Tuesday, December 31, 2013

December 31st - Caddy Bay (#92)

Monica and I went for a morning paddle around the bay. Conditions were great, not too cold and calm. The tide was high so we were able to explore passages that usually are not available. One of the boats that came ashore recently on the Caddy bay beach was actually afloat, but no one was around to take it off - another abandoned boat?
There was a nice pair of bald eagles on a rock on the SW corner of our route, and Monica stopped to take some pics. We were able to paddle over the wall of the Naze, and i checked out a sailboat anchored in shallow water in Loon Bay, following its anchor all the way out!
A great way to finish off another good year's paddling. Planning to get the year off to a good start tomorrow!
click to enlarge
7 km, YTD 1063 km.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

December 29th - Discovery Island (#91)

Dan, Dennis and I went for another nice Sunday morning paddle around Discovery. The forecast was for 5kt from the SSE, but it was more like 10-15, so it was harder work paddling out than usual.
today's wind plot for Discovery - click to enlarge
I stopped once to check out if a red object was a usable trap buoy, but it turned out to be a bucket. The tide was high so we went into cactus islet inlet in Chatham Island, and then decided to portage across. Longer than we expected!
I may have time for one more paddle this year! :)
today's track - click to enlarge
16 km, YTD 1056 km

Sunday, December 22, 2013

December 22 - Discovery Island (#90)

Dennis, Dan and I went for a Sunday morning paddle around Discovery. It was a cool grey day with a building ebb current, but no wind to speak of. We made good progress until we started back up between the Chathams when the ebb was against us! We stopped for a while to recover a crab float and line that had drifted over from Washington State!
click to enlarge
15 km, YTD 1040 km

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

December 18th - Telegraph Bay (#89)

Dan and I went for a quick afternoon paddle around Ten Mile Point from Cadboro Bay to Telegraph Bay. Conditions were good with a 5-10 knot northerly wind, and it was good to get out. Conditions are definitely colder than last week - air temp is around 5 ºC instead of 25 ºC! We stopped on the south side of the point for a few rolls, and I had to stop after half a dozen due to getting an ice cream headache! (I also forgot to turn the GPS on for the first 400 m!)
click to enlarge
10 km, YTD 1025 km.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

December 8-13 - Galapagos (#s 86-88)

I was able to fit in 3 paddles while I was aboard the National Geographic/Lindblad Endeavour in Galapagos this week. I was invited to accompany an AAAS group as their guest lecturer and host and had a wonderful week renewing old friendships and making som new ones.
The 3 paddles were in Gardner Bay, Espanola Island, Post office Bay, Floreana Island and Darwin Bay, Genovesa Island. The Endeavour had 8 Necky Looksha T kayaks available which were pretty decent little doubles, though the cockpits are close enough together that it is important to synchronize!
Seeing the islands by kayak is wonderful, and I recommend it to anyone who gets a chance.
An overview of the islands - click to enlarge
 This map shows the archipelago. I paddled at the two southernmost islands as well as the north-easternmost one.
Gardner Bay, Espanola - click to enlarge
 On this paddle we had great views of colourful marine iguanas
Post Office Bay, Floreana - click to enlarge
 On this paddle we managed to see Galapagos sea lions and Galapagos penguins.
Darwin Bay, Genovesa - click to enlarge
On this paddle, we managed to see many seabirds as well as Galapagos sea lions and Galapagos fur seals.

paddling by Espanola - click to enlarge

paddle by Floreana - click to enlarge
8 km, YTD 1015 km

Sunday, December 01, 2013

December 1st - Discovery Island (#85)

I left Cadboro Bay beach at 8 and paddled out to Cadboro Point to meet up with Olivier. Olivier had seen the wolf again earlier this week (7 times now to my 2!) and I had hoped we might see it. However, the wind and rain were probably causing it to take shelter. The winds were pretty strong from the SW (up to 33 kt at Trial and 25 kt at Discovery) which made for some interesting paddling. There were a couple of times when we were barely making any progress as we paddled between Discovery and Chatham - a lot of yellow on this track plot! It was definitely hard work paddling back today against the wind and the current.
This was my 4th trip to Discovery in 8 days, and I have now made my 1000 km goal for the year!
click to enlarge
17 km, YTD 1007 km

Saturday, November 30, 2013

November 30th - Discovery Island (#84)

Dan, Paulo and I went for a quick morning paddle around our favourite islands. Conditions were nice. We did not stop anywhere and were back at Killarney Kayak base by 11 AM.
click to enlarge
15 km, YTD 990 km

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

November 27th - Discovery Island (#83)

Dan and I went for another afternoon paddle (I was able to get off work early) and had another great paddle around Discovery Island.Conditions were good though there was a stiff ebb current helping us run south, but hindering us on our way back. We saw a group of about 10 paddlers crossing back from Discovery as we were heading over, and I ran into Eric taking pictures on the beach by Flower Island. (only 25 km to go! Maybe Saturday?). We also saw a solo paddler heading out across Baynes as we were returning.
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15 km, YTD 975, 7 kph (3.8 kt) moving average speed

Sunday, November 24, 2013

November 24th - Discovery (#82)

Dan and I went for a Sunday afternoon quick spin around Discovery. Conditions were magnificent; sunny with only a little wind (5-10 kt from the N). We ran into Robin and Mark and then Scott and Michael and stopped to chat with both groups for a few minutes off the west side of Discovery. Looks like only 40 km to go for the 1000 km yearly goal, but 18 more paddles if I want to do 100!
click to enlarge
15 km, YTD 960 km.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

November 16 and 17 - Surge Narrows (#80&81)

Olivier, George and I went up to Campbell River for the weekend to paddle Surge Narrows with Alan. We stayed with Alan and went over to Quadra each day. Brent was there on both days and on Sunday we also saw Jonathan, Ken and Peter. The wave was very nice each day (best on Sunday) with the current maxing at just over 7 knots. For me the sweet spot was between 4 and 6 knots, I think, as I found it hard to get on and stay on when it was  around 7. It was George's first exposure to the narrows, and he got a few good rides. George also got some good video I think, and I got some good rolling and rescue practice.
On Sunday I got to paddle Brent's Gemini SP which performed very nicely in the wave. Despite being mid November, we had sunshine for much of both days!
click to enlarge
15 km (probably more since I did not record my time in the Gemini), YTD 945 km

Monday, November 11, 2013

November 11th - Discovery Island (#79)

Dan, Paulo and I paddled out to Cadboro Point to meet Olivier and then the four of us proceeded over to Chatham and Discovery Islands. The air was incredibly clear - we could easily see the outline of Mt Rainier over 210 km away! There was a brisk Northerly wind which pushed us a bit to begin and then slowed us down on the way back. The tide was also very high (just a few cm below the orange lichens), so we took the opportunity to check out cactus islet lagoon and other spots which can only be visited when there is plenty of water. the prickly pear cacti look to be in good health. we kept an eye out for the wolf, but did not see it. We also observed a few minutes of silence at 11 in remembrance, while we were stopped at Rudlin Bay.
click to enlarge
19 km, YTD 930 km

Sunday, November 03, 2013

November 3rd - Discovery (#78)

Dan and I went for a Sunday morning paddle. we started an hour earlier than planned since Dan forgot about the time change! Conditions were magnificent. sunny and calm - quite a contrast to yesterday's winds that shut down some of the ferry routes for a while.
click to enlarge
15 km, YTD 911 km

Sunday, October 27, 2013

October 27th - Discovery Island (#77)

George, Dan and I paddled out to Cadboro Point to meet Olivier at the light. We then went for a nice paddle around the islands. There were some nice wind waves on the north side of Chatham to start, but the wind then dropped. Basically, a beautiful sunny Sunday paddle! I almost dozed off in the sun on the lunch beach...
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15 km, YTD 896 km

Saturday, October 26, 2013

October 26th - Cowichan River (#76)

I went with Pete and George (and 4 students) to the Cowichan River where we met up with Tieran of Kindred Spirit Kayak. We played on the river around the Mayo Road bridge while we got the kids ready for running a section of rapid by letting them practice eddy turns. Eventually we got to the point where we were able to take them down the section from Skutz falls to the bridge. All the kids managed it without capsizing! For me, it was the first time on the river in a couple of years - good to get back!
The GPS track is a bit shaky - I think it had problems getting a clear signal in the canyon. I ran the section 4 times and had fun playing in the eddies and even got to surf a little bit!
click to enlarge
2 km, YTD 881 km

Monday, October 14, 2013

October 10th - Trial Island (#75)

Paulo, George and I went for a short paddle around Trial Island. Conditions were superb - what an amazing October! It looks like we may have another week of sunshine ahead as well! We saw that there were some guys rebuilding the radio antennas on trial. They were just taking down the last old one. Now I am curious as to what kind or radio they are for...
We stopped for a snack at the beach by the golf course and picked up a fair bit of garbage from a recent party. It looks like they had a fire that got out of control too...
click to enlarge
7 km, YTD 879 km

Saturday, October 12, 2013

October 12th - Cadboro Bay (#74)

I went out for a quick afternoon paddle around the bay. Conditions were magnificent (looks like we have two weeks of sunshine ahead!). I managed to keep up a good pace (4 kt average) and the full paddle took just under an hour - managed to keep it in the blue pretty much throughout. Not too many other boats around in spite of the fabulous conditions for Thanksgiving weekend.
click to enlarge
7 km, YTD 872 km

Sunday, October 06, 2013

October 6th - Sidney Spit Beach cleanup (#73)

I led a group of 14 other SISKA members on a paddle to Sidney Spit to clean up the beach. This is the 5th time/year we have done it as part of the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup! We set out on a beautiful sunny day with great conditions at launch time and in the forecast. The weather was summerlike throughout the day! A nice change form the planned day of Sept 22 when I cancelled it! The beach was cleaner than in previous years. We had a relaxing lunch before we started cleaning and then we took a "siesta" before heading back. We finished up with a short debrief at the Rumrunner.
click to enlarge
10 km, YTD 865 km

Monday, September 30, 2013

September 28th - Rolling at the Guides Exchange, Ucluelet (#72)

Gerhardt and I led a Greenland rolling session for half a dozen participants at the fall SKGABC guides' exchange in Ucluelet. Despite a windy day, we found a nice quiet spot to teach and practice at Little Beach. We spent the morning on rolls and then part po0f the afternoon on Greenland paddle strokes. We also took some time to poke our noses out into the bigger sea conditions outside the bay - long enough to decide it was not a place to take a group! People made good progress, and we managed not to get too rained on. The day finished with a magnificent meal at the Kwisitis feast house. On Sunday the waves were even bigger so surfing was not recommended. Instead,I went for a great little hike along the Wild Pacific Trail. I also got to experience sleeping in a yurt at the Wya campground - very nice!
Gerhardt has posted some nice pics of the exchange here

3 km, YTD 855 km

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

September 24th - Discovery Island (#71)

Dan and I went for an afternoon paddle around our favourite islands... Conditions were great, with a weakening ebb and little wind throughout. the water was almost glassy at times. We maintained a pretty good pace, keeping up a moving average of 6.9 kph. Lots of seals around. We stopped off for a snack in Rudlin Bay and then near Commodore point to check an area that the wolf had been using. No fresh sign there though...
click to enlarge
15 km, YTD 852

Saturday, September 21, 2013

September 21 - Discovery Island (#70)

Dan, Paulo, George and I set out for a morning paddle around Chatham and Discovery. We thought we might be paddling in fog, but it cleared up before we got out of the bay! Conditions were excellent with little wind and not too much adverse current. We stopped off for a snack by Heritage Point and were able to keep up a good pace throughout. A great way to start the weekend!
click to enlarge
15 km, YTD 837 km

Saturday, September 14, 2013

September 14th - Discovery Island and Orcas (#69)

George and I set out on a foggy morning from Killarney at 9:30 to meet Olivier at Cadboro point. soon after we rounded the corner by Flower Island, we saw orcas. We thin they were transients, but we were not that close. They were near Jemmy Jones when we were at Flower. They continued on past Cadboro Point and off into Haro strait. What a way to start a paddle. The rest of our paddle was relatively uneventful, with good sightings of seals, turkey vultures, kingfishers, oystercatchers and more. We saw the ORS Discovery shuttle in Rudlin bay as well as a group of campers there. We stopped for a snack by Commodore pOint and then made our way back on a slackening flood tide. George and I stopped by Natural C-lection on the way back. I decided to take Natural C-lection back in onto the trailer after we got back.
Orca by Cadboro Point Light
Orcas in the fog

click to enlarge
16 km, YTD 822

Thursday, September 12, 2013

September 12th - Discovery Island (#68)

Dan and I went for an afternoon paddle out and around Discovery. There was a gentle ebb running throughout, and the weather was wonderful! Sunshine and virtually no wind. I went over to the mooring to check on Natural C-lection and then we went around Discovery in the opposite direction to our usual! We stopped in boathouse bay for a 20 minute snack break and managed to maintain a decent pace in spit of both of us feeling out of shape/practice! I hope to get plenty more afternoon paddles in this fall. Based on the track log we paddled for almost exactly 2 hours, averaging 7.35 kph (almost exactly 4 knots).
click to enlarge
15 km, YTD 806 km

Monday, September 02, 2013

September 2nd - Cadboro Bay (#67)

I took Claire, Jayson, Julia and Rebekah for a paddle around the bay. I paddled the Disko Bay, Claire the LC, Jayson the T, Julia the Delphin, and Rebekah the F1. Amazngly I had enough safety gear for all of them! (I probably could have done one more!). We had a nice paddle around the bay in great conditions. I finished the paddle with a short rolling demonstration. This was the first time in a sea kayak on saltwater for all but Claire and me! A nice thing to do on my last day of the summer holiday!
click to embiggen!
4 km, YTD 891 km

Sunday, August 25, 2013

August 18-22 Broughton Archipelago (#s 62-66)

Ater our Kyuquot trip, we figured that we were far enough up island that we should do a trip in the Broughtons, so we took Natural C-lection  for a 6 day cruise amongst the islands and channels north of Johnstone Strait. We had our two Feathercraft Wispers on the boat's roof rack and found that the boat and wispers worked very well as a "mothership" system. We managed to get in 5 paddles during our 6 days. I had previously paddled as far as Echo Bay with the SMUS experiential groups and it was neat to see some of the areas further afield.We were blessed with decent weather and minimal winds throughout our trip.

August 18 Sophia Islets

Monica and I anchored in Growler Cove and launched the Wispers for a paddle out to the Sophia Islets.This was our first attempt at "mothershiping", and it was very successful (except that I forgot my GPS!)
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6 km (est), YTD 768 km

August 19 Village Island/Mamalilaculla

After a foggy morning in Blackfish Sound and a visit to the earth embasy on Hanson Island, Monica and I went to Village Island to visit the abandoned village of Mamalilaculla on Village Island. I had been here several times with the SMUS groups and it was good to see this spectacular sight again. Quite reminiscent of places we saw in Haida Gwaii.
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2 km, YTD 770 km

August 20 Burdwood group

After a night in Echo Bay marina, we went to the Burdwoods for a paddle. We had the "kayaker beach" to ourselves that day, shoretied the boat with our anchor buddy and went for a nice paddle around several of the islands in the group. The camp site is an excellent one. The seals around here seem much darker than in Victoria.

5 km, YTD 775 km

August 21 Lacy Falls

After spending the night in Watson Cove and going for a short hike to see an old cedar we paddled back to look at Lacy falls again close up. These falls are very pretty. we noticed that the flow was noticeably less this morning than it had been the afternoon before.

click to enlarge

5 km, 780 km

August 22 Booker Lagoon

At the recommendation of Anca and Max of Kwatsi Bay Marina, we went into Booker Lagoon at high slack, set our prawn trap, found a private cove and then went of a paddle to explore the lagoon. I went a bit further than Monica and chatted with another boat (Y-Knot) that was anchored in another cove on the SW arm of the lagoon. The prawning was successful and we had an amazing bear watching experience after dinner in our cove. A sow was teaching her two cubs to turn over rocks for crabs and such. They were only a couple of hundred feet away from us and completely ignored us for about an hour!
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7 km, YTD 787 km

August 13-15 Kyuquot Sound (#s 59-61)

Monica and I took the C-dory (Natural C-lection) up to Fair Harbour and met with JF. Our plan was to go out to Spring Island and try our hands at kayak fishing based out of the West Coast expeditions base camp. We took the Delphin and the Trident Angler. Spring Island and the WCE camp were magnificent and we had a great few days there in spite of some windy and rainy weather. It was great to see Dave and Caroline again and meet Morgan as well as guides Serina and Ben. We also ran into Mike P and his son Rowan! While at the camp, we got to meet Dave's Kyuquot "family" which was a real treat. There are some protected waters on the NW side of the island which allowed fishing to happen even when it was a bit nasty off shore. There are plenty of nice springs around! Monica and I fished out of the C-dory a few times and had some good results!

August 13 - Round Spring island with Monica

Monica and I went for a paddle around Spring Island together. Conditions were great with minimal swell, sunshine and spectacular scenery. Lots of sea otters up here.
click to enlarge
8 km, YTD 743 km

August 14 - playing in waves with Ben

The 14th was pretty stormy, and the swell had built up so when Ben paddled by saying he was going to play in the waves, I jumped at the opportunity to join! It was my first time surfing in kelp!
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10 km, YTD 753 km

August 15 - fishing

I took the trident out and tried trolling and handlining. I had no luck, but JF hit springs with his bucktail and a trolled hootchie.
click to enlarge
7 km, YTD 760 km

To and fro from the boat

We also used the kayaks to go to and from our boat which was moored at the SE corner of the bay to the WCE camp at the NW corner. About 400 m each way, so we added an extra 2 km to the route!
2 km, YTD 762 km

Sunday, August 11, 2013

August 12th - Discovery (#58)

Dan, George and I went for a morning paddle around our favourite islands. Conditions were good with a reasonably strong current. good chats as always and nice paddling!
click to enlarge
16 km, YTD 735 km

August 10th - Langford Lake (#57)

I joined a group of 6 others for a one day workshop with Cheri perry and Turner Wilson of Kayakways, organized by James Manke of Qajaq.ca. I set out from the Langford Boat ramp and paddled over to Martin's place where the event was taking place. We spent the morning working on strokes, with a particular focus on paddle cant. I found this intriguing, but am not yet convinced that it will work for me! We spent the afternoon on rolls, and I was able to learn a new forward finishing butterfly roll and at the very end figured out that I can do the elbow roll (video) fairly consistently if I slide myself far enough forward in my cockpit! I also made good progress on forward finishing norsaq/hand rolls and have some exercises to work on!
We finished the day off with a nice dinner followed with games!
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5 km, YTD 719 km

Thursday, August 08, 2013

August 7th - D'Arcy Island (#56)

Pete and I went for a paddle over to D'Arcy Island on our way back from dropping off some school boats at Blackline. Conditions were great with just enough wave action to make things interesting but not hard work! We set a good pace and were able to do the round trip in 3 hours including a nice lunch spot on the deserted beach. It was good to paddle again with Pete as we have not done so for a while.
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15 km, YTD 714 km

Monday, August 05, 2013

August 4th - Symphony Splash (#55)

Monica and I went down to the Inner Harbour to watch the Symphony Splash. I joined, Tom, Willow and Ailsa (a student of mine from 1987!) as kayak donations volunteers, soliciting donations and "selling" glow sticks and such. Just as I remembered from two years ago, this was a great event. The music was magnificent, and the ambience was spectacular. It was neat to see another past student Adam Sawatski emceeing the event. The view of the event from a kayak is spectacular - probably the best seats in the house! I saw several other SISKA members (Joanna, Jeff), CBSA members (Bob) as well as colleagues (Rea, Whitney) and past students (Andrea, Ann). We launched at the James Bay Anglers ($5 launch fee or $25 annual membership) and paddled our way around to the Splash area. I did a lot of paddling back and forth talking to people and asking for donations and probably collected over $200. It was also really neat to see the son of good friends of ours, Eric Manning, perform a piano solo and their other son Philip playing for the orchestra. In addition,Bill was on the stage at the finale piping with the Canadian Scottish.The 1812 overture finale was truly spectacular and powerful with the pipers, cannons and fireworks. A wonderful evening. My GPS batteries were low, so I did not get a track...I estimated 6 km, as that is what I did last time This is a link to the track image from 2011. Once again the Kayalu kayalite deck lights worked very well ( I got mine from Joe O a few years back, and he still stocks them..
This year's estimated track -click to enlarge
5 km, YTD 699 km
 The Kayalite deck light
The actuial track plot from the time the GPS was on... The battery quit at around 7.
click to enlarge

Sunday, July 28, 2013

July 28th - Discovery Island (#54)

I helped Vic lead a SISKA energizer paddle around Chatham and Discovery Islands with 21 others. Conditions were good, though there was a fair bit of fog around to begin with. It wasn't too thick, so we did not have any trouble navigating. The fog burned off during our lunch break, and we made it a figure of eight around the islands. I think I may have seen more kayaks on Discovery than at any other time since the ORS Discovery Shuttle was out there with 15 or so people as well as our group of 23. In addition,we saw a couple of smaller groups! This was my 15th paddle out to the islands this year...
click to enlarge
18 km, YTD 694 km

Thursday, July 25, 2013

July 25th - Cadboro Bay (#53)

I took Simon and Jane (who are over here visiting from Scotland and are staying across the street) for a paddle around the bay. Simone paddled my Tahe T, Jane my Delphin and I paddled my F1. The weather was superb - calm and sunny and we had a lovely paddle out to Cadboro Point and then back across the bay to the yacht club via Jemmy Jones. We saw a few paddlers out there including Paula who was also out for a cruise around the bay! A great way to spend a summer morning!
click to enlarge
7km, YTD 676 km

Sunday, July 21, 2013

July 20th - Butchart Fireworks (#52)

I joined the SISKA evening paddle led by Gary to watch the Butchart Gardens Fireworks display. We launched around 8:45 and paddled our way leisurely over to Tod Inlet and then found a nice spot to watch the display from. The fireworks started promptly at 9:45 and were spectacular! The fireworks used were varied and abundant! The echoes in the inlet were also pretty neat! I also ran into another local C-Dory owner - "Upgrade".
Google imagery - click to enlarge
 I have included to screenshots of the gpsvisualizer track plots. The one above is using Google imagery and the one below is using Yahoo imagery. I think I prefer the Yahoo one...
Yahoo imagery - click to enlarge
6 km, YTD 669 km