very often seen on social media, so I will keep the details away from here to preserve it as we found it.

After finding it, we didn't have much time to explore, but I tried to take as many photo as I could, even though the sun was brutally trying to destroy my phtotos.

At this point, I have a few hundred photos of Nina and I don't think that's too much

The hidden trail covered in moss

Nina spotted something

Harsh light to shoot but having fun

Thinking about sticks

The goodest girl

Luke capturing the broken section of the pipe

After taking some photos and shooting some videos we had to rush back to the car and head to Victoria to catch the ferry back to mainland. Unfortunately we just covered a small portion of this hidden trail, but now knowing where it is we will come back one day to explore more of it.

See one again soon Sooke, you were amazing.

Gear I used for these photos

Camera: Sony A7III Full frame mirrorless

Lens: Sony GM 16-35mm f2.8

Lens: Sony G 70-200mm f/4


“I'm not much but I'm all I have.”