Friday, December 31, 2010

The 2010 year in review

Well, having just finished the last paddle of the year it is time to look back at another great year of paddling. This brings my fifth year of blogging my paddles to a close. This year I was happy to have done more paddles than any previous year (124) and covered a respectable 1214 km. I am happy with both of these since my annual goal is 1000 km and since I moved to "Killarney Kayak Base" 100 paddles a year. This year I managed to average a paddle every 3 days. The five year total is 458 paddles and 6046 km - basically five times around Vancouver Island!
The Tahe Greenland continues to be my favorite boat (107 paddles since I got it in June 2009) and most of my paddles are not surprisingly out of Cadboro bay.


A highlight this year was attending the Rolling competition of the Kayak Academy's Greenland week. Thanks to Dan G for helping me do lots of practice - it felt neat to have mastered enough rolls to come 4th in the competition. I am still working on the elbow roll and forward finishing norsaq and hand rolls.

GPS Visualizer continues to be the site I use for all my track plots from my trusty Garmin Etrex Legend HCx.
My paddle of choice remains my Superior Kayaks Carbon Greenland Paddle - at 770g (27.2 oz) it is so light weight and yet so tough. Though it has been my "go to" paddle since the summer of 2008, it still looks virtually brand new. I highly recommend a carbon GP! My favourite paddling wear of late has been my tuilik made by Paulo Ouellet worn over a pair of Kokatat Whirlpool Bib pants unless I plan to roll a lot in which case I would wear a dry suit. My favourite footwear are my NRS Rodeo Socks - which I should look at replacing since they are beginning to wear out!

Happy New Year to all of you and thanks to all who paddled with me this year. I hope to do the same next year!

December 31st - Maynard Cove (#124)

George and I set out to finish the year off in good paddling style and we were able to squeeze in a last paddle of the year. I started off in the Tahe and George paddled the Disko Bay ands we switched half way. despite botrh being "Greenland boats" they handle very differently. The OBSR crew was helping Cliff get his boat off off my mooring (see this post) as he now has an outboard that works, and I helped them to hook up a couple of lines. While they were in the bay they found a couple of other boats that were only just on their moorings after all the chafing that has happened of late with the storms. George and I went out to Maynard cove and then tootled back along the shore stopping for lunch in a tiny pocket beach. When we got back the OBSR crew was done and just about to head back to base. It was nice to the boat from a paddler's perspective - looks a lot bigger!
last paddle of the year - click to enlarge

7 km, 4 NM, YTD 1214 km

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

December 29th - Jordan River (#123)

I went to Jordan River with John and Heather. It was Heather's first time in surf and though she swam a couple of times she got some good rides. The forecast was for calm winds but they picked up to 10-15 knots soon after we arrived. I paddled the Wold Surf Kayak with my Terry A Greenland paddle. I also wore my Bughead 2mm tuilik over my drysuit and was very comfortable. I was wearing Hot Mitts from MEC which worked great - my hands were warm and toast throughout the sesion in spite of air temperatures around 2-4 C! I have only had these for a week or so but am now a fan of them. Bill was on shore and hopefully got some good stills and video. I also ran into Randy who was setting out as we were finishing.
The JR track - click to enlarge
5 km, 2 NM, YTD 1207 km

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

December 28th - Ten Mile Point (#122)

Gary, Tom and I set out from "Killarney Kayak Base" for a morning paddle. It was the maiden voyage for Gary's new Tahe Greenland T - a great looking boat. Conditions were nice and the ebb was just starting at Cadboro Point. We paddled up to look at Julian's weather station at Ten Mile Point and then made our way back over to the west side of Caddy Bay and noodled along the shoreline and through RVYC. Along the way we did a fair bit of paddle trading. My Superior Carbon, Gary started with a T&J Carbon and Tom was using one of Kent's cedar paddles (875g). All performed well, though I remain convinced that my Superior Carbon is a fantastic paddle.
Today I reached my revise paddling goal for the year! 122 paddles means an average of a paddle every 3 days which seems decent. It looks like the average is pretty close to 10 km per paddle.
Today's track - click to enlarge
8 km, 4 NM, YTD 1202 km

Monday, December 27, 2010

December 27th - Discovery (#121)

Dan, Dennis and I paddled out to Cadboro Point where we joined up with Gordin. The waves were stacked up pretty well and I had fun punching through them. We ran into and paddled Paulo as well who was getting a quick paddle in before heading to the mainland. The sluice was running well and we had fun playing there - there was even a small wave there to surf on! We stopped for lunch at boathouse bay. The current was running quite strongly. If you look at the route I took ferrying across back to Jemmy Jones, I was pointing probably 60 degrees up current! Once again I was very pleased with how the Tahe performs in "conditions".
Today's route - click to enlarge
18 km, 10 NM, YTD: 1194 km

Saturday, December 25, 2010

December 25th - Evans Rock (#120)

I walked down to the beach to have a look and was inspired by seeing Paula from KayakYak out in her inflatable on the other side of the bay, so I decided to head out for a short one. I managed to catch up with Paula briefly at the other end of Gyro Park and was able to wave at Marke and family as I paddled by their house. A nice surprise was running into Andrew (a student of mine from 1994) who was spending Christmas with his parents. After paddling out to Flower Islet and Evans rock, I made my way back across the bay and then back through the yacht club and the moorage. The ketch that ran aground on Thursday was afloat again. It was a dramatic change to see the bay so calm again after such a windy week. See the plot from Julian's weather station at Ten mile Point
The week's weather - four days with strong SE winds (click to enlarge)
4 km, 2 NM, YTD 1176 km

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Dec 23rd - windy in Caddy Bay...

I could not go paddling today as I am on call, but it did not look to inviting anyway. Winds have been gusting up to 48 knots at Discovery Light and have been pretty steadily over 30 knots all morning in the bay.
A few shots from the end of the road:

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

December 21 - Trial Island (#119)

Dan, Gordin and I set out from "rat bay" to paddle around Trial Island and enjoy some of the wind and waves. The winds were in the 20 to 30 knot range for most of our paddle. Trial island reported  a steady 21 knots at 10 AM. Discovery reported similar winds between 10 and 12. Shortly after we came in the wind picked up another notch to 35/40 knots (Trial island 1 PM). Ten Mile Point also reported similar winds (main 10 mile site):
We played around in the "bumps" off Trial, but found more fun in the waves between the two islands. We then paddled over to the cardinal buoy by Mouat reef and found the largest waves between there and Enterprise Channel (we estimate 3 metres or more at times)
click to enlarge
I managed to leave my trusty carbon paddle (made by Superior) in my garage - fortunately Gordin (thanks!) was able to lend me his spare. However, I found myself surprised at how much less comfortable I felt with a Euro paddle. The Greenland paddle just seems to be smoother,more efficient, more stable and reassuring in big conditions. To test this I borrowed Dan's paddle at the end and went back into the lumpy stuff to check - no question, the GP felt better..
8 km, 4 NM, YTD 1172 km.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

December 19th - Discovery (#118)

I paddled out to Cadboro Point where I met up with Gordin and Dan. We then proceeded to go around Chatham and Discovery islands.. There was a stiff breeze (20-25 kph, gusting to 40 kph) for most of the time. The sea was nice and lumpy around Seabird Point on Discovery and we stopped for lunch in a protected cove north of Commodore Point. I was wearing my "Paulik" again and was very happy with it.This was the first paddle in the Tahe Greenland since Nick of Active Sea Kayaking fixed up the gelcoat - the boat looks almost like new! ( for more details on the gelcoat damage story see this previous blog entry.

17 km, 9 NM, YTD: 1164 km

Saturday, December 18, 2010

December 18th - Thetis Lake (#117)

Monica and I joined Bill and Heather and six others (Michael, Joy, Lisa, Diane, Olivier and Liz)  for a "plan B" paddle in Thetis lake. Conditions were sufficiently windy that we cancelled the club's relaxed paddle across Esquimalt Harbour, but a few of us decided to get our boats wet anyway since we had them out! In Thetis lake, conditions were good and we had a nice paddle.

5 km, 3 NM, YTD 1147 km.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

December 12th - Discovery and Gonzalez Point (#116)

Dan and I went for a relatively early paddle out to Discovery since I had some work to do this aft. We made good time and decided to paddle towards Trial Island. We decided about half way over to go to Gonzalez Point instead and follow the shoreline back. The rain (75mm overnight) abated by the time we were over to Chatham and we stayed fairly dry - except for rolling!
20 km, 11 NM, YTD 1142 km.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Update on top 50 sites - not so famous

Simon Willis of alerted me to the semi scam nature of the "award" I just found out about. Read all about it here:
Oh well, it felt good for a while!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

MJ's paddling blog is famous?

I just found out that my blog is listed in Guide to Online Schools' list of the Top Kayaking Blogs - they liked the seal pup posting!:
Though I realize this is a bit of a scam, ...

December 9th- Cadboro Bay (#115)

Dan and I went for an afternoon paddle and roll session. Conditions were good - no current to speak of and just a light breeze. We did a good number of rolls but the water was definitely cold on the face!
7 km, 4 NM, YTD 1122 km

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Dec 5th - Portage Inlet (#114)

I joined a SISKA relaxed paddle, led by Shelia, from The Gorge at Tillicum up into Colquitz creek. It was a nice change to paddle up a river until it got too small to turn around in - we basically made it to the back of Tillicum mall. It was also a chance to paddle with Randy of VI paddles who is a Nanaimo based Greenland paddle maker. I once again was wearing my "Paulik", a tuilik made with waterproof breathable fabric made by Paulo of Comfort Paddling. Paulo can do a great job of custom work with waterproof breathable fabric.
click to enlarge track
paddlers "up the creek"

9 km,  5 NM, YTD: 1115 km

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Dec 4th - Baynes (#113)

Dan and I went out for an afternoon paddle in Cadboro Bay. Nice sunny, though cold, afternoon. Winds were mostly 15 knots, gusting 20 while we were out in Baynes/Haro Strait. Slowed us down a bit and then gave us a bit of surfing on the way back! Ran into Yves and Patti of Go Kayak on the way back as they were running a course and got to chat a bit with Robin who was with them.
9 km, 5 NM, YTD 1106 KM

Sunday, November 28, 2010

November 28th - Jordan River Surfing (#112)

Pete and I went out to Jordan River and brought both surf boats and sea boats. The waves were pretty small but were just right to be fun with long sea boats. I had a blast surfing the Tahe Greenland! Pete and I had a great time with the waves to ourselves and great conditions - sunshine and no wind waves! It was a great way to get back in the hang of surfing again. After the afternoon of surfing we went back to town to run a pool session for kids at the school.

Postscript: Pete and I had a minor on wave collision which resulted in some lost gelcoat on my Tahe. Nick at Activeseakayaking did a great jobh of fixing things up!


after... and nice shine too!

7 KM, 4 NM, YTD 1097 km

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Nov 27th - Discovery (#111)

Paulo, Dan, Mark and I set out from Killarney and met Gordin out at Cadboro Point. Conditions were magnificent! Calm, a bit of current and no rain (or snow!) I was wearing my new waterproof breathable tuilik made by Paulo and it was GREAT! Just the right temperature and a lot more comfortable than a neoprene tuilik - I can see wearing this for most of my paddles. Gordin split off from us on the south side of Chatham (had to get to work)  and we did a figure of eight around the islands. The tide was high so we were able to check out "cactus islet" in the inlet by Puget Cove on Chatham as well as the lagoon on west Chatham. Though we kept up a good pace throughout, we also stopped a few times for some rolling practice.
the new tuilik

body brace

body brace
19 km, 10 NM, YTD 1090 km

Sunday, November 21, 2010

November 21st - Trial Island (#110)

Gordin, Dan, Mark, Dorothea and I went for a morning paddle around Trial Island. Conditions were nice, and we tried playing in a couple of spots, but the wind and current were not quite strong enough to build good waves. My Level 6 Mitts kept my hands nice and warm throughout the paddle but my bare hands got cold quickly as soon as we were back on land! One of these came in handy:
click to enlarge

8 km, 4NM, YTD: 1071km

Friday, November 19, 2010

November 19th - Discovery Island (#109)

Dan, Paulo and I went out for an afternoon run around Discovery. There was a brisk north wind and a nice bit of chop in Baynes and around the outside of discovery. The water and air were definitely a bit cooler today!
We stopped in by Ten mile point to do some rolling - the water was cool enough that I got an ice cream headache after a few rolls! Paddling and rolling felt good to do after a week of work!
15.5 km, 8 NM, YTD 1063 km.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Nov 14th - D'Arcy Island (#108)

I joined 11 others on a SISKA energizer paddle led by Michael E. to D'Arcy Island. It was a foggy day but nice and calm and the GPS was handy for navigation! 22 kms was a good work out after many shorter paddles!
 Click to enlarge
23 km, 12 NM, YTD 1048 km

Saturday, November 13, 2010

November 12th - Chatham Island again! (#107)

Gordin, Paulo and I went for a morning paddle out to Chatham again. We wanted to give Gordin a chance to get out and back before having to go to work! Almost the same route as yesterday, though we took a shortcut through the gap by Vantreight that is only doable at high tide. Gordin and Paulo were both wearing Goretex Tuiliks that Paulo had made - mine is in the works! The Goretex Tuilik will be very comfortable for paddling most of the year.
9 km, 5 NM, YTD 1025 km

Friday, November 12, 2010

November 12th - Chatham Island (#106)

George and I went for an afternoon paddle. We went over to look at some moorings and then made our way to Cadboro Point and then over to the Chatham group. The air was definitely cooler and we made it back just before dark! I was test paddling the Kayak Kaboose (unladen)with just a tow rope behind the F1 and it seemed to handle quite well. I think this could be very handy for camping with a low volume boat such as the Tahe Greenland or Feathercraft Wisper and also for comfortable base camping with a group.

11 KM, 6 NM, YTD 1016 km

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Nov 9th - Jemmy Jones - wind, waves and 1000 km! (#105)

Dan and I went for an afternoon paddle in Cadboro Bay. The wind was strong, mostly 50 kph gusting 60 at 10 mile point. We went over to loon bay for a short rolling session and then made our way slowly (see track plot) to Jemmy Jones Island - it was a slog! Landing and launching were interesting given the SE winds and waves...
While we were out there someone thought we were in trouble and called the coast guard. Fortunately we got in and spoke to them quickly and they called off the "rescue"! Between Jemmy Jones and Flower the waves were quite big - at least six feet at times.
I made my 1000 km of paddling today which was nice - averaging around 10 km per paddle...
click to enlarge
6 km, 3 NM, YTD 1005 km

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Nov 6&7 - Lake Samamish (#104)

Monica and I drove down to Issaquah for the weekend so that I could participate in the 2010 Greenland Week event put on by Kayak Academy on Lake Samamish. It was a great weekend meeting fellow Greenland paddlers. I watched the start and the finish of the 10 km race and practiced harpoon throwing on Saturday (going round and round a practice throwing route - see track!). On Sunday I competed in the rolling competition and came fourth with 120 points which made me very happy! All in all it was a great weekend. Duane Strosaker was the well-deserved champion of the event.
photos and video to come...

2 km, 1 NM, YTD 999 km...

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

November 3rd - Cadboro bay (#103)

Dan and I went out for an afternoon paddle in the bay. I wanted to practice my rolls again and they went well. I had one failure on a second try of a cross arm roll but other than that everything went smoothly. I did two sets of the sequence I should do on Sunday in Seattle. We ran into Steve while we were out there and paddled with him for a while. After that we went out round 10 mile point to play in some waves. Nice sunny afternoon!
8 km, 4 NM, YTD 997 km - 3 km to go!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Oct 28 - Cadboro Bay (#102)

I went for a quick run out to the mooring to check on it and the boat that is on it. All seemed well.
1 km, 0.5 NM YTD 989 km

Sunday, October 24, 2010

October 24 - Chatham (#101)

Pete and I went for a quick paddle out to Chatham. We went and checked out the power boat that had come ashore during the night and then went over to my mooring buoy to discover that the boat had been on my buoy and had attached their chain to the top ring (a well know no no) and the ring on my buoy was broken open! :(
Now I have to track down the owner of Sea Fever IV to see if he/she will repair/replace my buoy!
Pete and I went through the yacht club were we ran into Nick who was giving a course and then made our way over to the "sluice" between Vantreight and Chatham islands to play in the current. Water and air are definitely getting colder...

10 km, 5 NM, YTD 988 km.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

October 23rd - Coal and Piers Islands (#100)

For my 100th paddle of the year I joined a  SISKA paddle led by Dan. The 15 of us were going to go to Rum Island but, based on the forecast, decided to stay more in the lee and decided to go to Coal and then Piers Islands. As it turned out the wind did not get too strong until we were well off the water, but we had a great paddle in good conditions. I guess only 22 km to go for my unofficial 1000 km goal...
As I write the wind is blowing hard, gust of up to 58 kph at 10 mile point . Winds defintely picked up around 4 PM!
 click to enlarge

17 km, 9 NM, YTD 978 km.

Friday, October 15, 2010

October 15th - Jemmy Jones Island (#99)

I got home to a beautiful fall evening and decided that I should get out for a quick paddle before I head off to Bamfield for 4 days on a field trip. Conditions were fabulous! Sunny and calm. I began by doing my rolling sequence including the brick roll (with a 8 lb brick this time) and then did a fast (looks like I was able to maintain 4 knots+ throughout the paddle) paddle out to Jemmy Jones and back. A wonderful way to make use of the last couple of hours of sunshine... my 99th paddle of the year!
 click to enlarge

5 km, 3 NM, YTD: 961 km.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

October 10th - Finnerty Cove (#98)

I led a SISKA relaxed paddle (with 15 participants) from Cadboro Bay around to Finnerty Cove and back. There was a bit of a SW wind all day so, after we had made it out to Cadboro Point, we decided to continue on north instead of back across to Cattle Point as planned. Once we rounded Cadboro point, the wind was calm and the sun came out! We had a delightful paddle along the shoreline and stopped for lunch in Telegraph Bay.
click to enlarge

13 km, 7 NM, YTD 956 km

Friday, October 08, 2010

Oct 8th - Chatham (#97)

George and I went out for a paddle to do some rolling in Loon Bay and then went over to Chatham to clear out some cobwebs. George was paddling his new Seaward Chinook and I the usual Tahe! I decided to do a test run of the Greenland rolling competition and I was able to complete all the rolls I can do in 7 minutes... so I should not have a problem with the 15 minute time limit! George took some video which I will try to upload...

12 km, 7 NM, YTD 943 km

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Oct 5th - Loon Bay (#96)

Dan and I paddled over to Loon Bay for a rolling session. We decided to work through the Greenland Roll list and see how many points we could rack up...( Doing just one side as per the plan for the Seattle Greenland week ( we figured that we could rack up over 50 points. If I could pull off a brick roll (#31)(9 pts) and an elbow roll (#32)(10 pts), I could bring that up to a total of 70!

2 km, 1 nm, YTD 931 km

Sunday, October 03, 2010

October 3rd - Discovery Island (#95)

Dan and I went for a nice morning paddle around Discovery. On the way we saw a few other paddlers, a group of canoe campers in Rudlin bay and we ran into the Gray whale again in Rudlin Bay. I managed to forget to turn the GPS on for the first half hour or so until we were at the top end of Chatham. As I enter month # 10 of the year, I think that my chances of reaching my goal of 100 paddles and 1000 km look pretty good - 5 paddles and 71 km! No close encounters with seal pups this time...

15 km, 8 NM, YTD 929 km.