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

Saturday, October 17, 2020

October 17th - Cadboro bay (#75)

 Jennie and I led two two-hour clinics, organized by Debbie, on edging and bracing for SISKA. We had good conditions though not so warm as it used to be! All participants made great progress in both edging and bracing. I saw some killdeer on the beach as well as flying over. It was nice to have been out paddling four times in seven days!

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4 km, YTD 625 km

Thursday, October 15, 2020

October 15th -Discovery Island (#74)

I paddled out to Chatham by my self to join the "Thursday Group" for a paddle around the islands. They set out from Oak Bay Marina. It was great to catch up with several friends and share updates. On my way out, I could just make out Mt. Rainier in the distant SE. It looks as if there is still a bit of smoky haze in the air down there. Later in the day, after lunch, it was barely visible. I saw Cheryl on one of the Islets between Chatham and Discovery and we had a nice lunch break at Rudlin Bay. This was my third trip around the islands in a week! So different from yesterday due to the lack of wind. You can see from the track that I got a good boost from the flood current on my way back into the bay. I parted ways with the group at the western tip of Discovery as they were headed back to OBM. There were a good number of birds around today: marbled murrelet, pigeon guillemot (both in winter plumage), black oystercatcher, harlequin duck, great blue heron, bald eagle Canada goose and I heard a common loon as I was paddling over, lost in my thoughts! Another great day on the water!

click to embiggen!
17 km, YTD 621 km

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

October 14th - Discovery Island (#73)

 Dan and I went for a morning paddle around the islands. It seemed as if there was going to be a bit of an ebb to start followed by a flood to finish, but it seemed like it was flooding all the time! also the wind was supposed to lessen over the morning but it built. all in all hard work heading around the south and west sides! You can see my speed was low on the south side!

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15 km, YTD 604 km

Sunday, October 11, 2020

October 11th - Discovery island (#72)

 I paddled out to Cadboro Point where I met Dan and Paulo (with his new to him, Greenlander Pro!). The flood had started and was going to max around 0930 and the winds were predicted to rise by noon or so. We fortunately avoided having to paddle into much wind and current and got a pretty good assist on the way back. The track plot shows this pretty nicely. There was a nice big Steller sea lion on the rock by Seabird point. Definitely fall conditions and no longer summer! :(

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15 km, YTD 589 km

Monday, October 05, 2020

October 5th - Cadboro bay (#71)

 I went for a quick afternoon paddle to drop off some freezer burnt crab bait into the ocean! It was nice to see how quick it was to decide to go for a paddle on the board, go and come back! 

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1 km, YTD 574 km

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

September 30th - Discovery Island (#70)

 I joined the "Wednesday group" for their paddle out and around the islands. Conditions were great, we saw a nice number of local shore and sea birds. Thanks Lynn for organizing! A bit longer than my usual due to some nice meanderings! The chain Islets were a tad smelly due to the guano! It was great to get out for a longer paddle after several weeks away on debris cleanup.

19 km, YTD 573 km

September 18th - Kitasu Bay (#68&69)

 I was able to get out for a couple of paddles in Kitasu bay as we were waiting for the helicopter to start our lifting operations as part of the #BCCoastalCleanup. The first paddle was a series of errands, checking in with other boats in the fleet and sharing data. I also went out to the tugboat to share data with them. The second one was a pleasure paddle, which started off well since I saw a Mola Mola almost as soon as I started paddling!

My second, pleasure paddle (3 km)

The first "work" paddle (5 km)
8 km, YTD 554 KM

Friday, August 14, 2020

August 14th - Discovery island (#67)

Dan and I went for an early morning paddle around the islands. Conditions were superb with no wind and glassy seas. The currents were basically with us the whole time so we were able to maintian a good pace throughout the paddle. 2hrs 15mins only, beach to beach. We saw murrlets, oystercatchers, guillemots and auklets to name a few.

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15 km, YTD 546 km

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

August 11th - Oak Bay (#66)

 I led a SISKA "light" paddle from Caddy Bay to Oak bay and back. There were four of us which made for a nice tight group and we noodled our way along the shore. fog came down around Cattle Point and stayed with us until after lunch. We saw black oystercatchers, greater yelowlegs, black turnstones, glaucous gulls, mew gulls, rhinoceros auklets as well as several harbour seals and a river otter. After the group paddle I did a quick run over to RVYC to check on my dinghy. There is a Hallmark movie being filmed at the club today!

13 km, YTD 544 km

Saturday, August 08, 2020

August 8th - SISKA paddle around Discovery (#65)

 Today I led a SISKA paddle out and around the Islands. There were 22 of us in four separate groups each with their own leader (thanks to Tony, Edgar and Roger). Conditions were fabulous for this paddle as there was virtually no wind. There was a bit of an ebb running but not so much as to make it difficult. We saw lots of seals (many making funny noises!) as well as quite a few bald eagles. We had a nice lunch in Rudlin Bay on Discovery Island and were all back by 2:15.

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16 km, YTD 531 km

Monday, August 03, 2020

August 3rd - Cadboro Bay (#64)

I went out for a quick spin around the bay before lunch. The surfski is definitely a fast kayak! Lots of people out on the water for this holiday Monday! Looking back from Cadboro Point it is nice to see Oak and Cadboro bays out in front of me all the way down to the Oak bay Beach Hotel and Gonzales Point.
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8 km, YTD 515 km

Saturday, August 01, 2020

August 1st - Cadboro bay (#63)

I went for an after dinner SUP paddle along the south shore of Caddy bay. This was to avoid the SW wind. It was very peaceful with few other boaters out. I saw several great blue herons feeding, belted kingfishers, river otters, a ruddy turnstone, Canada geese, and some unidentified shorebirds... I also checked out a few boats at the yacht club!
my track 
4 km, YTD 507 km

Monday, July 27, 2020

July 27th - Cadboro Bay (#62)

I went for a nice short evening paddle. Sunny and calm with good views of Mt. Baker but not Mt. Rainier. A few other paddlers out - mostly SUPers. made it to 500 km! :)
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6 km, YTD 503 km

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

July 21st - Flower Island (#61)

I went for an evening paddle around the bay on the surfski. It was a bit windy and I wanted to check if the seal pup was around. I chatted with my friends who had seen it on their beach, but it was gone this morning... who knows where. You can see that the SW wind slowed me down a lot crossing the bay from Flower ti "Island 7". I saw a few pigeon guillemots feeding in the bay.
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6 km, YTD 497 km

Monday, July 20, 2020

July 20th - Cadboro Bay (#60)

I went for a mid-afternoon paddle since it was so warm in the house. It was noticeably cooler out on the water. I could see Mt. Rainier and Mt. Baker nicely and I also saw several great blue herons and a black oystercatcher. Stopped along the Ten Mile Point shoreline to chat with a few friends and encountered the cutest baby seal (still had its umbilical visible) - which may have lost it mother... :(
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8 km, YTD 491 km - should make 500 on the next paddle...

Sunday, July 19, 2020

July 19th - Gordon river/Port Renfrew (#59)

I went for a morning paddle in the inflatable Scamper to check out the channel at low tide. There was less than six inches of water in the main channel, so no heading out at that time in the C-dory! Lots of bald eagles about as well as one turkey vulture. It was nice to be out in the quiet misty morning. I also paddled around the marina to check out all the other boats! My track is shown aout 20 ft to the east of where it should be on the image - I did not padle through docks!
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4 km, YTD 483 km

Friday, July 10, 2020

July 10th - Cadboro Bay SUP (#58)

I went out a second time today, this time for a lesson from Sam at Gyro Beach Board Shop on paddling a SUP. She gave me a bunch of good pointers and I was definitely paddling more efficiently and straighter by the end. SUPing is growing on me!
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5 km, YTD 470 km

July 10th - Cadboro Bay (#57)

I went for a nice morning paddle around the bay on the surfski. There was a bit of wind from the S but not too much - overcast sky. Tide was medium-high and not too much current. I saw several black oystercatchers calling and flying around between Cattle Point and Jemmy Jones.
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8km, YTD 474 km

Sunday, July 05, 2020

July 5th - Cadboro Bay (#56)

I set up a SISKA meetup paddle and was joined by Anton for a very nice paddle around the bay. Lots of people on the water today. I saw a marbled murrelet in winter (black and white) plumage which was a bit surprising
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8 km, YTD 466 km

Friday, July 03, 2020

July 3rd - Discovery Island Wolf Mural (#55)

Dan and I set out from Killarney to paddle out and around the islands to see the new mural by Paul Archer of Takaya, the Discovery Island wolf that was relocated and then shot this past winter. News article here. It was nice and calm with currents that were not too strong and a gentle steady rain.
We made it to the foghorn building where the mural was painted last week and decided to get out and check it out. Photos below! It is a beautiful tribute to the memory of this magnificent animal - who I last saw at close range in December.
After that we kept on paddling our usual route and ran into Dave, John and Alex who had been camping in Rudlin Bay for a couple of nights. We had a good chat as we paddled together around the SW corner of the island and then went our separate ways. Dan and I ran into three young women who were staffing the  Straitwatch zodiac and taking a break near Jemmy Jones.
This is the first time I have taken many pictures on a paddle for a long time!
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15 km, YTD 458 km

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click to enlarge - close up of Takaya

click to enlarge - Dan and the mural
click to enlarge - approaching from the water
click to enlarge - another view from the kayak
click to enlarge - yours truly and the wolf
click to enlarge - another shot with the mural
click to enlarge - around the corner - seals and orca

Monday, June 29, 2020

June 29th - Cattle Point (#54)

I took advantage of nice afternoon conditions for a leisurely paddleboard over to Cattle Point by way of RVYC. It was nice to go slow and watch wildlife - including eagles at the nest and kelp crabs on kelp!You can see from the track that the wind and current were from the S & SE, though the wind was not that strong.
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5 km, YTD 443 km

Saturday, June 27, 2020

June 27th - Gordon head (#53)

I paddled around Ten Mile Point to Telegraph Cove where I helped co-lead a SISKA paddle with Alan and Jim to Gordon Head. It was a bit windy in Cadboro Bay with a stiff westerly, but as soon as I went around Cadboro Point it was basically flat calm! Conditions were perfect for a relaxed paddle out to Gordon head and we had lunch in Margaret Bay. After leaving the group in Telegraph Cove I paddled back around to Cadboro Bay. It was a tad windy as you can see from my track (50-60 kph at Trial Island - the graph from the RVYC site is not available today, but it recorded 25 knots at 1 PM when I was coming round the point...
Saw several bald eagles, belted kingfishers,  great blue herons, black oystercatchers, glaucous-winged gulls and a few seals and a harbour porpoise.
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20 km, YTD 438 km

Monday, June 22, 2020

June 22nd - Cadboro Bay (#52)

I paddled over to RVYC to join Greg, peter, and Tony for a surf ski paddling session. I was using a Greenland paddle as I had lent my wing paddle to Tony, but it worked well. Amazingly clear views of Mt. Baker and Mt. Rainier as well as some distant mirages. Good to get out!
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8 km, YTD 418 km

Saturday, June 20, 2020

June 20th - Gonzales Bay (#51)

I paddled over to Turkey head by Oak bay Marina, just below the Oak Bay Beach Hotel, and helped lead a SISKA paddle from Oak bay to Gonzales Bay. The currents at the start were either ebbing or weak and we passed by some nice glacial features (roches moutonees and erratics). I think I managed to put in about twice as much distance as the group did! You can also see that my to and fro from Caddy bay was a tad faster than the relaxed club paddle! A lovely day out on the water.

Gonzales Bay is named after Gonzalo Lopez de Haro who was mate aboard the Princesa Real, the first European vessel to explore Juan de Fuca Strait in 1790. Gonzales bay used to be called Foul Bay (same as the road forming the boundary between Oak Bay and Victoria!) after the poor anchorage qualities of the bay, until  misguided local residents wanted the bay's name changed. Eventually, in 1934, the Geographic Board of Canada caved into the complaints and renamed the bay after Gonzalo Lopez de Haro.
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18 km, YTD 410 km

Thursday, June 18, 2020

June 18th - Cadboro Bay (#50)

I took the surfski out for an afternoon  jaunt around the bay. Conditions were very nice with a slight Southerly breeze and not much current. I saw Tim out rowing and we had a chat by Staines islet. Visibility was good as I could see both Mt. Baker and Mt. Rainier. I also had a good view of Oak Bay Marina and the Oak Bay Beach Hotel as I went from Cadboro to Cattle point. This was paddle #50 of the year! My original goal, assuming lots of ship-based trips was 50 paddles and 500 km, but I suspect I will be close to this by the end of June!
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8 km, YTD 392 km

Saturday, June 13, 2020

June 13th - Telegraph cove (#49)

I helped to co-lead (with Vic and Sandy) a SISKA relaxed paddle from Cadboro bay to Telegraph Cove and back. We ended up running this as three separate groups of 6 or less to comply with COVID regulations. My group included Allison, Alison, David, Craig and Lynn. We had good conditions for the outbound journey and then a bit of wind for the return. We saw a mink as well as many Canada geese and a good number of black oystercatchers.

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13 km, YTD 383 km