Sunday, July 15, 2012

Swimming in the Gorge at Kosapsum Park

Looking down the Gorge from Kosapsom Park

 Yesterday we had a picnic dinner at Kospasum park because I wanted us to go swimming in the Gorge.  With Max we need to go somewhere with a beach.   At 4 years old his not ready for my favorite spot below the Tillicum Bridge.

Max riding the huge Daddy Whale
Kospasum has nice tables for a picnic, a playground, change rooms and a sandy beach which I admit is not the nicest sandy beach there is.    I can not think of a better little kids beach than this one.

Kosapsom is a perfect location to introduce swimming to little kids.   The slop is gradual and they can control how far they go in.   The first step with a little child is to get them be comfortable with the water.  My hope is that in six weeks Max will be able to float on his own.

What it also offers is what I suspect is the warmest water for swimming in the CRD. Yesterday at 6 pm there was a bit of a breeze and the sun was going behind the trees.   This was not making me desperate to go in the water but once I was in the water was almost swimming pool warm. I suspect close to 25 degrees.

Max cautiously trying deeper water
The Gorge is not very deep here and the bottom quickly becomes a muddy one.  It is also utterly filled with calms, not just a few in the mud but half a dozen if you stick your hand into water and grab a handful of the mud.

This is the beach that has been consistently tested by VIHA for water quality.   This location has a lot of Canada Geese and they do crap on the ground.   If any spot in the Gorge was going to have a problem I would think this was it, but in going back in all the years of data I got from VIHA, there is no evidence of any water quality issues.

What would be nice would be if Saanich had some parks staff come and clean up the beach area - at times I have seem a few too many cigarette butts and such on the beach.   When I lived in Vancouver near Jericho Beach one of the things I liked is that the City regularly groomed the beaches to make sure there were no "surprises".

I think this would also be a good spot to have a lifeguard on duty.  Back in 2004 and 2005 when Benjamin and Stephen were in some City of Victoria summer camps, the only time they went swimming outdoors was when the took a trip to Fuller Lake.  Fuller Lake is near Chemainus.   The reason for the long trip to that lake is because there is no outdoor location in the CRD with a lifeguard.

In just under a month on August 12th  there will be the first annual Gorge Swim Fest
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