Saturday, December 29, 2012

December 29th - Discovery Island, the Wolf and 1000 km (87)

I paddled out to Cadboro Point to join Olivier for a morning paddle out to the islands. As it tuned out it was an auspicious paddle for me - I made my 1000 km goal for the year and I saw the wolf on Discovery Island!
Olivier had seen the wolf quite close up on the 27th, so we kept an eye out as we paddled the shores of Chatham and Discovery Islands. It was raining off and on and a bit cool, though not too much wind. The current was ebbing, but not very strongly. About half way across Rudlin Bay, I spotted an object moving out on Commodore Point, which quickly turned out to be the wolf that has been on the islands for many months now (Vancouver Sun Article). The wolf more or less stayed close to us, giving us great views, all around Commodore point for almost a kilometre of paddling! (see track segment below)
Wolf watching segment by Commodore point (click to enlarge)
Olivier managed to get some great shots of the wolf, including one with me in the foreground!
the wolf and me (click to enlarge)
Wolf on the west side of the point (click to enlarge)
Wolf on the west side again (click to enlarge)
today's track (click to enlarge)
18 km, YTD 1001 km.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

December 20th - Cadboro Bay (#86)

I decided to go for a quick paddle around the bay this afternoon (it will be the last one for a week as we are off to Oyama for Christmas). I decided to go paddling around 3 PM and was on the water by 3:30 and home by about 4:45 after a nice evening paddle. It was getting a bit dark by the time I made it home. The Cape Falcon F1 is a great boat for the quick on the spur of the moment solo paddle. At about 30 lbs it is light enough to carry easily on a shoulder or arm and handles the local waters well. The high tide had floated most of the logs off the beach so the bay was strewn with logs. Two nights ago there was a pretty good SE blow which brought a couple of boats ashore at the south end of the beach. They were still there this evening...
click to enlarge

click to enlarge

It looks like I should be able to just make my 1000 km goal by the end of the year as I only have 17 km to go and 3 or 4 days after we come back from Oyama.
click to enlarge
8 km, YTD 983 km

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

December 18th - Cadboro Bay (#85

I decided to go for a quick after lunch paddle around the bay. The F1 is so quick and easy to pick up and go! The sun was mostly out and the wind was less than 10 knots and there was not much current action. I accidentally crept up on an otter eating a fish on shore. Looked like a small halibut!
click to enlarge
8 km, YTD 975 km

Saturday, December 15, 2012

December 15th - Thetis Lake (#84)

Bill, Monica and I went for a short paddle on Thetis Lake before the SISKA Christmas Party at six mile. The proposed cub paddle in Esquimalt harbour was cancelled due to the wind forecast, but we decided to go for a protected paddle anyway.  It was neat to explore Thetis lake again. The water level was quite high. After the paddle we went to 6 mile pub and had a great lunch with almost 70 other SISKA members.
click to enlarge
6 km, YTD 967 km

Friday, December 14, 2012

December 14th - Cadboro Bay (#83)

I went for a short afternoon solo paddle around the Bay. Pretty much ran the perimeter of the bay, so it was kind of like a Cadboro Bay patrol! Conditions were clear and a bit sunny as well as a calm, so I had a nice one. Ran into one other paddler near Jemmy Jones as well as several seals.
click to enlarge
7 km, YTD 961 km

Sunday, December 09, 2012

December 9th - Baynes Channel (#82)

I paddled out to Cadboro Point to meet Ben and Olivier for an afternoon play in Baynes Channel. The current was running nicely in the channel creating 3-5 foot waves. It was tough to surf them, but it was great fun riding the "Baynes bronco"! I got tired pretty quickly and had to head back home after an hour or so.
click to enlarge
8 km, YTD 954 km

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Storm Surge update

Thanks to Ben, who pointed me to a couple of good sites showing that today's high waters were partly a result of about a 0.6 m  surge:
One useful site is the CHS water levels site:
from which I generated this image of the anomaly for the last 60 days. You can see the last few days have been pretty high.
Ben also sent me a link to the NOOA storm surge site for Friday Harbor.

Thanks Ben!

December 2nd - Discovery Island (#81)

George and I set out from the end of Killarney to paddle out to Smugglers' cove where we met Olivier and Peter. A nice ebb was setting up, but no wind and a very high tide so we decided to poke around Chatham a bit and go through places one normally can't go. The tide prediction programme I use (wxtide indicated only 8.6 feet, but the water was washing at the steps going down to the beach. We have a 10+ foot tide predicted for the 12th - another 18 inches higher than today! Are sea levels rising???
We stopped off in boat house bay for a snack and then went into cactus islet inlet to check out the prickly pear cacti which were right at water level. The patch of cactus would be fully immersed if the tide was higher...
We had sun, rain, some breeze and some calm - a great variety!
click to enlarge
18 km, YTD 946 km

Sunday, November 25, 2012

November 24 & 25 - Surge Narrows (#s 79 &80)

James and I drove up to Campbell River on Friday evening and stayed with Alan at his place. On Saturday we went over to the narrows  and had a great few hours on the wave together with Brent and James (#2) and Jaime. We came back to CR and had a nice dinner at the Coachman pub! We went back again on Sunday, this time accompanied by Jaime, Phil and Sam and had a second great day on the wave. Al did a great job of predicting fun yet friendly wave heights! Hopefully Jaime has some nice shots of us playing!
click to enlarge

13 km, YTD 928 km

Sunday, November 18, 2012

November 18th - Chatham Island (#78)

Dennis and I went for a morning paddle out to the Chatham group. I had an afternoon commitment and we decided to get out early to avoid the forecast strong winds. Conditions were calm when we set out and a strong ebb was beginning to build as we rounded the north end of strong tide. The tide was so high that I was able to paddle through many gaps that I had not been through in the past! The sun even came out for us for a while and the wind began to pick up as we returned. I was pretty sure I could see Nick and Ben playing of Cadboro Point as we paddled back to Caddy Bay. By late afternoon the winds were strong enough to knock out power in several parts of town and prevent Monica's flight from returning from Kelowna!
click to enlarge
15 km, YTD 915 km

Saturday, November 17, 2012

November 17th - Cadboro Point (#77)

I paddled out to Cadboro Point to see if anyone was playing in the race, but no one was there so I decided to paddle back rather than play there by myself. When I launched the waves were crashing on Cadboro bay beach so I seal launched of some logs and slogged my way out to Flower Island, by which time the 20+ knot wind had abated and the sea began to calm quickly. The F1 paddled well in the wind and waves. I may take it up to Surge next weekend...
click to enlarge
5 km, YTD 900 km

Sunday, November 11, 2012

November 11th - surge Narrows (#76)

I went up to Campbell River on Saturday evening and spent the night at Alan and Chris' so that Alan and I could go over to Quadra Island and spend some time at Surge Narrows. We met Brent up there and had a good time on the wave in spite of a nasty weather forecast. I had trouble staying on the wave when it was at max, but had some good rides before and after the current got too strong with me. i need to work on strengthening my maneuvering strokes! I am planning to head back up there again on the weekend of Nov 24/25...
click to enlarge
6 km, YTD 895 km

Saturday, November 10, 2012

November 9th - Cadboro Bay (#75)

Monica and I went out for a short afternoon paddle in Cadboro Bay to test out a west marine Scamper 2 inflatable kayak. As you can see from the track, it is no speed demon, but it performed quite well and should serve well as a "dinghy" for Natural C-lection. Two of us can keep up 5 kph or so fairly easily and it seems reasonable seaworthy for bays and shorelines. We need to adjust the seat backs and the inflation a bit as the air contracts in cool weather.
click to enlarge
4 km, YTD 889 km

Saturday, October 27, 2012

October 27th - Discovery (#74)

Paulo and I went for a fast morning paddle around Chatham and Discovery Islands. It was rainy and calm when we started and became rainy and windier as we paddled. By the time we returned our hands were feeling the cold - fall/winter paddling has begun! The high school dinghy regatta was taking place when we returned and we went through RVYC and past my mooring buoy (which still is floating!). We kept up a good pace averaging 7.0 kph over the 15 km trip (2 hours and 10 minutes).
My Comfort Paddling Tuilik worked well keeping me dry.
Wildlife sightings included: seals, sea lions, herons, cormorants, harlequins, turnstones, at least three lkinds of gull, and an eagle.
click to enlarge
15 km, YTD 885 km.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

October 14th - Piers Island (#73)

I joined Tom and 15 other SISKA paddlers for a paddle to Piers Island from Amherst. Our original plan was to go to Rum, but the forecast was a bit dodgy so we decided to play it safe. We went through the Little group, around Coal and then Pym, Knapp and Piers Island. We stopped for a lunch break at the community park on Piers and took shelter from the light rain that persisted on and off all day. I think this may have been my first rainy paddle in six months! It was good to have had a hot drink handy for lunch. A nice day on the water. Thanks to Olivier for the ride!
our track - click to enlarge
18 km, YTD 870 km

Sunday, September 30, 2012

September 28/29 - Ucluelet and Grice Bay (#s 71 & 72)

I went up to Ucluelet to assist with a kayak fishing outdoor trip run by JF. It was great to do a trip with JF again! We stayed at Surf Junction Campground and spent one day fishing in Ucluelet Harbour and another in Grice Bay. The Ucluelet Harbour day was a bit cool and damp and there were no salmon biting. We managed to hook and land a few mackerel in the afternoon. The next day in Grice Bay was much nicer and we found a nice little bay near the east end that had a school of coho that were interested in cast lures. The students (Kevin, Jacob and Bryce) and JF  managed to hook into eight nice coho in a period of 2 hours around high slack. In addition Jacob was towed around the bay in his kayak by a 17 lb coho for a good fight! I enjoyed the paddling and trying out my trident Angler fishing kayak that has not seen enough use since I got it!
Ucluelet Harbour - click to enlarge

Grice Bay - click to enlarge
29 km, YTD 852 km

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

September 26th - Brentwood Bay (#70)

Bill, Beth, Simone, Benson, Monica, Steven, Heather and I went for an afternoon paddle in Brentwood Bay to unwind after a day's retreat for the science department. Conditions were wonderful and we saw thousands of moon jellies just below the water's surface as we entered Tod Inlet. We also met up with Pete and Kyle in Pete's beautiful row boat. It was also Benson's first trip in a kayak!
our track - click to enlarge
4 km, YTD 823 km

Sunday, September 23, 2012

September 23rd - Discovery Island (#69)

While I left Helen and Mark with the intermediate rollers for the morning, Alan and I went for a paddle around Discovery. Conditions were glassy calm and beautiful, though here was a bit of a flood against us on the way out which slowed us down (especially as were were heading to Heritage Point on Chatham), but I was able to show Alan a fairly different route than Friday evening's paddle. In the afternoon I participated in another clinic with Helen and Mark. I made some progress on mt elbow roll, though it is not quite there yet and also on my forward finishing norsaq rolls. At the moment I am working on a forward-forward avataq roll that is giving me a good feel for how the norsaq roll should feel. I also had a go at a back deck sculling roll which was fun.
click to enlarge
15 km, YTD 819 km

Friday, September 21, 2012

September 21st - Discovery (#68)

Helen, Mark, Al and I went for an evening paddle over to Chatham. It was nice to be able to show them our "back yard". There was a 10-15 knot breeze and a mild flood and it was the first time I had paddled in my bib pants and tuilik in a while. Autumn is definitely here. The tide was high enough that we were able to paddle into the inlet and check out the cactus patch! By the time we got back it was getting dark.
click to enlarge
12 km, YTD 804 km

Sunday, September 16, 2012

September 16th - Discovery (#67)

Dan, George, Dennis and I went for a paddle around Discovery. Conditions were magnificent with an ebb helping us to head out and a flood beginning to help us on the return. A beautiful sunny calm September day!
A brief snack break in Boat House Bay. Great chats..
click to enlarge
15 km, YTD 792 km

Saturday, September 15, 2012

September 15th - Sidney Spit (#66)

I led a group of 10 paddlers to Sidney Spit for a SISKA contribution to the Great Canadian Beach Cleanup.
We had perfect conditions and managed to clean the spit in about an hour and a half. We finished with about 5o lbs of garbage.
click to enlarge
10 km, YTD 777 km

Sunday, September 09, 2012

September 9th - Kayak for a Cure (#65)

I paddled over to Willows Beach to help out with the KFAC (Kayak for a Cure) paddle that Don Lowther had organized to raise funds for cancer research. The paddle went back to Cadboro bay, so I ended up having a nice paddle back and forth! It took me only 25 minutes to get to Willows on the first leg!
There were over 40 kayaks and close to 50 people, plus volunteers in safety boats from Ocean River Sports' Discovery Shuttle and the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Unit 33 (Oak Bay Sea Rescue). The paddle raised over $20,000 and they are still accepting donations at Hope Floats
click to enlarge
14 km, YTD 767 km

Saturday, September 08, 2012

September 8th - Discovery Island (#64)

Pete and I went for a nice paddle out to the Islands and made a nice paddle around Discovery. we stopped briefly at Boat House Bay and chatted with Jordie and then stopped again briefly to chat with Tom the Discovery Shuttle boatman.Conditions were magnificent and we kept up a good pace.
click to enlarge
15 km, YTD 752

Thursday, September 06, 2012

September 6th - Vantreight Island (#63)

Ron and I went for an evening paddle over to Vantreight Island after work. Conditions were magnificent and we had an excellent paddle. Ron got to try my Greenland paddle (I may have another convert!) and we practiced some rolls when we were back in the bay.
click to enlarge
9 km, YTD 737 km

Monday, September 03, 2012

September 3rd - Discovery (#62)

Paulo and I got out for a Labour Day morning paddle around Chatham and Discovery Islands. Beautiful weather and good conditions. We had a nice fast run down from Ten Mile Point to Chatham IslandSaw quite a few other paddlers about! I have not been out for a while since I have been out a few times with my family in my power boat, Natural C-Lection (
click to enlarge
16 km, YTD 728 km

Thursday, August 23, 2012

August 23rd - Discovery (#61)

Dan and I went for a quick morning paddle around Discovery Island. There was little tide action, though an ebb was building. We were able to maintain a moving average of 6.9 kph (3.7 kt) for the trip.
click to enlarge
15 km, YTD 713 km

Saturday, August 18, 2012

August 18th - Discovery Island (#60)

Pete, George and I set out for a morning paddle out to discovery Island. There was a good current running and we managed to ferry our way across to Strongtide. On our way over,I was sure that I had seen Dan and Paulo (based on two boats with Greenland paddles etc), but I could not catch up with them. We barely managed to make our way through the channel between Strongtide and Vantreight, but then used the current to take us down between the Chathams and out around Discovery. Pete was paddling my Greenland LC which he seemed to like alot! Once we rounded into Rudlin Bay, we saw two paddlers on the beach who sure enough turned out to be Paulo and Dan. We had a good snack break with them and then paddled together over to Jemmy Jones were we split, us for Caddy bay and them for Maynard Cove.
click to enlarge
A great first paddle after a month out of the country! By the time we were on our way back, the current was fortunately much less!
16 km, YTD 697 km.

Friday, August 17, 2012

August 12th - Lake Annecy (#59)

I got together with Yannick Sevi of Alpine Paddle, who I had met via Pautik and Facebook for a paddle on Lake Annecy. Yannick supplied me with his Greenland Style CS Canoe and a nice paddle so I did not have to use any of my own gear. We had a great paddle from our launch spot all the way up to the town of Annecy and back. The weather was glorious and we both did several rolls to coll down at various times during the day. It was great to meet up with a local paddler and Greenland paddling enthusiast and spend a glorious day on the lake. Thanks Yannick!
click to enlarge
Unfortunately I goofed with my tracking app and did not record the third leg properly...
30 km, YTD 681 km.

July 28- Aug 4 - The Saône River (#s 52-58)

Monica, Sharon, Bill and I spent a week on a river boat cruising down the Saône River in France. We started in Gray and finished near Louhans. I brought two Feathercraft Wispers with us and they made 8 outings during the week.I assembled them our first morning and kept them on the deck all week.

Heuilley-sur-Saône:  I went for a short "test" paddle over the lunch break and discovered that it was possible to get in and out of the kayak directly from the boat! (3 km). I had not figured out the tracking app on my phone by this point so there are no speeds.
click to enlarge
Auxonne: Bill and I went for an evening paddle down the canal and then back up into the marina. (Monica and Bill went for another paddle down the canal the next morning) (6 km)
click to enlarge
St. Jean de Losne:  Bill and I went for a before breakfast paddle up the Saône and then up a small creek. A kayak was a great way to see the river. (8 km)
click to enlarge
Verdun: Bill and I went for another morning paddle around the island of Verdun and saw the extent of past floods that reached 8 m above the current level! (4.5 km)
click to enlarge

Verdun to Gergy: I went for a solo paddle down the river and waited for the boat to catch me up in an hour or two. I was able to catch a short ride on the bow wave of a river boat. (10.5 km)
click to enlarge
Tournous: Bill and I went for a paddle down the river while Monica and Sharon cruised in the boat. (6 km)
click to enlarge
La Truchere: Bill and I went for our last paddle up the Seuille and back. Another magical morning with mist on the water as we began the day. (9 km)
click to enlarge

47 km, YTD: 651
The overall picture!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

July 21 - Discovery (#51)

Paulo and I went for a paddle around Chatham and Discovery Islands. It was a cool, cloudy morning which finally cleared up by the time we returned. We ran into Yves who was doing a currents class with Mark and Robin over by Vantreight and Strongtide islands. The tide was low and there was lots of kelp to paddle through! It was good to get out again after almost 3 weeks without paddling. Monica and I are off to Europe on Tuesday for three weeks but are taking the Feathercrafts!
click to enlarge
15 km, YTD 604

July 19th - Elk Lake (#50)

Paulo and I went for a short evening paddle at Elk Lake to practice our rolls in warm water. A beutiful evening. I watched a couple of double sculls capsize and recover which was neat to see.
Elk lake relative to home

the elk lake track
3 km, YTD 589 km

Monday, July 02, 2012

June 30 - Paddlefest (#49)

I spent all day at the MEC paddlefest on Willows Beach. It was great to see many familiar faces and meet a few new ones. Paulo and I shared a booth for his tuiliks and my paddles and boats. Dan and I also gave a  clinic  on Greenland paddling. The day started out very foggy but it gradually improved...
click to enlarge
1 km, YTD 586 km

Friday, June 29, 2012

June 29th - Discovery (#48)

Dan and I went for a quick run around the islands before I went to work for the day. We did the trip in just under two hours and averaged 4.1 kt (7.6 kph) - probably a bit of a boost from the currents!. Conditions were good and it was nice to be back on the water after a two week break (I was away at an educational  technology conference in San Diego last weekend)
click to enlarge (the yahoo imagery is nicer...)
15 km, YTD 585 km.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

June 16 - Victoria Harbour Celebration (#47)

Today I was down at Ship Point where I had volunteered to do a rolling demonstration. The weather was pretty windy which made it tricky at the booths. The sand sculpture was cool and the pirate school was neat. I went over to join in the kayak race only to find that there were two of us racing - Graham Henry and me! I came second to someone 30 years my junior, but had a good warm up. I then did a rolling demo at Ship point with announcing by Deb Leach. The show seemed to go well and I had lots of questions from the audience. The day finished off sunny but still windy.
click to enlarge
5 km, YTD 570 km.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

June 16th - Chatham Island (#46)

Dan and I went for a quick afternoon paddle around Chatham Island. It was a windless moist west coast day with very little current as well. We saw several rhinioceros auklets with beaks full of small fish!
Tomorrow I will be participating the Harbour celebration - should be another great day on and off the water.
click to enlarge
10 km, YTD 565 km