Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The year in review

I had another great year of paddling though I did not make either of my "goals" (100 paddles and/or 1000 km) due to some tendinitis in my elbow during the last month or so. That said, I was able to paddle in Galapagos, Ireland, Scotland, Washington State and Iceland as well as the west coast of BC. Looking forward to the 10th year of my paddling blog. I made it over 10,000 km since I started blogging - a quarter of the way around the world!
Thanks to all my paddling partners for making it a fun year of paddling!

Year/Paddles/Distance (km)
2014 98   911
2013 92 1063
2012 87 1001
2011 105 1217
2010 124 1214
2009 116 1381
2008 75 1080
2007 66 1098
2006 77 1273
Total 840 10238

Sunday, December 28, 2014

December 28th - Cadboro Bay (#98)

I decided to go for a short afternoon paddle to see how the elbow tendinitis was faring with paddling. The upshot is that I can still feel it but it isn't getting any worse (or better?). Conditions were good. I discovered that the back way through RVYC is now closed off at lower tides ( less than 7 ft?)
click to enlarge

5 km, YTD 911 km

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

December 17th - Buccaneer Cove, Santiago Island (#97)

I managed to get out for another paddle at Buccaneer Cove, Santiago (James) Island. Again, exploring the shoreline by kayak was fun, though the distance covered was not great. We were able to explore the inside of a neat cave as well. I wish I could paddle around an entire island or two in the archipelago!
click to enlarge
3 km, YTD 906 km

December 16th - Tagus Cove, Galapagos (#96)

I went for a paddle along the shore of Tagus Cove, Isabela Island. Kayaking along the shores of these islands gives a great perspective on intertidal life, as well as Galapagos penguins and flightless cormorants. We followed this with a snorkel and then a hike up to the top of Tagus cone.
close up of route - click to enlarge

Zoomed out to see Tagus and beagle craters - click to enlarge
3 km, YTD 903 km

Sunday, December 07, 2014

December 6th - Cattle Point (#95)

I joined 16 other SISKA paddlers for a short morning paddle out to Cattle Point before the Christmas party at the Royal Victoria Yacht Club. Though it was raining a bit when we started, this dried up and we had a great little paddle in nice calm conditions. The party afterwards was also great! The tide was quite high allowing us to sneak around various rocks and islets, making for an interesting paddle.
click to enlarge
6 km, YTD 900 km

I have been having some tendinitis in my left elbow and have not been paddling as far or as often in the past few weeks. Though I will likely make 100 paddles in the year, I am not sure about making it to 1000 km this year! :(

Friday, November 28, 2014

November 28th - Fulford Reef whale (#94)

Dan and I went for an afternoon paddle out to Chatham Island. When we were at the top of Strongtide island, I saw a whale spouting out past the Fulford Reef buoy, so we paused to watch. eventually we saw that it was quite near Fulford reef and paddled out towards it. As we got closer, it became apparent that it was a gray whale (which I thought migrated away from this area over the winter?). We got close enough that we could clearly see that it had no dorsal fin and a very blotchy gray body. There was a sea lion sleeping on the buoy, a California sea lion came close while we were north of Chatham Island and then we saw some Steller sea lions in Baynes as we went back across. As well as all the marine mammals, we saw several mergansers, murres, and murrelets. A wonderful way to spend Friday afternoon. No wind to speak of and no rain and no complaints!
click to enlarge
11 km, YTD 984 km

Saturday, November 22, 2014

November 22nd - cattle Point (#93)

I went for a short morning paddle before heading up to Campbell River this aft. I decided to give the new P&H Hammer a test drive/maiden voyage and had a nice cruise along the Cadboro bay shoreline. Nice views of otters, oystercatchers, beached sailboats!, and more.
I have not paddled as much as usual the last few weeks since I tweaked my left elbow a bit. Trying to give it a bit of rest...
The Hammer paddles nicely and tracks decently with the skeg down. Flatwater paddling are not supposed to be the boats forte!
click to enlarge
5 km, YTD 883 km

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

November 9&10 - Surge Narrows (#s 91& 92)

George and I went up to Campbell River on Saturday evening to visit Alan and then we went to Surge Narrows for two days in a row. The wave was very nice both days, but it was best (and least crowded!) on Monday. I borrowed Jeff's P&H Hammer which performed wonderfully on the wave... I may have to swap out my Delphin! I had one good swim on Sunday and found myself in a whirlpool which felt a bit weird! Fortunately JF pulled me out!
click to enlarge
11 km, YTD 878 km

Saturday, November 01, 2014

November 1st - Cadboro Bay (#90)

I went for a solo afternoon paddle around the bay as it was still sunny and fairly calm and I needed some fresh air! Lots of sailboats out and I saw a family of river otters out by Cadboro Point. It s still feasible to get around the RVYC docks, though I can see it will be tight at low tide!
click to enlarge
7 km, YTD 867 km

Sunday, October 26, 2014

October 26th - Jemmy Jones Island (#89)

After the sun came out, I went for an afternoon row with the Oarboard and the Starboard touring SUP. It was a gorgeous afternoon on flat water. I saw a few kayakers out as well as a few SUPers. I also ran into Dylan who was trying to make his 49er move in minimal wind!
click to enlarge
6 km, YTD 860 km

October 25th - Chemainus River (#88)

I joined a SMUS river paddling day and paddled the Chemainus river down to the highway bridge. It has been a while since I have paddled rivers, so it was good to get back in the river boat (Necky Jive). Once capsize and roll and no swims! I need to reseal the fin slots as I was taking on some water...
click to enlarge
6 km, YTD 854

Friday, October 17, 2014

October 16th - Discovery Island (#87)

Dan and I went for a quick morning paddle around Discovery since I had a free morning. We were able to set and maintain a good pace of 7 kph (3.8 kt) throughout the 14.3 km trip. The weather was calm and clear but fall has definitely come and I was wearing fleece under my tuilik! I was also surprised at how straight our track back was, suggesting that the current had dropped by the time we started to cross Baynes.
click to enlarge
14 km, YTD 848 km

Thursday, October 09, 2014

October 9th - Discovery Island (#86)

Dan and I went for an afternoon paddle around Discovery. Conditions were sunny and calm but the fog came in soon after we reached Jemmy Jones and then again on the south side of Discovery until we reached home! Happy to have the GPS with me! I was wearing a Reed  tuilik for the paddle and finished the afternoon with a few rolls in the fog! A small amount leakage around the face and wrists I think, but pretty comfortable to paddle in.
click to enlarge
15 km, YTD 834 km

Thursday, October 02, 2014

October 2nd- Caddy Bay (#85)

Jenny and I went for a late afternoon paddle on the boards out to the yacht club and then over and around Flower Island and back. We went at a very leisurely pace and enjoyed a peaceful paddle with seals and birds all around.  No track image as I did not bring the GPS!
3 km, YTD 819 km

Saturday, September 27, 2014

September 27th - Discovery Island (#84)

Dan, Paulo and I went out for a morning paddle around Discovery. There was a good ebb building and we looked for the sea otter at Cadboro Point. On our way back, the fog came down so we navigated across Baynes with a strong ebb current using GPS. Seemed to work quite well.
click to enlarge
16 km, YTD 816 km

September 25th - Discovery (#83)

Dan and I went for an afternoon paddle around Discovery Island. Conditions were nice - flat calm and sunny - which was nice after a few fall days earlier in the week. The 14.5 km paddle took just over 2 hours. Looking at the track we almost made a perfect straight line back from Commodore Point.
click to enlarge
15 km, YTD 800 km

Sunday, September 21, 2014

September 20/21 - Portland Island (#s 81 and 82)

Don, Susan and I set out from Amherst on Saturday morning to paddle out to Arbutus point to join a group of SISKA paddlers camping there. We had a nice paddle over and a relaxing afternoon and evening socializing with the other paddlers. I had a good sleep in my Hennessey Hammock and we returned to Amherst just after noon on Sunday. We saw lots of Orange sea cucumbers on the east shore of Portland Island. This was SISKA's first official camping paddle and was a great success - thanks Alan for leading and organizing!
click to enlarge
20 km, YTD 785 km

Sunday, September 14, 2014

September 14th - Sidney Spit (#80)

I led a group of 12 SISKA paddlers to Sidney spit to do a cleanup as part of the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup. Conditions were magnificent - sunny and clam and we had an uneventful paddle to Sidney spit via the Ker Group and the Dock Islets. We saw porpoises and a nice glacial erratic along the way as well as some honeycomb weathering on the Dock Island sandstone. We had lunch and then spent an hour an a half walking the spit's beaches looking for garbage. Once again, foam pieces were the predominant items. Our total amount of garbage was less this year, which was encouraging. We returned directly to Amherst and had a nice visit to the Rumrunner to celebrate our safe return! I just realized that this is our 6th year of doing this - see the links below.
click to enlarge
Previous years trips:

9 km, YTD 765 km

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

September 8th - Caboro Point (#79)

L ed a group of 15 SISKA paddlers out on an evening paddle to Cadboro Point and Maynard (Smugglers') Cove to watch the harvest supermoon rise. Conditions were windier than I would have liked at 5-10 knots in the bay, but were OK for the group. We saw the sea otter at Caboro point and a group of nine river otters outside Maynard Cove while we were waiting for the moon to rise. The moon rise was spectacular and we made it back to the beach just as darkness set in.
click to enlarge
6 km, YTD 756 km

Sunday, September 07, 2014

September 7th - Loon Bay (#78)

I went over to Loon Bay to do a Paddle Canada skills course with Mary, Paul and Bart. I am happy to say that they all did well and passed! Conditions were nice and the water was not too cold!
click to enlarge

2 km, YTD  748 km

Saturday, September 06, 2014

September 6th - Gonzales Point (#76)

I paddled over to Willows beach to help guide/lead with the Annual Paddle for Health event ( organized by Don. The weather and conditions were great and we had around 60 paddlers! The original plan was to paddle to Caddy bay, but the beach was still "closed" due to the Oak Bay sewage over run earlier this week, so we went to Gonzales Point instead (the beach is open again as of this afternoon!). Great BBQ afterwards and then ran into a bunch of SMUS boarders having a picnic!
click to enlarge
14 km, YTD 746 km.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

September 4th - Staines Island (#76)

Took the Starboard SUP for a quick evening paddle out and around Staines Islet. Another beautiful calm evening! I love caddy bay!
click to enlarge
3 km, YTD 732 km

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

September 3rd - Cadboro Point (#75)

I went for an after dinner paddle - flat clam seas  and sunshine. I went out to Cadboro Point and saw the otter again, though this time he was not as friendly as last time. I popped into Smugglers/Maynard Cove where I saw Patti and a client and then made my way back along the shore, stopped by to chat with Mary and Tim and then Paul as I cruised the shore of Caddy bay.
click to enlarge
6 km, YTD 729 km

Sunday, August 31, 2014

August 31st - Cadboro Bay (#74)

I went out into Caddy Bay with Bart and Paul to do a refresher on level 1 kayak skills. WE did a quick run through the curriculum in preparation for an assessment next weekend. First time I have worn my drysuit in months and it leaks!
click to enlarge
2 km, YTD 723 km

August 31 - Discovery Island and a SEa Otter (#73)

George, Dan and I went for a much need paddle around Discovery as none of us had been out in a while. Conditions were good, winds 5-10 knots and a weak ebb current. We had a good paddle and chat and then ran into Mark, Robyn, Gary and Jane who mentioned that the sea otter was around Cadboro Point. We decided to go and take a look and were treated to a close encounter! The otter frolicked around a bit and then tried to climb on my front deck. after that it came to my back deck and tried to climb up and then decided that it liked my throw bag and wanted it. It pulled hard and I had to brace to avoid capsizing!
It was only a couple of years ago that I had the seal pub clambering aboard my back deck...
click to enlarge - the sea otter
By the time I got my camera out it was no longer close but I did get one half decent shot.
click to enlarge
 16 km, YTD 721 km

Sunday, August 24, 2014

August 17th to 22 - Nuchatlitz (#67-#72)

Day 1 - Little Espinosa to Ensenada Islet

Pete, George, Dennis and I set off early from Victoria and drove to Little Espinoza inlet to launch for our 6 day/5 night. We made it to the launch site before lunch and were on the water by 12:45. There was a bit of a headwind all the way to Rosa Island. We were out at our campsite near Ensenada Islet by 5:15. On the way out we saw an elephant seal at the mouth of Espinoza Inlet.
Day 1 - click to enlarge
21 km, YTD 617 km

Day 2 - Catala Island

We did a day paddle over to Catala Island. Conditions were good and we had fun exploring amongst the rocky islets and boomers as well as the caves of Catala. After lunch on the spit, we made our way back with some tail wind and tried our hand at fishing - no luck.
Day 2 - - click to enlarge
19 km, YTD 636 km

Day 3 - Tongue Point and Louie Bay

Pete, George and I paddled over to the Tongue Point area to explore Louie Bay and Starfish lagoon. We lined our boats into the lagoon and then did a 20 minute hike to Third Beach on the Nootka trail. The wind and swell were up a bit for the paddle back which made for an interesting, slow paddle! Dennis stayed behind for the day to rest his wrist. There were lots of fishing boats off Ferrer/Tongue Points in the morning.
Day 3 - click to enlarge
19 km, YTD 655 km

Day 4 - Laurie Creek

All four of us went for a paddle along the Nuchatlitz Inlet shore. We checked out the paddle in waterfall between Belmont and Benson points and had a rinse! After that we made our way, under sail, to Laurie Creek where we had a freshwater swim and lunch - what a neat spot! Afternoon winds were against us and slowed us down a bit, but the sea was not big.
Day 4 - click to enlarge
22 km, YTD 677 km

Day 5 - Garden Point

We decided to paddle part way back so as to have less to do on Friday, so we had a leisurely paddle around the islets of the Nuchatlitz group and then lunch on Rosa Island. The fog came in late morning and lifted after lunch where we were paddling, though it was still around the inlet. Garden point was a nice site.
Day 5 - click to enlarge
15 km, YTD 692 km

Day 6 - Garden Point to Little Espinoza

We got up early and were paddling by just after 7 AM. We made it back to the launch site by 9:30 and back in Victoria by 5:30 (including a lunch stop at the Cable House!). Conditions were ideal in the morning as we paddled back. It was early enough that we were paddling in the shade most of the way!
Day 6 - click to enlarge
13 km, YTD 705 km


This was a wonderful trip with great friends! We also had fantastic weather. I have had very few rain-less trips and this was one! We saw lots of wildlife including many sea otters. Our campsites were great as well. Afternoon winds were the norm as we expected but most mornings were pretty calm.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

August 13 - Chatham Island (#66)

I paddled out to Cadboro Point to join Paulo and five other meetup paddlers (Lanny, Gary, Tanya, Derek and Darcy) for an evening paddle around Chatham. It was quite foggy which made navigation more interesting and gave the scenery a very different look. The tide was high which allowed us to go into the lagoon and check out Cactus Islet. I made it back to the beach just before dark after a very enjoyable paddle.
click to enlarge
14 km, YTD 596 km

Sunday, August 10, 2014

August 10th - Cadboro Bay (#65)

I went for a short afternoon paddle along the west shore of Cadboro Bay. It was hot even on the water! I checked Simon's crab tap but there was nothing there!
click to enlarge
4 km, YTD 582 km

August 9th - Butchart Fireworks (#64)

Monica and I joined a SISKA paddle, ably led by Joanne, from Brentwood Bay to Tod Inlet to watch the Saturday night summer fireworks show. We found a nice beach and ran into Kirby who was also there to watch and video the show. The show was excellent!
Here is a hand held video of the show taken with my phone (1 minute)

click to enlarge
4 km, YTD 578 km

Saturday, August 09, 2014

August 9th - Flower Islet (#63)

After a good morning bike ride to and around Mt Doug, Monica and I decided to go out into the bay on the boards. Monica used the oarboard rig on the SUPATX and I used the Sarboard Touring. It was Monica's first time on the Oarboard rig and she seemed to enjoy it. I was testing out a Werner SUP paddle which was quite nice.
click to enlarge
4 km, YTD 574 km

Thursday, August 07, 2014

August 7th - Discovery Island (#62)

Dan and I set out from Killarney Road and met up with George at Cadboro Point for a circuit around my favourite islands. It was great to be out there again. Lots of other paddlers out there, some with the ORS discovery shuttle, some camping as well as other day trippers like ourselves. There was a flood current building which seemed to be at close to max when we were heading back so we got a good push between Commodore and Heritage points. Our moving average speed was 7.0 kph which is pretty decent! A beautiful sunny day with light winds. Lots of whale watching traffic!
click to enlarge
15 km, YTD 570 km

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

August 6th - Cadboro Bay #2 - (#61)

I went for a second trip around the bay, this time with the oarboard rig on the starboard 12ft 6in touring SUP board. The oarboard rig is significantly faster and easier to control directionally than just standing and I found myself working up quite a sweat! I stopped for a nice chat with Tim by Staines Island. Looking at the second image below, you can see that the evening track is mostly blue and the morning track mostly green...
just the evening track - click to enlarge
 4 km, YTD 555 km
both of today's tracks on the same image - click to enarge

August 6 - Cadboro Bay (#60)

I took my new Starboard touring SUP out for a spin in the bay. It paddles very nicely. I went out via the yacht club (now one can get through again) and passed by my mooring and the anchored yacht Surt.
I am looking forward to plenty of short trips out in the bay on this board as well as using it with the oarboard. It definitely goes faster with the wind at your back!
click to enlarge

4 km, YTD 551 km

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

August 5th - Arbutus cove (#59)

I went for my first paddle back on home waters with Dan, George and Gordin this morning. We decided not to head out to the islands since there was a stiff southwesterly breeze and the water north of Ten Mile Point was calm. Great to catch up on news and great to paddle on home waters again!

14 km, YTD 547 km

Monday, August 04, 2014

July 24 - Viðey Island, Reykjavik (#58)

I  was able to join a Thursday evening  Reykjavik Kayak Club outing for a paddle around Viðey (pronounced vi-they) Island near Reykjavik. Thanks to Sigurjon Magnusson for picking me up, Guðni Viktorsson for organising a Tahe Greenland T for me and Þóra Atladóttir for leading the paddle. We finished at 10 PM in broad daylight! Saw many birds and a seal. The club has a very neat clubhouse and kayak storage set up on the beach made from a dozen shipping containers on the beach. The club members were a very competent and good bunch to paddle with. Guðni paddled around Iceland last year - quite an achievement! This paddle was a great way to start my Iceland trip!
click to enlarge
11 km, YTD  533 km

July 19 - Loch Ken (#57)

While staying with my brother and sister-in-law nearby, I went to Galloway Activity Centre and rented  one of their Easky sea kayaks for half a day to paddle on the loch. It was a bit rainy but I had a fine paddle going down to where the Dee enters the loch. There were a couple of nice islets to explore.
click to enlarge
14 km, YTD 522 km

July 16 - Killary Lough, Galway (#56)

I went for an excellent morning paddle with Killary Adventure Company in Killary Fjord near Leenane in Galway. KAC had good gear and a good kayak and I had a paddle out to the mouth of the Fjord and back. There were a few nice waterfalls along the way as well as many mussel farm floats (I later got to try some for lunch!)
click to enlarge
13 km, YTD 508 km

July 9 - Ballyvaughan (county Clare) (#55)

I went out with Patrick of North Clare Sea Kayaking for an afternoon paddling the spectacular North "Burren" Clare coastline from Ballyvaughan to Gleninagh Quay, with a stop at Gleninagh castle. Due to a cancellation, the group was just Patrick and me, so we were able to make great progress and have a good chat. I really enjoyed our private visit to the castle as well as the magnificent scenery.
click to enlarge
13 km, YTD 495 km.

July 7th - Dingle, Ireland (#54)

I joined an afternoon group for a 3 hour paddle out of Dingle Bay and along the shore to the west. What a spectacular bit of coastline to paddle with dramatic cliffs, sea caves and tunnels, as well as ruins! Our guide, Dearmid, was friendly, informative and professional.  As a geology geek, I was impressed by all the sedimentary structures such as ripple marks and mud cracks that could be seen in the steeply tilted strata. As an avid paddler, I can attest that this is a spectacular bit of coastline.
click to enlarge
9 km, YTD 482 km

July 3rd - Skibbereen Ireland with Atlantic Sea Kayaking (#53)

I joined and assisted Jim Kennedy of Atlantic Sea Kayaking for an evening "moonlight" paddle in the inlet by Reen Pier, West Cork. The evening was misty and a bit drizzly but magical all the same. I even got to see a bit of bioluminescence by the time we finished around midnight - just dark enough! Though short, the paddle was a nice opportunity for me to get my first taste of Irish sea kayaking!
click to enlarge
4 km YTD 473 km

Sunday, June 22, 2014

June 22nd - Discovery island (#52)

Dennis and I went out for a quick 2 hr 10 minute paddle around Discovery this morning. Conditions were excellent and we were able to make good use of the currents in our favour for most of the trip - moving average was 66.9 kph (3.7 kt). Looks like the Surf SUP event in the bay is gearing up to go this afternoon...
click to enlarge
15 km, YTD 469 km

Saturday, June 21, 2014

June 21st - Musgrave Point BCMTNA event (#51)

I celebrated the solstice by joining 5 other SISKA paddlers (Jo, Liliana, Nancy, John and Gary) to paddle from Moses Point to the Musgrave Point BC Marine Trails event, celebrating the first sign raising and outhouse for an official Marine Trails site. The event was ably emceed by Stephanie Meinke and attracted over 80 paddlers. After a nice lunch and a clebratory piece of cake, we paddled back against a light headwind. The morning conditions were glassy and sunny - a great day on the water.
click to enlarge
15 km, YTD 454 km
Some photos from the event: (click to enlarge them)
the group on the beach 1

Stephanie addressing the group

the group on the beach 2

Alan and Paul raising the sign

the sign