The Puntledge River flows out of Comox Lake and continues right through the City of Courtenay, flowing into Comox Harbour. Kayakers can launch their boats at a public boat launch at the end of 20th Street in Courtenay Airpark. From there, paddlers can either go upstream for a ways or they can paddle downstream through the saltwater estuary to the sea.
There was a salmon run in progress so there were many seals fishing in the waterway. We also spotted eagles, great blue herons, and many ducks and geese.
At high tide the whole of Comox Bay can be explored but at low tide we need to follow the river channel into thebay,, heading toward Goose Spit and the shoreline of Comox. The paddle to the spit and back is about 10 km.
Paddlers could also opt to venture past the spit over to Sandy Island Provincial Park (add an extra 14 km return) if wind conditions are favorable. It is a shorter distance to launch from Union Bay instead.
When Comox Bay is at high tide we can paddle over the flats on the south side of Courtenay. Comox Glacier and the peaks of Strathcona Provincial Park are visible from the bay.
We paddled back upstream and continued past two bridges to Lewis Park. We landed at the Airpark, happy with our paddling experience, so much so that we returned the next day at high tide to explore the area some more.