Dan, Paulo and I went out to the Chathams for a first paddle together in a while. Dan had had some back problems, so had not been on the water since November. We saw John and Louise on our way out and then met up with Olivier and Peter near Heritage Point where they had justseen the wolf again. The ebb current was building up as we paddled, so we had a play in the sluice and also found some fun waves by Strongtide Islet. Nice weather, though a tad chilly still. 2 pairs of mitts make for comfortable hands all day (onbe before lunch and one after!).
I helped Tom lead a SISKA energizer paddle out to the islands. We had a good sized group (almost 30?) indicating that lots of us wanted to get our year's paddling going again. I was the "pacesetter" for most of the trip and took the group on a side trip into Puget Cove and to "cactus islet". We had lunch at Rudlin Bay and finished with coffee at Olive Olios in Cadboro bay Village. Weather was calm and the currents though stronger at the start did not cause us much problem. It was great to paddle with many old friends and make several new ones!
I went for a middle of the day paddle to take advantage of the beautiful day. There was a nice current running at Baynes, with a few waves and I got a bit of a speed boost there. I stopped a few times to get some pictures of the "chain islet mirages" that I have been seeing recently. They are particularly obvious from kayaker height.
I have posted several shots of the mirages here: https://plus.google.com/photos/107085608707498595852/albums/5829346861509987233?authkey=CM-hocCw0KrplwE
I went out for a short paddle in the F1 to get the paddling year started! It is so easy to pick it up and head to the beach. I decided to head down to Oak Bay and the marina and spent some time checking out the boats there. Lots of people out on the beaches and quite a few out in boats.