Thursday, December 31, 2015

My 2015 year

I finished off the year with 120 paddles and 1025 km, meaning that I met both of my goals (I think the key is to set ones that are relatively easy to achieve!). This is the end of my 10th year of the paddling blog and I am up to 960 paddles and 11,263 km. My only foreign paddle was in Iceland at the end of March.

Here are the stats:
Year/Paddles/Distance (km)
2015 120 1025
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 960 11263 km

Happy New year!

December 31st - Maynard Cove (#120)

I went for a quick (45 minute) paddle out to Cadboro Point and Maynard Cove. It was a beautiful clear day and I could see all the way past Seattle to Mt. Rainier - 215+ km away! It was a nice way to finish the year's paddling off! The surf ski is definitely fast, averaging 7.5 kph for the paddle. My original plan was that I would have paddles a kilobyte of km, but I went a few hundred metres too far!
click to enlarge
6 km, YTD 1025 km

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

December 29th - Cattle Point and Telegraph Cove (#119)

Dennis and I paddled from Killarney to Cattle Point where we joined up with a group of SISKA paddlers led by John. We had a delightful paddle along the shoreline of Cadboro Bay and Ten Mile Point and also got to play in the currents at Cadboro Point. Dennis and I left the group at the end and paddled back to Killarney, but I met them for coffee at Olive Olio's after! We saw many sea and shore birds as well as several groups of river otters.
click to enlarge
15 km, YTD 1019 km

Thursday, December 24, 2015

December 24th - Cadboro Bay (#118)

Monica's sister Seasonn and I went out for a nice, relaxed, morning paddle around the bay. Winds were northerly at 10 kph, so the bay was pretty calm. The sun was so bright that we had to adjust our route so as not to paddle into it. We saw lots of birds, otters and seals. We toured all 6 of the beached boats! One of them is now just fragments of hull.
click to enlarge
4 km, YTD 1004 km

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

December 23rd - Margaret's Bay (#117) Made it to 1000 km!

I joined Jim, Alex, David, Debbie and Kari for a "Wednesday" paddle, organised by Jennie, out of Telegraph Cove. The winds were forecast from the SW, so it should have been quite protected, but the winds seemed like they were more from the S and SE. The seven of us headed south to Ten Mile Point to see how conditions were there, but by the time we could see the Ten Mile Point weather Station, it was fairly lumpy and windy (for much of the trip it was 10-15 knots). We encountered some wind and lumpy water on the way back and I had some fun playing in the partial clapotis by the shore.
I wanted to make it to 1000 km today, so I had to do an extra 1.5 km loop at the end to make it! A nice paddle to reach my annual goal with!
We "debriefed" at Olive Olios for coffee and I treated myself to a celebratory raspberry-chocolate scone!
click to enlarge
16 km, YTD 1000km

Saturday, December 19, 2015

December 19th - Discovery Island (#116)

Olivier and I went for a spur of the moment paddle out to the Islands, since the forecast was not bad. It was a bit breezy (pretty steady 10-15 knots), and the current was turning to an ebb, so we decided to paddle around counter-clockwise. Before we got to Vantreight Island, I saw a couple of very big splashes and likely blows about a mile to the north of the VK (Fulford reef)  marker. I am pretty sure that we had spotted a pod of orcas, some of which were breaching!  We stopped briefly in the lagoon in East Chatham Island and saw over a dozen herons in the trees. The tide was high enough that I was able to paddle over spots I don't think I have paddled before! By the time we got to the south side of Discovery, we were experiencing reasonably lumpy water (the wind was closer to 20 kt) and by the time we got to Seabird Point, it was "exciting"... I had to employ more than a few braces! We stopped to catch our breath in boathouse bay and then made our way to cactus islet lagoon. The tide was still high and we counted 5 patches of prickly pear cactus on the south side of the islet. Two of the patches had been partly submerged recently - I hope they are tolerant of some immersion. On our way back, we dropped by Maynard (smuggler's) Cove to visit with Alex, Sheila, Morley and Jo who were heading out to play in the waves that were developing of Cadboro Point (the ebb current was meeting a SE swell from the Puget Sound area). All in all, a great day's paddle, with good paddling and plenty of wildlife too! I almost surfed into a seal at one point. Only 16 km to go before my 1000 km goal is reached...
click to enlarge
18 km, YTD 984 km

Thursday, December 17, 2015

December 17th - Jemmy Jones (#115

Dan and I went for a "lumpy water" paddle out to Jemmy Jones island and back. The way out was hard, slow,  work, but the way back to the yacht club was fun with quite a few good surf rides in the 2ft or so waves. The wind was blowing between 30-40 kph at RVYC and 40-50 at Ten mile point throughout most of the paddle and then died right at the end. We had fun and were pretty tired at the end. Hot soup and coffee were welcome on my return home! You can see quite a speed difference between the outward and return tracks! Still several boats aground in the bay... 4 sailboats at the south end of the beach, one more is just in pieces on the beach and the big concrete-hulled boat is still in front of Gyro park.
RVYC winds - click to enlarge

click to enlarge
6 km, YTD 966 km

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Another no paddling day...

With winds well over 50 knots, the sea is a bit lumpy today!
Here is a screeenshot of the day's wind at Trial Island:

click to enlarge
And here is the same graph for the RVYC station - similar pattern, but not as strong.
click to enlarge
 A video from the steps at the end of the street

a still image from the steps at the end of the beach.

 another wave video - I get doused!

Friday, December 11, 2015

December 11th - cadboro Bay (#114)

Dan and I went for an early afternoon paddle around the bay. The tide was about as high as I have seen it in a while and it had caused many logs to float out into the bay. I am sure they will be back with the next storm! We decided not to cross Baynes as it was a bit lumpy (and we were not sure of the forecast) and instead did a "tour de Cadboro". Only 40 km left to go for my annual distance goal! There were several more boats ashore on the beach that I remembered from last weekend... 6 in total!
click to enlarge
8km, YTD 960 km

Saturday, December 05, 2015

No paddling today!

The water in the bay is a bit lumpy today...
looking towards the yacht club - click to enlarge
another view of the bay

A video clip...
the wind report from RVYC - gusts over 80 kph!

BigWave Dave wind forecast for today...

Friday, December 04, 2015

December 4th - Discovery Island (#113)

Dan and I went for a mid morning paddle around the islands. Conditions were nice between the storms - hardly any lumpy water! The tide was as high as I can remember in a while, so we were able to go thru many small gaps and channels that we rarely get to go through. One of the gaps, we had never been through.We saw a raft of long-tailed duck and surf scoters at the top end of Chatham.
There was little current on the way out, but a small eb was building as we came back. Ben had managed to get his sailboat off the beach. It had come ashore yesterday in the storm. I wonder if more will come ashore tomorrow. Nice paddle!
click to enlarge
16 km, YTD 952 km

Sunday, November 29, 2015

November 27&28 - surge Narrows (#s 111 and 112)

I went up to Campbell River to spend a few days at Surge Narrows. This was an event that Alan had organized for the Nanaimo Paddlers. There were 6 of us on Friday and 9 on Saturday. The wave was good on both days and I was able to get my fill of paddling on the wave. I have some video clips that Alan took with his camera. I will post them on line eventually, but here is one short one of the wave at the end of the first day when I was tired and the  wave small again.
Two great days at Surge to start the season and good company as well. Thanks so much to Alan and Chris for hosting me. It was fun playing in the lumpy water behind the wave as well. I avoided getting sucked into any whirlpools! It is hard to describe how nice it is to feel the water rushing underneath your kayak while you virtually stay in one spot! A wildlife highlight was seeing a peregrine falcon chase a gull on the Saturday! I am looking forward to seeing some of David'd video as well.
click to enlarge
10 km, YTD 936 km.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

November 25th - Discovery Island (#110)

After a nice lazy breakfast and coffee, I met Dan and we went for a morning paddle around Discovery. Conditions were good, sunny and 10-15 knots from the North. The bay was protected , so the only lumpy water was around the top end of Chatham. We had good chats and ran into Reale and some friends who were doing the same thing as us, only a couple of hours later.
I am at paddle #110 for the year and have only 74 km left to reach my goal, so it is looking promising! I still have all of December! Heading up to Campbell River and Quadra for the weekend.
click to enlarge
15 km, YTD 926 km.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

November 14th - Discovery Island (#109)

Dennis, Olivier, Paulo and I went for a morning paddle out to Chatham and Discovery. When we launched from the beach we noticed that the beach was closed due to the needles and stuff that had washed off the derelict boat that had washed ashore on Wednesday. There was a good ebb current running so we decided to go around the islands counter-clockwise for a change. We ran into Lanny at the beach in Rudlin Bay and he joined us for the paddle back. We also ran into the lady who has been watching the wolf from her 16ft(?) Hourston. She and Olivier heard shots being fired on Chatham and we are a bit worried for the wolf.
You can see the effect of the ebb current running SE through Baynes channel on the track.
click to enlarge
16 km, YTD 911 km

Thursday, November 12, 2015

November 12th - Victoria Harbour (#108)

I joined 4 of the "Thursday Paddlers" (Alan, Alex, John and Debbie) for a paddle in the gorge and Victoria Harbour. Winds were forecast to be substantial today, so it seemed sensible to paddle in protected waters. We launched from Esquimalt-Gorge Park a few minutes late since I got half way there and realized that I had forgotten my spray-deck! We made it down the gorge and into the inner harbour passing by several derelict live-aboard boats. We made our way under the Blue Bridge past the new bridge construction and over to take a look at MV Swell (the boat I was guiding on during the summer). We then made our way along the Songhees shoreline to West bay and then out to Ogden point where we stopped for lunch. The predicted winds did pick up around noon, but did not affect us much. We stopped for a coffee at the Spiral cafe on Craigflower and had a good chat. By the time we had finished the paddle, it had started to rain quite heavily.
click to enlarge
16 km, YTD 895 km
click to enlarge
You can see a wind record for the day for Trial Island and another one for Ogden point:
click to enlarge
By the time I made it home, Cadboro Bay was looking pretty wild and at least three boats had come aground!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

November 11th - Cadboro Bay inner loop (#107)

I went for a short afternoon paddle, to make sure I got one in before the winds hit (gales due tomorrow!). Conditions were not bad with 5-15 knots in the bay. One powerboat is aground after last night's winds (35 kph from the SE at Ten Mile Point. I expect there may be a few more aground tomorrow...
On my way back, I saw a strange plane flying around the bay - basically a flying boat! It landed and dropped someone off on the beach and then took off again. I later discovered that it was a Lake amphibious seaplane. I had never seen a plane land in the bay, nor had I seen a seaplane like this one!
It is definitely getting cooler and I came home to make a fine pumpkin latte!
click to enlarge
5 km, YTD 789 km

Thursday, November 05, 2015

November 5th - Cadboro Bay (#106)

I went for a morning solo tour around the bay in the F1. It was fun to watch the V of the kayak's bow slice through the water in front of me. While I was out I saw scoters, cormorants, loons and more. I was able to keep up a nice steady pace - 6.3 kph.
click to enlarge
8km, YTD 874 km

Sunday, November 01, 2015

November 1st - Albert head (#105)

I joined James and 3 others for a day long Greenland paddling and rolling course. We did some paddling in the morning, including some fairly lumpy water. It was good to see everyone in the group using their GPs well. After lunch we went into the lee of the head to do a rolling session. James is a great instructor, clear about how things work and also good at spotting errors. The weather was fairly windy and rainy but we had a good, productive day. I was able to improve my forward finishing rolls.
click to enlarge
7 km, YTD 866 km

Friday, October 30, 2015

October 30th - Cadboro Bay (#104)

I went for a short afternoon paddle. I met George on the beach who was heading out on his paddle board. We paddled out to "islet 7" together having a good chat and then I split off for a quick run across the bay. The wind was making waves that were almost surfable!
click to enlarge
6 km, YTD 859 km

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

October 28th - Turkey head (#103)

Pete and I led another session with students. This time we launched from turkey head and paddled around the head and through the marina over to GNS. We saw the Wednesday group coming back. We managed to have great conditions again! Celebrated the end of the series of afternoons with a delicious hot chocolate with whipped cream!
click to enlarge
3 km, YTD 853 km

Monday, October 26, 2015

October 26th - Flower Islet (#102)

Pete and I led a group of 6 students on a short paddle out to Flower Islet and back. Conditions were very fine - no wind/waves and overcast. As you can see the pace was quite relaxed - I should have brought a coffee to drink!
click to enlarge
4 km, YTD 850 km

Sunday, October 25, 2015

October 25th - Discovery (#101)

Dan and I went for a morning paddle around the islands. We definitely had the wind and some current at our back o the way out and the opposite on the way back - hard work! You can really see the difference in track speed on the plot. We averaged 6.2 kph. We went round the north end of Chatham, leaving the VK buoy on our left. It was definitely fall weather again. I brought gloves but did not use them. I suspect it won't be long before gloves or mits are "normal" for paddling! It was nice with this weather  to come home to hot soup, toast and a delicious espresso coffee!
click to enlarge
15 km, YTD 846 km

Saturday, October 24, 2015

October 24th - "VK" Fulford reef (#100)

I went for a late morning paddle to make my 100th paddle of the year! I paddled out to the VK marker by Fulford Reef. All the buoys around this area are labeled V-something. for example the one by Mouat reef is VE, and the one near the border by Race Rocks is VF. They are often referred to by their radiotelphony alphabet names like Victor-Foxtrot for VF and Victor-Kilo for VK etc. When I was volunteering for sea rescue, this is how we referred to the markers over the radio. This was the first paddle of the year that really seemed like fall. Many of the trees have turned along the shores of Cadboro Bay and it was fairly cool (10C with a 15 kph north wind). I saw surf scoters, seals, cormorants (pelagic and double-crested), harlequin ducks, Canada geese and a couple of great blue herons. I came home and had a nice bowl of soup to warm up followed by a delicious espresso coffee with milk!
click to enlarge
10 km, YTD 831 km

Thursday, October 22, 2015

October 22 - Cadboro Bay (#99)

Pete and I ran a class for 6 grade 10 students learning the basics of paddling. We covered forward and reverse strokes as well as sweeps and draws. Conditions were perfect for beginners - sunny and calm. The students made good progress and seemed much more comfortable in their boats at the end.

I forgot the GPS, but estimate 1 km of paddling! :)

1 km, YTD 821 km

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

October 14th - Cadboro Point (#98)

I snuck out for a quick afternoon solo paddle out to Cadboro Pint on the surfski. It is so nice being able to decide on the spur of the moment and walk down to the beach with an  under 30 lb kayak. I saw a sea lion eating a salmon out in Baynes Channel and another swimming off Jemmy Jones.
click to enlarge
6 km, YTD 820 km.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

October 11th - Jemmy Jones (#97)

I went for a quick afternoon paddle on the surfski. conditions were very calm and grey and the tide was high. Looks like I should have no trouble making 100 paddles this year and should be able to make 1000 km as well!
click to enlarge
6 km, YTD 814 km

Saturday, October 10, 2015

October 10th - Discovery (#96)

Dan, Paulo and I went for a morning paddle around the islands. We wanted to get out before the forecasted strong winds. Fortunately the winds did not turn up. This was my 3rd time in a week around Discovery. Felt good. We checked on the seal carcass, but the tide was too low for us to get a good look. Turkey vultures were enjoying it though!
click to enlarge
15 km, YTD 808 km

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

October 6th - discovery (#95)

Dan and I went for a morning paddle around the usual islands! Nice calm conditions and mostly favourable currents. It was interesting to see how we slowed down suddenly on the north side of Chatham.. We saw a couple of paddler campers in Rudlin Bay having breakfast on the beach. I picked up a large chunk of foam and brought it home to dispose of.
15 km, YTD 793 km.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

October 4th - Discovery (#94)

Dan, Olivier and I went for a nice Sunday morning paddle around Discovery. There was a stiff NE wind building so that the paddle was harder than the paddle out! We saw a seal carcass on the NW corner of west Chatham Island. We also ran into a few other paddlers with the same idea!
click to enlarge
15 km. YTD 778 km

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

September 30th - Sooke (#93)

I went for a short paddle during a break in our department head retreat at the Best western. It was great to get out for a quick breath of sea air! It was fun paddling around and under the docks!
click to enlarge
3 km, YTD 763 km

Monday, September 28, 2015

September 29th - Cadboro Bay (#92)

I took the F1 for a quick afternoon paddle around the bay. Conditions were superb - I could just make out Rainier in the distance and there was enough wind that Statia was out sailing. The F1 is such a nice kayak for carrying down to the beach!
click to enlarge
7 km, YTD 760 km

Sunday, September 27, 2015

September 27th - Discovery Island (#91)

Dan and I went for a nice Sunday morning paddle around the islands. Magnificent conditions. We could just make out Rainier's silhouette in the distance! Lots of sailboats in Cadboro Bay when we came back!
click to enlarge
15 km, YTD 753 km

Saturday, September 26, 2015

September 26 - Sidney Spit Beach cleanup (#90)

I led a group of 13 other SISKA paddlers to Sidney Spit to do our annual beach cleanup as part of the Great Canadian shoreline Cleanup. Conditions were excellent and we spent about an hour and a half cleaning the spit. There was less sizeable debris this year, but it seemed like there were more small foam pieces - a depressing amount. We gathered about 20 kg in total.
click to enlarge
9 km, YTD 738 km

Monday, September 21, 2015

September 21 - Chatham Island (#89)

I paddled out to Cadboro Point  and joined Paulo and five others on an evening  meetup paddle around Chatham Island. It was a beautiful evening and was topped off by a magnificent view of the wolf on the north shore of Discovery Island. He even howled for us.What a way to celebrate the equinox! It was very atmospheric paddling at dusk on the equinox.
click to enlarge
12 km, YTD 727 km

Saturday, September 19, 2015

September 19th - Discovery island (#88)

I set out from Cadboro Bay with Reale, Bev and Karina and met up with Suzie and Gerhardt around Flower Island. We decided to check out the "sluice" and then "cactus islet". In Rudlin Bay we ran into Gary and also Jo and Michael who were running two separate PC level 2 courses.
Conditions were great and we had a great paddle.
click to enlarge
17 km, YTD 715 km.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

September 16th - Saanich Inlet (#87)

I joined the "Wednesday group" for a paddle today out of Brentwood Bay with 7 others.  Conditions were good and we had a nice paddle. It was nice to launch from somewhere other than Caddy Bay!
click to enlarge
21 km, YTD 698 km

Saturday, September 12, 2015

September 12th - Paddle for health (#86)

I paddled over to Willows Beach early in the morning to help act as a guide for the Paddle for Health event being organized by Don Lowther in support of the BC Childhood Cancer Parents Association. On my way over and back, I paddled with Andrew. Conditions were amazing - calm, and sunny. We had around 90 people involved and close to 60 water craft being paddled. It was great to be involved with this event again.
click to enlarge
14km, YTD 677 km

Friday, September 11, 2015

September 11th - Discovery Island

Dan an I went for a morning paddle around Discover. Conditions were amazingly calm and sunny. The Whidbey Island Growlers ( were busy again as they seem to have been for the past few weeks. The low rumble was a regfular sound during our trip as were a few blasts from construction in Victoria.
click to enlarge
14 km, YTD 663 km

Thursday, September 10, 2015

September 10th - Strongtide Islet (#82)

I went for a short paddle between work and dinner on the surfski. It was a beautiful afternoon with great visibility - Mt Rainier 210 km away was visible. I decided to paddle across Baynes for a change and went around Strongtide. It looks like Transport Canada has been around the bay putting notices on non-compliant mooring buoys...
click to enlarge
9 km, YTD 649 km

Sunday, September 06, 2015

September 6th - Loon Bay (#81)

I went for a short afternoon SUP around Caddy Bay to Loon Bay. It was nice tootling along looking at boats!
click to enlarge
3 km, YTD 640 km

Saturday, September 05, 2015

September 5th - Gordon head (#80)

I paddled around Ten Mile Point on my own to meet up with Monica and 12 others on a SISKA paddle, ably led by Michael. Conditions were good and we had the current in our favour each way (tough there was a bit of a wind against us on the way back). You can see the "relaxed" pace of the club paddle compared to my paddle around the point. I caught a ride back with Monica so that I could join the group at Olive Olio's for coffee.
click to enlarge
17 km, YTD 637 km

September 3rd - Loon Bay Rolling (#79)

I went over to Loon Bay with dan and his nephew Stuart to try to teach him some rolling. He was in my Tahe T and I was in my LC. He was able to do a static brace quite easily, but ran into problems completing the roll. Not a bad first try!
click to enlarge
2 km, YTD 620 km

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

September 2nd - Oak and Cadboro Bays (#78)

I took the Think surf ski out for a morning paddle and enjoyed good conditions. It was  a great way to clear the cobwebs!
click to enlarge
12 km, YTD 618 km

Sunday, August 30, 2015

August 30th - Jemmy Jones (#77)

I managed to get out for a second "paddle" today. This time I took the Oarboard SUP for a row out to Jemmy Jones. Given the sore muscles and blisters, this definitely uses different systems than kayaking! An interesting side effect of going backwards is that you see how many seals follow you! Downside is that you aren't looking where you are going! :)
click to enlarge
5 km, YTD 606 km