Sunday, November 29, 2020

November 20th - Flower Islet (#90)

 Monica and I went for a short morning paddle around Flower Islet. Conditions were good with winds in the 5 knot range. We had nice views of common/red-breasted mergansers, hooded mergansers, buffleheads and Canada geese.

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4 km, YTD 763 km

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

November 19th - Cattle Point (#89)

I went for a late morning paddle out to the point and back. Still working on some bird ID, but I can confirm marbled murrelets, long-tailed duck, pelagic cormorant, bufflehead, hooded merganser and horned grebe.

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6 km, YTD 759 km

Saturday, November 14, 2020

November 14th - Cadboro bay (#88)

 I went for a quick morning paddle to avoid the predicted winds. Conditions were glassy to begin with but began to get windier by the time I had finished. By the time I went back to the beach later the wind had gone from ~5 kph to ~20 kph. I decided to take my binoculars so that I could check out some of the birds I have been seeing more closely. I got a good look at a horned grebe (I was not sure before whether what I was seeing was horned or eared). I also got a good ID on both marbled and ancient murrelets. You can see on the track where I stopped to ID birds! :) 

Bird list for the morning:

Bufflehead, harlequin duck, horned grebe, hooded merganser, pelagic cormorant, black oystercatcher, surf scoter, pigeon guillemot (watched one come up with a shrimp!), ancient and marbled murrelet, Bonaparte's gull, belted kingfisher

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7 km, YTD 753 km

Thursday, November 12, 2020

November 12th - prospect Lake (#87)

I joined a group of other SKGABC guides for a session on adaptive paddling by Clay. Clay introduced us to several of the tools and techniques used to get less able people onto the water. In addition we went for a paddle around the lake and we all got to practice Covid-friendly rescues. The only birds we noticed were several American coots.

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4 km, YTD 746 km

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

November 11th - Cadboro Bay (#86)

I went for a brisk afternoon paddle (Av speed 7.8 kph) to take advantage of calm conditions and the rain having stopped. Birds today included horned grebe, mew gull (distinctive white spot on the primaries and they were feeding on small fish at the surface), ancient and marbled murrelets, glaucous-winged gull, black oystercatcher, great blue heron, bufflehead, harlequin and hooded merganser.

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8 km, YTD 742 km

Saturday, November 07, 2020

November 7th - Discovery island (#85)

Dan and I went for a morning paddle out of Caddy bay. The winds were light when we started out but started to build from the NW. Fortunately, the currents were not too strong. We managed to avoid the strongest winds by paddling up the east side of west Chatham and then crossing Baynes at the top. Ironically, Baynes, known for its rough water, was the calmest place as it was in the lee of Ten mile and Cadboro Points. We saw a couple of male California sea lions who swam beside us for a bit and I saw more long-tailed ducks (in addition to all the usual suspects! 😃 ) 

You can see by the colour of the track what a difference wind and current make to my speed.

I also returned home to great news from the US!

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16 km, YTD 734 km

Friday, November 06, 2020

November 6th - Chatham Island (#84)

I paddled out to Cadboro Point to join a Victoria sea kayakers meetup with Paulo, Lesley, Julia and Ellen for a paddle around Chatham Island. What a beautiful evening! Clear skies and a beautiful evening light. On my way to Cadboro Point I saw my first hooded mergansers in some time and then as we neared Chatham I saw my first long-tailed ducks of the season. We were also treated to great views of Mt Baker and also Mt Rainier in the distance.

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13 km, YTD 718 km

November 6th - Trial Island (#83)

I went to McNeill Bay to paddle with Pete around Trial Island and over to Gonzales Point. It was a beautiful day with sunshine and weak currents. the tide was high so it allowed us to explore "new water".

Lots of marbled murrelets, pigeon gullemots, surf scoters, double-crested and pelagic cormorants, harlequin ducks and Canada geese!

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7 km, YTD 712 km

Wednesday, November 04, 2020

November 4th - Discovery and Chatham Islands (#82)

I paddled out to Cadboro Point to meet Dan and Paulo for a morning paddle around the islands. We decided to go around counter-clockwise for a change and explored some of the lagoons since it was high tide. We were also able to take advantage of a strong ebb as we paddled southwards in Baynes! A colourful track! We saw a good number of the usual birds: surf scoter, harlequin duck, glaucous-winged gull, double-crested and pelagic cormorants, pacific loon, belted kingfisher, black turnstone, bald eagle, great blue heron, a western(?) grebe, common mergansers and Canada geese. Due to the explorations, I managed a few more km than usual. In the lagoon at the NE of Chatham, we ran into the Wednesday group and chatted a bit. I was able to return a paddle I was trying out! It was good to see the prickly pear cacti (Opuntia fragilis) are still around on the little island in the lagoon! Recent rains have washed off most of the gull droppings at Sea Bird point!

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18 km, YTD 705 km

Sunday, November 01, 2020

November 1st - Discovery Island (#81)

I paddled out to Cadboro Point where I met Dan and Paulo for a paddle around the islands. It was a beautiful sunny morning with a strong ebb running when we started. By the time we were finished, it had weakened a lot. Nice view of Mt. Baker but a big cloud bank to the south blocking Mt. Rainier. You can see from the track plot that our speed crossing Baynes channel was much higher on the outward journey than the return. I also tested out a couple of Gearlab paddles. One was a shoulderless 215 cm one and the other a shouldered 220 cm. The result of the test: I much prefer the shouldered 220cm one.

We saw 6 Steller seal lions on the rock by Sea Bird point as well as hundreds of gulls. Most were glaucous-winged, but there were a handful of Heerman's gulls in the group. We also saw surf scoter, black turnstone, pelagic and double-crested cormorants, harlequin duck and Canada goose.

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16 km, YTD 687 km

Monday, October 26, 2020

October 26th - Discovery island (#80)

 I went for a nice paddle with my friend and also retired colleague Pete around the Islands. Conditions were pretty much ideal! Virtually no wind or current and you can see from the track we kept up a good pace. It was great to catch up with each other and share our joy in retirement! Freedom to fish and paddle! 😀 We saw lots of birds today: marbled murrelet, surf scoter, pelagic cormorant, bald eagles, black turnstone, surfbird?/rock sandpiper?, harlequin duck, black oystercatcher, pigeon guillemot, great blue heron and more. We also may have seen either long-tailed ducks or northern pintails, but I did not get a good enough look.

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15 km, YTD 671 km

Sunday, October 25, 2020

October 25th - Cadboro and Oak Bays (#79)

I spent a nice day instructing a group of five SISKA paddlers in the rest of a Paddle Canada level 1 course. Conditions were good. calm in the morning, a little afternoon head wind to test peoples' forward stroke! Everyone seemed to pick up extra skills and we had a great day on the water. There were some nice birds seen: a bald eagle eating while being pestered by crows, a grebe, a black oystercatcher, some killdeer, some black turnstones, pelagic and double-crested cormorants, harlequin duck, mew and glaucous-winged gulls.

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10 km, YTD 656 km

Saturday, October 24, 2020

October 24th - Cadboro Bay (#78)

I taught part of the Paddle Canada Level 1 class this afternoon in the corner of the bay. It was a tad windy today and we were lucky to find a bit of a lee in the corner! We did some strokes (sweep and draw) as well  as stopping and assisted and self rescues. Everyone did well! It was pretty chilly! Winter is coming! :)

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3 km, YTD 646 km

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

October 21st - Cadboro Bay (#77)

 I took the surfski out for an afternoon paddle around the bay. Conditions were nice and there was a decent ebb building in Baynes combined with a northerly wind. I saw a few nice birds: pelagic cormorant, mew gull, glaucous-winged gull, great blue heron, harlequin duck and bald eagle to name the ones I noticed!

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8 km, YTD 643 km

Sunday, October 18, 2020

October 19th - Oak bay (#76)

I led a SISKA relaxed paddle to Oak Bay. There were 13 of us including two assistants (Tony and Dorothea). Winds were gentle as we wended our way over to Oak Bay, around the marina and then to Willows Park for a lunch break. Some of us made use of the tea house for hot drinks! The visibility was not great in the drizzle but good enough to see Chatham and Discovery Islands and the Oak bay Beach Hotel. We saw a nice selection of birds including black oystercatcher. mew and glaucous-winged gull, harlequin duck, and black turnstone.

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10 km, YTD 635 km