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