Earlier this week, Gravit-e headed out for its fourth annual company retreat. ‘Twas a fine outing on an otherwise mundane (albeit beautiful) Monday in mid-July. As developers, we too need to ditch our desks once a while to take advantage of Vancouver’s oft-short lived sun. We shuffled out of our air conditioned office to get reacquainted with one of Vancouver’s many picturesque locations. This year we found ourselves at Deep Cove, North Van’s go-to place for laid back outdoor activities. We kayaked to Coquitlam and back, hiked Quarry Rock, and finished off the day at Tap and Barrel for great local eats.
The day started off with Vancouver Shuttle Hire taking us from our office directly to our first stop, Deep Cove Kayak. Upon arrival, we knew it was going to be very ideal conditions; the sun was out, the water was relatively calm, and there was a pleasant breeze. We approached our kayaks on shore that were neatly lined eleven in a row.
Pictured above: Deep Cove Kayaks on shore
Thankfully, they were single person kayaks as many of us lack the coordination to man tandem kayaks as displayed by our last water excursion that had us spinning in circles and landing in reeds. Below are some action shots taken by Nick, our President, and Kat, one of our front end developers, who bravely took pictures on the water. We had a few glimpses of seals!
Pictured above: action shots of our kayaking; Not pictured above: seals we saw on our way there and back! They are truly water dogs, very curious, poking their heads out of the water.
After about an hour and a half of kayaking, we found ourselves in Coquitlam. How we got to Coquitlam still escapes me. We landed in Belcarra park and “docked” our canoes during low tide. The guides were kind enough to bring our bagged lunches with them from Honey’s doughnuts, which was thoroughly delicious by the way.
Pictured Above: Our canoes “docked” at Belcarra park; Not pictured; Our Lunch from Honey’s Doughnuts
After making our return journey to deep cove, we tiredly made the decision to go through with hiking Quarry Rock. We did not regret it, though we did run into a few hiccups on the trek up to the view point – Klaudine had to do the hike in flip flops and Tyler, our system admin that seemed to disappear mid-trek, actually found himself at the bottom of a ravine.
Pictured above: Gravit-e’s Klaudine hiking in flip flops; Not Pictured above: Tyler yelling for help at the bottom of a ravine
The views from the top of Quarry rock were phenomenal! For a Monday afternoon, the view point’s traffic was higher than one would think. Quarry Rock offered a refreshing panorama of Deep Cove and Indian Arm, as well as a vague metropolitan view of East Vancouver.
Pictured above: Gravit-e Sitting on Quarry Rock and a snapshot of its views
Pictured above: View of East Vancouver metropolis from Quarry Rock
We hiked back down the mountain with no issue, eventually reuniting with Tyler who got out of the ravine relatively unscathed (besides a superficial gash that’s not pictured). It was a quiet ride to our next stop in Lonsdale Quay’s Tap and Barrel, as we were all thoroughly exhausted from the day’s activities. We were re-energized by the gorgeous views on their patio which we were sat at, downtown Vancouver was clearly seen across the water. We ended our day trip with great food and drinks. Iris, one of our developers, ordered a PB&J burger, a seemingly frankenstein concoction that turned out to be delicious!
Pictured above: Gravit-e staff wining and dining on Tap & Barrel’s Picturesque Patio; Also Pictured : Tap & Barrel’s PB&J Burger
Gravit-e had a phenomenal fifth annual retreat. What will we do next? Look forward to our fifth installment of the growing series!