Saturday, December 31, 2011

MJ's 2011 year of paddling in review

Another great year of paddling and the sixth one since I started blogging them on Jan 1 2006. I did not get quite as many paddles in as last year (105 vs 124 but managed to clock up almost the same number of kilometres (1217 vs 1214). "Killarney Kayak Base" continues to be the launch site of choice and I still paddle my Tahe Greenland most of all. Some of the year's highlights included: paddling on the Medway River in the UK with my Feathercraft Wisper and Northern Light 3 Piece paddle, doing the Port Renfrew to Victoria leg of our Island "circumnavigation", placing third in the rolling and overall at the Kayak Academy Greenland Week, Hosting Helen Wilson and Mark Tozer for a Greenland paddling and rolling workshop, figuring out a few more rolls (thanks Alan!). This sixth year brings my blogged total to 563 paddles and 7263 km. My favourite paddling wear has been my Kokatat Whirlpool bib combined with my Comfort Paddling Tuilik, which Paulo modified to roll together with the bib for a good seal. I still use my Superior Paddles Carbon Paddle but am now using my Northern Light paddles (Greenland and Aleut inspired) a lot as well (I am now distributing for Northern Light paddles too). I replaced my NRS rodeo socks, but am still getting a bit of life out of the old ones! I find I wear a Mustang inflatable PFD most of the time for comfort and convenience.
GPS Visualizer continues to be the site I use for all my track plots from my trusty Garmin Etrex Legend HCx.


Many thanks to all of you who paddled with me this year, especially Dan and Paulo who paddled/put up with me the most! I hope to paddle at least 1000 km again next year and to try to average twice a week again!

Now, I must get things ready to start the New Year off with a paddle!

December 31st - Chatham (#105)

Dan, Paulo and I set out for Cadboro Point where we met Olivier. We had a short play in the waves and then made our way over to the "sluice" by Vantreight Island. We then went around Chatham, stopping for a snack on a beach where we tested out my new "Outdoor Designs Group Shelter" which I bought while I was in the UK over Christmas. It works well and will be a piece of kit I bring on most paddling trips.
We made our way back across Baynes Channel and played for a bit more in the waves which were much larger now. I got tired pretty quickly but had some fun rides. Some of the waves towered considerably higher than me! I am hoping Paulo got some good video! At the end we ran into Scott and Michael who also came out to play in the waves. A great paddle to finish of the year!
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14 km, YTD 1217 km

Friday, December 30, 2011

December 30th - Ten Mile Point (#104)

I joined up with Michael and Olivier for a paddle in the current and waves at Cadboro Point. The waves were not that big, but lots of fun and I had some good rides. The wind was quite strong, gusting up to 25 knots, so my trip back from Cadboro point was a slog. I could barely make 1 knot at times! I managed to make both of my revised goals for this year - 104 paddles (2x per week avg) and 1200 km (100 km per month), so I am definitely happy with the year's stats!
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13 km, YTD 1203 km

Sunday, December 11, 2011

December 11th - Discovery (#103)

Dan and I went for a nice morning paddle around Discovery, OTW at 0930 and back by 1230 including a short break on Vantreight. Conditions were nice and I was using my Northern Light Aleut-inspired paddle which worked well. Which reminds me - I am now distributing paddles for Northern Light Paddlesports and have both Greenland and Aleut-inspired paddles in stock.
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16 km, YTD 1190 km

Saturday, December 10, 2011

December 10th - The Gorge (#102)

Monica and I joined a SISKA relaxed paddle in the Gorge led by Gary. It was a cold morning but 11 of us set off up the Gorge towards Portage Inlet where we were met by sheets of ice! It was kind of fun paddling through the ice (neat sound!) but we decided it was not that safe for a group paddle and made our way back down through Tillicum Narrows to the Banfield Park area where we checked out a bunch of semi derelict boats that are moored there. After the group paddle, I went for a short paddle with Alex and introduced him to my Northern Lights Greenland paddle.
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11 km, YTD 1174 km.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

December 3rd - Discovery Island (#101)

Dan, Dennis and I set out for a morning paddle around the islands. After checking out some boats and moorings in the bay, we made our way through the yacht club and then out to the islands. It was a beautiful sunny calm day with little current. We stopped for a snack near Commodore Point and then made our way back via the Chain Islets.
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17 km, YTD 1163 km

Sunday, November 27, 2011

November 27th - Discovery (#100)

I led a SISKA adventurous paddle today to Chatham and Discovery Islands. 11 of us set out from the beach together and then we met up with 3 more out at Cadboro Point. It was raining when we started at 10 , but that let off by 11 and it was even sunny in the afternoon.  The winds were pretty much as predicted by BWD, with winds gusting to near 20 knots around 1:30 or 2 PM (you can see the weather record from Ten Mile Point here). The stretch from the top end of Chatham to Strongtide seemed like hard work, but was over quickly - you can see we made slower progress. We celebrated Gary's birthday afterwards at the Smuggler's Cove Inn. Thanks to everyone who joined me on my 100th paddle of the year!
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18 km, YTD 1146 km.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

November 19th - Chatham (#99)

Dan, Gordin, and I set out from Killarney and met Paulo and Olivier out between Flower and Jemmy Jones Island. We paddled out into Baynes which was showing some nice waves with a flood current and a northerly wind. We turned south for a while to get some nice rides and then made our way around Chatham, with a visit to the inlet. As you can see from the track speed, it was a bit of a slog making our way back across Baynes but the waves were a nice size and fun. We stopped for a tea break in Maynard (Smugglers') Cove and then back to Killarney. Temperatures were barely above freezing and felt like several degrees below with the wind chill but we were well-dressed and pretty comfortable.  A nice 99th paddle of the year!
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Paulo made some video of this trip: it was fun!

13 km, YTD 1128 Km

Saturday, November 12, 2011

November 12th - Discovery (98)

Dennis and I went for a morning paddle out to the islands. The forecast was for some rain and some wind later, but not too much. We did a quick check on a sail boat that seemed to drifting ashore to see if we could find a contact number, but no luck. We checked out my mooring which now no longer has someone sitting on it and then made our way out to the islands. We paid a visit to "Cactus Islet" in the inlet in East Chatham as the tide was nice and high. There were some small swells off the south side of Discovery which made for some fun around the rocks and then the rain began. I was able to make good use of my Kokatat Storm Cag!
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17 km, YTD 1115 km.

Friday, November 11, 2011

November 11th - Jordan River (#97)

Scott and I drove out to Jordan River where we met Yves, Patti, Gerhardt, James, Joanne, Sheila, Jas, Roy and Chris to try a bit of surfing. The waves were a bit small and the wind built up after lunch but we had a good time anyway all getting a few decent rides. The Delphin performed well as did the Northern Lights Greenland Paddle. We had a great lunch of chili made by James!

4 km, YTD 1098 km

Sunday, November 06, 2011

November 5/6 - Surge Narrows (#95&96)

I joined a group of SISKA instructors on a trip to Discovery Islands Lodge and Surge Narrows for the weekend. We drove up on Friday and returned Sunday afternoon after two wonderful days on the water and two nights at the lodge. The Lodge was wonderful and we had great conditions including a current that maxed out at around 6 knots. While we were there on Saturday we ran into Alan, Brent, Jonathan and Paul who gave us some great tips on surfing the wave. At maximum the wave was hard for me to get onto and stay but we had a of of fun trying and some great rides before and after max. A great weekend! :)

16 km, YTD 1094 km
our track around the wave site...

Sunday, October 30, 2011

October 29/30 - Greenland Week (#94)

The 6 mile race
Alan D and I drove down to Issaquah for Kayak Academy's Greenland Week Competition. We arrived Friday night and camped in the State Park. On Saturday I took part in the 6 mile race and came 5th place in the Greenland Division with 1:05:52 which I was pretty happy with since it was almost 5 minutes better than the only other time I tried paddling this distance at a pace. Roy S came second, just over a minute behind the winner Wayne H.
On Saturday afternoon, we practice Harpoon throwing with Henry, Alan showed me how to do a vertical sculling roll, and finished the day off with a great salmon dinner and talk by Chris Avery about his trip to the Aleutians.
Sunday's activities began with harpoon throwing. I came third in distance (I should have done much better but fluffed my second throw!) and then came first in accuracy (Henry had made a really cool floating target) which was a demonstration event this year. The last event was the rolling. I was really happy with a third place  finish with 129 points - a couple of new rolls for me made up for a couple of other rusty ones! 16 year old Chris S from Victoria came second with 183 points and Alan from Campbell River came first with 189 points and a nail biting elbow roll to finish a close competition. Great job Chris and Alan! Team Canada took all three places in the rolling.
My 5th, 3rd, and 3rd place finishes earned me 3rd place overall in the competition  which was a great way for me to finish the event.
11 km, YTD 1078 km

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Off to Seattle for "Greenland Week"

I'll be heading down to Seattle on Friday for the weekend to participate in the Greenland Weekend competitions again this year. looking forward to meeting like minded Greenland Paddlers! There will be a few of us heading down from the Island! I will need to demo either the Great Canadian beer Roll or a Hockey Stick Roll!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

October 23rd - Discovery (#93)

Jennie, Michael and I took Tim (visiting from the UK) for a trip out to Chatham and Discovery Islands. Conditions were superb - sunny and no wind to speak of and a reasonable flood current. I was surprised that there was no current in the "sluice". Tim got to try my Greenland Paddle and may be a convert! We stopped off in Loon Bay on the way back and did some rolling.
A great day on the water!
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16 km, YTD 1067 km

Sunday, October 09, 2011

October 9th - Cadboro Ppoint (#91)

I went out with Kirby to do some filming of a traditional style kayak for a video project of his. Conditions were nice and calm and it was great to be pout in the Disko bay again. Hopefully the footage turned out well!
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7 km, YTD 1040 km

Saturday, October 08, 2011

October 8th - D'Arcy (#90)

I led a SISKA energizer paddle today from Island View Beach to D'Arcy Island and back. We were a group of 19 and conditions were excellent - no wind and a bit of current. The early morning fog had burnt off before we left the beach. All in all a very nice paddle! In the evening I helped host a pool session and did a bit of rolling.
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18 km, YTD 1033

Friday, October 07, 2011

October 7th - Cadboro Bay (#89)

I went out for a quick afternoon paddle to check on some moorings and do some geocaching. I checked on the boat that is sitting on my mooring and left them a note... I looked for Simon's mooring which seems to have disappeared... I then checked out two geocaches that are fairly kayak accessible in the bay.
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3 km, YTD 1015 km

Sunday, October 02, 2011

October 2nd - Brentwood (#88)

Dan, Bill and I met up in Brentwood Bay to do a test 6 mile/10 km route as a sort of practice for possibly racing at Greenland week.The 9.5 km course took us an hour and 10 mins, at an average speed of 8.2 kph (4.4 kt, 5.1 mph). It was a reasonable workout and a good pace for that distance. After that we spent some time practicing with Bill's harpoon. Bill had at least one good throw of 40 ft.
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10 km, YTD 1012 km

Saturday, September 17, 2011

September 17th - Sidney Spit Cleanup and 1000 km (#87)

Monica and I joined the SISKA beach clean up paddle to Sidney Spit. Monica was paddling her new Feathercraft XPS and using a Greenland paddle. Conditions were very nice as we made our way out through the Little Group and then to Dock Island, before running with the current to Sidney Spit. We walked the beaches of Sidney Spit and gathered up about 5 small garbage bags full. Quite a bit less than last year which is a good sign. This paddle was a small part of the 26th International Coastal Cleanup day. As a bonus today I went through the 1000 km mark for the year!
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 10 km, YTD 1002

Friday, September 16, 2011

September 16th - Chain Islets (#86)

Dan, Gordin and I went out for a morning paddle before Gordin and I had to be at work. We had a nice run out to the Chain islets and then back up through the Chatham Islands.
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12 km, YTD 992 km

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11th - Discovery (#85)

George, Gerhardt, Dan and I went for a lovely Sunday paddle around Discovery. Conditions were sunny and calm and we had cooperative currents. I was using my Aleut-inspired paddle and Dan was using his wooden Aleut paddle. They are definitely good paddles for maintaining a good cruising speed. I think I saw more paddlers out there today than I have on any other day this year - everyone else had the same good idea!
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17 km, YTD 980 km

Friday, September 09, 2011

September 9th - Jemmy Jones (#84)

Monica and I went for an after dinner paddle out to Jemmy Jones. It was a wonderful calm sunny fall evening!

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5km, YTD 963 km

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Google stats

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I just discovered the stats function in the blog maintenance page - kind of neat to see where the 10,000 or so page views have come from...

September 7th - Rolling at Thetis Lake (#858)

Paulo and I joined James and Sheila for a rolling practice session at Thetis Lake. It was worth the wait for a good spot! It was nice to do some rolling again after a month's break! James continues do do amazingly well!
No track plot for this trip since I left the GPS at Home... but here is a rough guess...
1 km, YTD 958 km

Monday, September 05, 2011

Paddling around the Island in pieces?

Back in 2006, Pete, George and I did our first West Coast Paddle from Quatsino to Nootka Sounds ( and the next year we did from Nootka to Renfrew ( After that we gave it a yeasr break before we did the next leg from Hardy to Quatsino ( Last week we did from Renfrew to Victoria, thus completing a trip over four separate trips from Port Hardy to Victoria via the west coast. I think my goal eventually is to make it all the way around the island which means I have from Nanaimo to Port Hardy still to do. Alan (Nootka on WCP) has very kindly taken a bunch of my trip logs  and turned them in to an image of the whole island showing the various legs.
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PS, I am not trying to beat Joe O'Blenis' 16 and a bit day record!

September 5th - Discovery (#82)

I decided that I wanted to get in a lst paddle before school starts again tomorrow. Fortunately Paulo was available and came over on his bike - I was able to provide a boat and paddle! We set out to go around Discovery Island, passing in between the Chathams. Conditions were a little windy at the start but calmed down - by the time we finished it was warm, sunny and calm! Lots of paddlers out and about. We ran into Ron and Thor out on Chatham and stopped for a brief chat.
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16 km, YTD 957 km - looks like I should be OK for my 1000 km goal for the year with almost 4 months to go!

Saturday, September 03, 2011

September 3rd - James Island (#81)

Monica and I joined 22 others on a SISKA paddle around James Island, led by Michael E. Though there was a bit of a headwind to begin with, this diminished as did the current and we had a great day. It was nice to meet many fellow paddlers again. It was nice that Paul made it over from Mission and Larry from Shawnigan Lake.
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15 km, YTD 941 km

Friday, September 02, 2011

September 2nd - RVYC (#80)

Monica and I went out for a test paddle with Monica in the CD Expedition. Though it is a big boat, she seems to like it. We wanted to do a test paddle before the club paddle on the 3rd. All went well and I checked out the moorings as well.
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2 km, YTD 926 km

Saturday, August 27, 2011

August 25-27 - Port Renfrew to Victoria (#s 77-79)

Monica kindly drove George, Pete, Dennis and me to Port Renfrew where the four of us began our 3 day trip back to Victoria. This was the last part of our West coast "expedition" from Port Hardy to Victoria over several trips. The weather and conditions were very much in our favour and we made great progress each day - average speed was well over 7 kph for the trip. Crossing from Cape Calver to Trial island we rarely were travelling at less than 10 kph! The mornings were typically calm and foggy, especially the first two with tail winds picking up in the afternoon. We found great little camping spots near Sandcut creek on the first night and in a small pocket beach near Aldridge Point on the second night. This was the first trip that I had used the Northern Light "Aleut inspired" paddle and it performed very well. I also was able to make good use of my pacific action sail. This was a great trip!
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109 km, YTD 924 km

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

August 23rd - Caddy bay (#76)

I went out with Claire for a nice afternoon paddle around Cadboro Bay. Sunny and calm! Claire had the Tahe and I paddled the F1.
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4.5 km, YTD 815 km

Saturday, August 20, 2011

August 20th - Medway again (#75)

 I paddled the last section of the Medway today so that I have now paddled the entire navigable stretch. It was fun going through all the locks. the last Canoe Pass was exciting enough that I got splashed when the wave came over my bow! The Wisper is now packed and ready for the trip home. It has been great having a packable kayak and a three piece Greenland Paddle for Northern Light paddles.
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 14 km, YTD 811 km
All 4 trips - click to enlarge

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

August 17 - medway photos

Here is a link to the photos from the last three days on the Medway.
Medway photos

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Tonbridge,United Kingdom

August 17th - Medway (#74)

My third Medway trip was in the Tonbridge area. I launched from the Haysden Country Park and paddled down to thr fourth lock (East Lock). I saw some more boaters today including quite a large group of canoeists. There are fishermen scattered along the river. I also had fun going down the "canoe passes" which were little sluices designed for canoes to pass the locks - almost whitewater paddling! Tomorrow I hope to do a fourth leg to complete the navigable section of the Medway...
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all three days

18 km, YTD 797 km

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

August 16th - Medway again (#73)

I managed to get out again today and launched this time near the medieval bridge in East Farliegh (where I finished yesterday). I paddled down to the Allington lock just past Maidstone. It was another delightful paddle on the river. I hope to post some pictures soon via picasa...
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14 km, YTD 779 km

Monday, August 15, 2011

August 15th - Medway (#72)

I managed to get out paddling on the Medway River in Kent. The Medway is a river with locks so it is very "flat water". However, the river is wonderfully quiet and peacful with very little traffic and few people. As I had brought the Feathercraft Wisper and my Northern Light 3 Piece paddle, I was able to drive to Yalding, assemble and launch the kayak, paddle for a few hours and return. A delightful day's paddle.
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19 km, YTD 765 km

Sunday, August 07, 2011

August 7th - Helen Wilson clinics (#71)

I helped organize another two clinics today. The morning one was was an intermediate Greenland rolling session for 7 paddlers and everyone made great progress. In the afternoon I was one of 7 students for an advanced Greenland rolling clinic. Though I did not master any new rolls I got much closer to being able to do my elbow roll, a spine roll and a forward finishing norsaq roll. All in all we had a great weekend with Helen Wilson of and Mark Tozer of Edge of Adventure. Mark and Helen made a great team and it was a pleasure hosting them. Hope to have them both back next year!
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5 km, YTD 746 km

Saturday, August 06, 2011

August 6th - Helen Wilson Clinics (#70)

I helped to organize a couple of rolling clinics today with Helen Wilson and Mark Tozer (Mark is a BCU 5 star coach from the UK). In the morning we worked on Greenland paddling strokes and in the afternoon we did a beginner rolling clinic in Beaver Lake. We went all the way from the basic forward stroke to draws and sculls.

4km, YTD 741 km

Friday, August 05, 2011

August 5th - Loon Bay (#69)

Bill and I went for a morning rolling session in Loon Bay. It was good to do a few rolls to get ready for Helen Wilson's clinics this weekend! The Tahe Greenland is such a great rolling boat!
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2 km, YTD 737

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

August 3rd - Chatham (#68)

Paulo and I went for a short afternoon paddle around west Chatham Island. It was sunny and warm and we kept up a good pace.
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10 km, YTD 735 km.

Monday, August 01, 2011

July 31 - Symphony Splash (#67)

I set out from James Bay Anglers to join Suzy, Simon, Lisa and Graeme as on water donation collectors for the Symphony Splash. What an event! It was great to be on the water supporting this great event. The view in front of the barge was excellent and it was fun to be part of the "sea otter raft". It was also great to see several friends and alumni. The paddle back at night was fun - my kayalu light worked very well!
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6 km, YTD 725 km

Sunday, July 24, 2011

July 24th - Russel Island (#66)

I joined 19 other paddlers for a SISKA paddle, led by Gary,  from Moses Point to Russel Island. Conditions were truly summery, warm and calm! We had a great paddle, keeping up a good pace and had a nice visit with Heike, Hans and John who met us at Russel Island. I also explored Russel Island and the homestead for the first time. We also met a foursome of other paddlers who were paddling a beautiful wooden double and a two hole baidarka.
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19 km, YTD 719 km

Saturday, July 23, 2011

July 23rd - Haro Strait SAREX (#65)

Seven SISKA paddlers (Dennis, Alan, David, Jeff, Gerry, Sheila and me) went out into Haro Strait again to do a sea rescue exercise. Conditions were very benign - no wind and a little bit of an ebb current. Once again it was a great learning experience for SISKA members and OBSR crews. I was in the water for a little over 35 minutes and was actually quite comfortable in my drysuit. While waiting for rescue we drifted over 1 km this time.
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10 km, YTD: 700 km

Friday, July 22, 2011

July 22nd - Discovery (#64)

I paddled out to Cadboro Point where I met up with Dan and Paulo for a paddle around Discovery. I was using my new Northern Light "Aleut-inspired" paddle and am getting to like the extra power and am getting used to not wanting to hold the paddle on the shoulder! Conditions were nice and we had a 8-10 knot SW wind on our flank for much of the trip. All three of us were almost matching as we wore our Comfort Paddling tuiliks and inflatable PFDs.
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17 km, YTD: 690 km

Thursday, July 21, 2011

July 21 - Chatham (#63)

George and I went out for a paddle around Chatham Island - It was the inaugural paddle for his newly refurbished Feathercraft Khatsalano. Another nice day on the water!
George's Khat

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10 km, YTD 673 km

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

July 20 - Discovery (#62)

Dan and I went for a morning paddle out to Discovery. Conditions were good and we kept up a good pace. As a bonus we saw Orcas  by Commodore Point on Discovery. I was using my Northern Light Aleut-inspired - it definitely allows me to keep up a good pace.
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18 km, YTD 663 km

Sunday, July 17, 2011

July 17th - Telegraph Bay (#61)

Liz, Graham and I went for a nice Sunday morning paddle around Ten Mile Point. Conditions were nice and calm though overcast. The current was ebbing nicely as we went around Cadboro Point and had dropped by the time we returned. Graham was paddling my wisper and I was paddling an F1. There were lots of small bait fish around and we saw, eagles, otters, geese and a seal - as well as quite a few paddlers.

10 km, YTD: 645 km

Saturday, July 09, 2011

July 9th - Haro Strait (#60)

I joined Jo, Sandy, Gary. Fraser, Michael, Dorothea, Dennis and Dan for a SISKA search and rescue exercise with Oak Bay Sea Rescue. We basically paddled out into Haro Strait and had OBSR try to find us and rescue four of us. It was a great learning opportunity for all of us. We drifted almost 4 km before being found. Getting us on board a rescue boat is also a challenge. All in all a very productive exercise.
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18 km, YTD 635 km

Thursday, July 07, 2011

July 7th - Discovery (#59)

Dan and I went for a morning paddle around Discovery. The forecast was for strong SW winds so we decided to go counter clockwise. We made excellent time, averaging about 6.8 kph moving av. I stopped briefly at Commodore Point and we both had a good break on East Chatham. The wind did build up and the Tahe Greenlands performed well as usual. I was also using my Northern Light Aleut-inspired paddle which also worked very well. I definitely find it to be a powerful paddle design.
15 km, YTD 617 km

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

July 6th - Oak Bay (#58)

I joined Mody, Christian, James, Annette, Roy, Peter and Angela for an evening paddle and pub trip to Oak Bay Marina. Conditions were wonderful and we had a nice brisk paddle. Afterwards we repaired to the Smugglers Cove Pub to celebrate Mody's birthday! Happy birthday Mody!
9 km, YTD 602 km