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