Wednesday, June 06, 2018

June 6th - Chatham Island (#40)

Dan and I went out for a morning paddle out to the Islands. We have not paddled together for a while since Dan was in Scandinavia for 6 or 7 weeks, so it was good to catch up. The weather was great - sunshine and light winds - and the only lumpy water we found was the wake of the V2V ferry!
click to enlarge
11 km, YTD 315 km

Sunday, June 03, 2018

June 3rd - SISKA Intertidal Paddle (#39)

Though we normally do this paddle out of Willows Beach, we decided to do it in Caddy Bay this time to avoid conflict with the Oak Bay Tea Party! The weather was a bit cool and occasionally rainy, but we still had a great time exploring the intertidal and shallow subtidal zones. Highlights included a white lined dirona nudibranch as well as a bunch of mussels, worms, sponges and sea squirts that were living on my mooring buoy - it was a good excuse to clean it!
We made it as far as Spoon Bay for lunch and had fun exploring the RVYC breakwater and Loon Bay. Dave G and I were acting as the naturalist resource people and Debbie L was the paddle leader. A nice coffee was had afterwards at Olive Olio's
click to enlarge
4 km, YTD 304 Km

June 2nd - SISKA Picnic (#38)

I joined the gang at the SISKA picnic for the day and managed to get out for a short paddle in the afternoon. Though the track is only 0.5 km, I estimate that I actually went about 2 km as the GPS was not on for a good part of the time! We spent some time playing kayak games which involved races, stealing pool noodles from others' kayaks and various other crazy/fun antics!
click to enlarge
2 km, YTD 300 km

Sunday, May 27, 2018

May 26th - Tod Inlet (#37)

Bill and I went for a quick paddle to Tod Inlet and gave each other a chance to try each others' boats. I had my Think Beg Eze surfski and Bill had his OC-1canoe. Boith are light weight and fast and fun! I managed not to flip the OC-1 and Bill did the same with the surf ski. It feels wierd to only paddle on one side at a time! :)
click to enlarge
7 km, YTD 298 km

Thursday, May 24, 2018

May 23 - Clinic with Blair Doyle (#36)

I joined Blair from NS to help with a SISKA workshop on "on water scenarios". Blair kept us busy all day with a variety of interesting and testing scenarios and I think we all learned a lot!
Alan sent me a "Relive" version of our paddle which is fun to watch! (my GPS turned off at one point so the track across Baynes in interpolated!)
my track - click to enlarge
11 km, YTD 291 km

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

May 18-20 - TRAK Surf camp (#s 32-35)

I went to Wya Point Resort for a 4 day TRAK kayak surf and coastal paddling camp. It was really neat to meet a wonderful group of TRAK owners and also to paddle in a "one design" group where everyone was paddling the same kayak!
We did our first day of training paddling in Wya Bay working on skills. Our second day was a coastal journey from Wya Bay to Wickininnish on Long Beach, and the third day was a surf session at Long Beach.
Day 1 - click to enlarge - AM + PM paddles

Day 2 - Wya to Wick journey - click to enlarge

Day 3 - surf at Long Beach- Click to enlarge
Paddle 32 May 18 AM 4 km
Paddle 33 May 18 PM 4 km
Paddle 34 May 19 - 14 km
Paddle 35 May 20 - 2 km

YTD 280 km

Saturday, May 12, 2018

May 12th - Oak Bay and Chatham birding paddle (#31)

I paddled over to Turkey Head beach to join a SISKA birding paddle guided by Daniel and led by Jennie. Conditions were excellent and we saw a nice variety of shore and sea-birds. Due to paddling over to the starting point and back it was a nice long paddle for me! I was able to get a better handle on identifying our three species of cormorant (pelagic, Brandt's and double-crested). Plenty of rhinoceros auklets and pigeon guillemots around.
click to enlarge
22 km, YTD 256 km

Sunday, May 06, 2018

May 6th - Oak Bay intertidal paddle (#30)

I paddled over to Willows Beach to join a group of SISKA paddlers to help lead an intertidal exploration paddle. My paddle was 7 km and the club paddle was 3 km! You can see a difference in my pace getting to the group and back vs the actual exploration paddle! I saw a few Canada geese and pelagic cormorants on my paddle and we also saw some black oystercatchers. An intertidal highlight for me was seeing some small individuals of the "pretty red sponge nudibranch " (Rostanga pulchra). Conditions were outstanding when we were out looking beneath the water's surface as there was no wind for a while and the water was quite clear. No lumpy water to interfere with viewing!
click to enlarge
10 km, YTD 234 km

Saturday, May 05, 2018

May 5th - Cadboro Bay (#29)

I went for a quick morning paddle on the surfski and enjoyed sunny weather and a decent northerly wind. You can see it slowed me back on the return leg of the trip. Saw Jennie and Edgar doing a SISKA PC level 1 class on the beach as I was returning.
click to enlarge
8 km, YTD 224 km

Thursday, May 03, 2018

May 2nd - Cadboro Bay (#28)

I joined Jennie at Gyro Park to lead a SISKA clinic on forward stroke for sea kayaking. We had a dozen participants and all showed a much improved stoke by the time the sun went down - the clinic started at 6 PM!
click to enlarge
2 km, YTD 216 km

Saturday, April 28, 2018

April 28th - Caboro Bay RVYC opening day and crabbing (#26 and 27)

I paddled out to join four other paddlers and many other sail and motor boats in the sailpast for the RVYC opening day. It was fun to be part of the event. After I had done the "sail past", following HMCS Grizzly,  I went out to look at my crab traps and determined that there were crabs in the traps! This resulted in a later trip... There are quite a few marbled murrelets and rhinoceros auklets around now!
click to enlarge
6 km, YTD 211 KM

After the earlier paddle I decided to take the fishing kayak (trident angler) which is stable enough to allow me to retrieve crab traps! (the whisky 16 was not so!). I came back with 3 nice Dungeness crab. You can see rom the track this was a pretty focussed trip!
click to enlarge
3 km, YDT 214 km

Sunday, April 22, 2018

April 22nd - Caddy Bay (#25)

After going for a walk on the beach, I decided that I had to go out for a paddle! So I grabbed the Oarboard Adventure and went for a spin around the bay. A few buffleheads, mnergansers and a couple of great bluer herons out. Stopped by Natural C-lection to check on it! :)
Beautiful day for Earth Day. You can really see the difference in speed between the SUP and the surfski when you compare today's track with last Fridays!
click to enlarge
4 km, YTD 205 km

Friday, April 20, 2018

April 20th - Cadboro Bay tour (#24)

I went for a short afternoon spin around the bay to get some fresh air (reprieve from doing taxes!). It was flat calm and overcast and a low tide (1.6ft). Not too much in the way of birds around. A few Canada geese and a couple of small flocks of buffleheads and mergansers. I did see a couple of great blue herons and a river otter (in the sea!).
click to enlarge
7 km, YTD 201 km

Monday, April 16, 2018

April 15th - Victoria Harbour (#23)

After the guides' exchange was officially over I went for a short paddle around the upper harbour on a multi-person SUP with Olympian Simon Whitfield and several others. A 4 person, 22 ft long SUP goes quite fast (though not as fast as a good kayak!). I did not have my GPS for this one.
After that I went for a paddle in one of the ORS rental fleet a CD Prana (very nice kayak!) and made my way down to the Fort Street docks. I paddled past a boat that is on its way to Galapagos (Pacific Coaster, soon to be Cachalote Explorer) and then under the catamaran Village (soon to be Cascadia). The Cascadia catamaran has a neat "tunnel" underneath! It was also my first paddle under the new Johnson Street bridge!
click to enlarge
2 km, YTD 194 km

April 14th - Sooke rock Gardens (#22)

I assisted Scot and Jordie in leading a "rock garden" class for 8 SKGABC guides as part of the guides' exchange. We had perfect conditions - no wind and just enough swell to make it interesting but not so much as to make it too "exciting". The participants all finished the day with big smiles, so I think the class was a success.
click to enlarge
6 km, YTD 192 km

Friday, April 06, 2018

April 6th - Cattle Point (#21)

I decided to go for a quick paddle while the power was out and I could not work! :) I had a fairly relaxed paddle out to the cattle point marker and back. On my way, I checked out the sunken sailboat, my mooring buoy and my C-dory in the yacht club. I saw courting mergansers as well as a bunch of Canada geese who looked like they were about to nest...
click to enlarge
5 km, YTD 186 km (I am way behind schedule for my 1000 km goal!)

Thursday, April 05, 2018

March 17-27 - California trip (#s 16-20

Monica and I spent two and a half weeks travelling down the California Coast from crescent City to Monterey this March break and I managed to get out paddling five times! I saw many places I would love to paddle more - next time!
click to enlarge - red dots show the locations paddled

March 17th - Big Lagoon (near Trinidad) (#16)

I went for a morning paddle around this lagoon which is the southernmost of three lagoons making up Humboldt Lagoons State park. It was neat to see the open ocean on the other side of the beach. At the north end of the lagoon there were quite a few seals and cormorants near the outflow. The lagoon is pretty shallow in many parts.
click to enlarge
13 km

March 19th - Mackerricher State Park (#17)

We really liked this State Park and I managed to find a protected place to launch amongst the rocks. There was a fair bit of swell in places and not too many landing options. I saw a few grey whales as well as seals.
click to enlarge
5 km

March 24th - Elkhorn Slough (#18)

We went to Elkhorn Slough on Brad's recommendation and were not disappointed. I have never seen so many sea otters up so close. In addition the seals and shorebirds were remarkably non-skittish. This was one of the most amazing paddles I have done from a wildlife point of view. We saw lots of sea otters and seals as well as: marbled godwit, willet, whimbrel, egrets, herons, avocets and more! I was kicking myself that I did not have a longer lens or binoculars with me!
click to enlarge
8 km

March 27th - Monterey's waterfront (#19)

I went for a morning paddle along the waterfront while Monica went for a nice bike ride. There were lots of sea lions and courting Brandt's cormorants on the seawall. Sea otteras and seals were scattered throughout the kelp beds and it was neat to see the area we had walked a couple of days earlier from the sea.
click to enlarge
8 km

March 27th - Elhorn Slough (#20)

Our first visit to Elkhorn Slough was so amazing that we had to go back - this time we brought cameras with longer lenses as well as binoculars. The wildlife was just as amazing as before and we had another great paddle and got lots of photographs... Timing the paddle around low tide seems to be good.
click to enlarge
6 km

40 km total for the five paddles, YTD 181 km

Sunday, March 11, 2018

March 11 - Discovery (#15)

Dan, Rob and I went for a morning paddle around the islands. A nice morning with no current and a northerly wind at around 10 knots. Saw one sea lion around Seabird point.
click to enlarge
15 km, YTD 141 km

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

March 6th - Discovery Island (#14)

Dan, Paulo and I went for a nice morning paddle around the islands. I paddled out to Maynard Cove to meet them and we did a big curve to the north to avoid the current in Baynes. We saw a few Steller's sea lions on the rocks at Seabird Point and I saw a flock of long-tailed duck on my return trip. On the way back across Baynes, the current swept me back down past Jemmy Jones! I paid a visit to Natural C-lection at RVYC on the way back.
click to enlarge
17 km, YTD 126 km

Friday, March 02, 2018

March 2nd - Discovery Island (#13)

Dan, Paulo and I went for a morning paddle out around the islands. Weather conditions were pretty good (a little drizzle and wind) and I was out of shape after not paddling much for 6 weeks! We saw lots of cormorants (mostly pelagic) and gulls around seabird point, but no sea lions this trip. We tried to recover a crab trap float on Chatham, but it was firmly attached to the bottom! You can see that the ebb current helped us a good deal on the outward journey and not so much on the return!
click to enlarge
15 km, YTD 109 km

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

February 14/15/16 - Galapagos Islands (#s 9 to 12)

I managed to get out for a few nice paddles while on board the Lindblad National Geographic Endeavour II.

paddling at Sombrero Chino - click to enlarge

Feb 14 - Isla Eden near Santa Cruz Island

A nice afternoon SUP along the coast of Eden Islet, finishing up with a downwind run to the ship.
Isla Eden - click to enlarge
2 km

Feb 15 - Sombrero Chino islet near Santiago (James) Island

I managed to get out for both a SUP paddle and in a single kayak. It was raining a bit which was a nice change and we saw several penguins
sombrero chino - click to enlarge
1 + 2 km

Feb 16 - Darwin Bay, Genovesa Island

My last paddle of the trip was an early morning paddle along the cliffs of Genovesa near Prince Phillip's steps. I paddled a double with Ashlynn.
Genovesa Island - click to enlarge
1 km
Total paddling distance for the trip was 6 km - YTD 94 km.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

January 27th - Rodeo Beach to Bonita Point (#10)

My second day's class was "advanced rock garden play" and we launched into some surf off Rodeo Beach under the leadership of Paul Kuthie with David Santanello and Roger Smith. We had a great day exploring under and around Bird Island as well as amongst the rocks and reefs out to Bonita Point Light. We went through tunnels, and slots as well as over various pour-overs and had a blast! I need to do more of this! :)
The main symposium site
click to enlarge
8 km, YTD 105 km

January 26th - Marin Headlands rock gardens (#9)

At the Paddle Golden Gate Symposium, my first class was an excellent session on rock garden skills and safety run by Bill Vonnegut. After a series of exercises on strokes and rescues, we made our way past the Golden Gate bridge to play in the rocky shores of the Marin headlands. I had a blast practicing playing in front of steep cliffs, pour overs and slots and learned a lot about what spots are safe (relatively!) and to look out for big swells that might surprise.
Shot by Tom of the group passing under the bridge
click to enlarge
9 km, YTD 97 km

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

January 16th - Discovery Island and Orcas (#8)

Dan, Paulo and I went for a "regular" morning paddle around the islands. Conditions were nice, not much current and not too much wind. I had misplaced my sunglasses so I had to squint quite a bit against the low winter sun! The tide was high and I had not been into the inlet in east Chatham Island for some time, so we made a short detour to check on the prickly pear cactus on the islet. They seem to be doing well (and are a tad smaller than the Galapagos ones!). There was a nice group of male Steller sea lions at Seabird Point as well as a few seals along the way. We saw Cheryl in her boat and went over to chat with her for a bit about the wolf. She has had some good sightings recently. On our way back across Baynes Channel we were treated to a nice display by a small pod of orcas. You can see the "blip" in my track where we stopped to watch them. They looked like they were feeding and at one point one of them did a spyhop!
click to enlarge
16 km, YTD 88 km

Sunday, January 14, 2018

January 14th - Cadboro and Oak Bays (#7)

Rob and I went for a morning paddle. Our original intent was to head out and around the islands but it was quite windy (Discovery was 15-20 kt  from the north all morning), so we decided to turn around at Cadboro Point when we encountered lumpy water and tour Cadboro and Oak Bays. We made it around Mary Tod (Jimmy Chicken!) islet and Oak Bay Marina and headed back. Lots of birds around including bufflehead, hooded and common mergansers, scaup and harlequin ducks and the highlight for me was a group of ancient murrelets!
click to enlarge
12 km, YTD 72 km

Saturday, January 13, 2018

January 13th - Cadboro Bay (#6)

I led a group of 14 SISKA paddlers on the first club paddle of the year. Our original plan was to paddle from Cadboro Bay around to Telegraph Cove on the north side of ten mile point, but there was a bit too much wind and lumpy water when we got past ten mile point, so I decided to turn around and head over to Willows beach where we stopped for lunch. Though the day was cool and drizzly, we had a good paddle, followed by coffee at Olive Olio's! We saw a nice collection of birds, including oystercatchers, common and hooded mergansers, kingfishers, double-crested and pelagic cormorants, bald eagle, great blue heron, as well as bufflehead and harlequin ducks. (I am sure I have missed some!) A nice way to start the club's paddling year!
click to embiggen!
13 km, YTD 60 km.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

January 10th - Cadboro Point Current clinic (#5)

I joined Jennie and Edgar in leading an introductory/intermediate clinic on paddling in currents. After a brief chat on shore we made our way out to Cadboro Point where the ebb current was starting to build. The participants learned how to edge their kayaks, ferry across a channel into the current and made good progress. Many were playing in the small overfalls by the end of the session. We saw buffleheads, scaups, mergansers and a group of river otters while out on the water. We also ran into Dan and Paulo who were just returning from paddling around Discovery.
click to embiggen!
9 km, YTD 47 km

Saturday, January 06, 2018

January 6 - Discovery Island (#4)

Dan, Paulo and I went for a morning paddle around the Islands. There was a bit of wind and current and we ran into a group doing a rescues course that day! We saw a large male California sea lion by Cadboro Point and then several more Steller's sea lions by Seabird Point light. We had to work hard coming back and our progress was slow through the frequently lumpy water. I think the moving average for the entire trip was only 5.6 kph!
click to enlarge
15 km, YTD 38 km

PS, I actually forgot about doing this post until I was reminded! I had downloaded the track, and then must have been distracted! :)

Friday, January 05, 2018

January 3&4 - Surge Narrows (#2&3)

I joined Alan and Craig for two days of paddling the wave at Surge Narrows. On the first day I paddled a borrowed Sterling Progression which did not suit me very well, so I had a pretty slow day of paddling. On the second day I paddled my familiar Hammer  and paddled until I was tired! :)
The GPS battery ran out on day 1, so the track is an estimate after I arrived at the wave. It is amazing to watch and listen as the wave develops and the current sped rises to around 7 knots!
Day 1 - click to enlarge
day 2 - click to enlarge
7 km, YTD 23 km

Monday, January 01, 2018

January 1st 2018 - Discovery Island (#1)

Dan and I went out for a late morning trip out and around the islands to start the New Year off. It was a bit windy to start and our paddle across the top end of Chatham was exciting, but both wind and current decreased as the paddle went on. We ran into Cheryl in Rudlin Bay and made a brief stop near Commodore Point. We were given the "evil eye" by a couple of bull California sea lions, but they stayed at least 5 metres away from us!
click to enlarge
16 km, YTD 16 km