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!).
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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...
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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
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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
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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!
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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.