Wednesday, January 31, 2018

January 27th - Rodeo Beach to Bonita Point (#10)

My second day's class was "advanced rock garden play" and we launched into some surf off Rodeo Beach under the leadership of Paul Kuthie with David Santanello and Roger Smith. We had a great day exploring under and around Bird Island as well as amongst the rocks and reefs out to Bonita Point Light. We went through tunnels, and slots as well as over various pour-overs and had a blast! I need to do more of this! :)
The main symposium site
click to enlarge
8 km, YTD 105 km

January 26th - Marin Headlands rock gardens (#9)

At the Paddle Golden Gate Symposium, my first class was an excellent session on rock garden skills and safety run by Bill Vonnegut. After a series of exercises on strokes and rescues, we made our way past the Golden Gate bridge to play in the rocky shores of the Marin headlands. I had a blast practicing playing in front of steep cliffs, pour overs and slots and learned a lot about what spots are safe (relatively!) and to look out for big swells that might surprise.
Shot by Tom of the group passing under the bridge
click to enlarge
9 km, YTD 97 km

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

January 16th - Discovery Island and Orcas (#8)

Dan, Paulo and I went for a "regular" morning paddle around the islands. Conditions were nice, not much current and not too much wind. I had misplaced my sunglasses so I had to squint quite a bit against the low winter sun! The tide was high and I had not been into the inlet in east Chatham Island for some time, so we made a short detour to check on the prickly pear cactus on the islet. They seem to be doing well (and are a tad smaller than the Galapagos ones!). There was a nice group of male Steller sea lions at Seabird Point as well as a few seals along the way. We saw Cheryl in her boat and went over to chat with her for a bit about the wolf. She has had some good sightings recently. On our way back across Baynes Channel we were treated to a nice display by a small pod of orcas. You can see the "blip" in my track where we stopped to watch them. They looked like they were feeding and at one point one of them did a spyhop!
click to enlarge
16 km, YTD 88 km

Sunday, January 14, 2018

January 14th - Cadboro and Oak Bays (#7)

Rob and I went for a morning paddle. Our original intent was to head out and around the islands but it was quite windy (Discovery was 15-20 kt  from the north all morning), so we decided to turn around at Cadboro Point when we encountered lumpy water and tour Cadboro and Oak Bays. We made it around Mary Tod (Jimmy Chicken!) islet and Oak Bay Marina and headed back. Lots of birds around including bufflehead, hooded and common mergansers, scaup and harlequin ducks and the highlight for me was a group of ancient murrelets!
click to enlarge
12 km, YTD 72 km

Saturday, January 13, 2018

January 13th - Cadboro Bay (#6)

I led a group of 14 SISKA paddlers on the first club paddle of the year. Our original plan was to paddle from Cadboro Bay around to Telegraph Cove on the north side of ten mile point, but there was a bit too much wind and lumpy water when we got past ten mile point, so I decided to turn around and head over to Willows beach where we stopped for lunch. Though the day was cool and drizzly, we had a good paddle, followed by coffee at Olive Olio's! We saw a nice collection of birds, including oystercatchers, common and hooded mergansers, kingfishers, double-crested and pelagic cormorants, bald eagle, great blue heron, as well as bufflehead and harlequin ducks. (I am sure I have missed some!) A nice way to start the club's paddling year!
click to embiggen!
13 km, YTD 60 km.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

January 10th - Cadboro Point Current clinic (#5)

I joined Jennie and Edgar in leading an introductory/intermediate clinic on paddling in currents. After a brief chat on shore we made our way out to Cadboro Point where the ebb current was starting to build. The participants learned how to edge their kayaks, ferry across a channel into the current and made good progress. Many were playing in the small overfalls by the end of the session. We saw buffleheads, scaups, mergansers and a group of river otters while out on the water. We also ran into Dan and Paulo who were just returning from paddling around Discovery.
click to embiggen!
9 km, YTD 47 km

Saturday, January 06, 2018

January 6 - Discovery Island (#4)

Dan, Paulo and I went for a morning paddle around the Islands. There was a bit of wind and current and we ran into a group doing a rescues course that day! We saw a large male California sea lion by Cadboro Point and then several more Steller's sea lions by Seabird Point light. We had to work hard coming back and our progress was slow through the frequently lumpy water. I think the moving average for the entire trip was only 5.6 kph!
click to enlarge
15 km, YTD 38 km

PS, I actually forgot about doing this post until I was reminded! I had downloaded the track, and then must have been distracted! :)

Friday, January 05, 2018

January 3&4 - Surge Narrows (#2&3)

I joined Alan and Craig for two days of paddling the wave at Surge Narrows. On the first day I paddled a borrowed Sterling Progression which did not suit me very well, so I had a pretty slow day of paddling. On the second day I paddled my familiar Hammer  and paddled until I was tired! :)
The GPS battery ran out on day 1, so the track is an estimate after I arrived at the wave. It is amazing to watch and listen as the wave develops and the current sped rises to around 7 knots!
Day 1 - click to enlarge
day 2 - click to enlarge
7 km, YTD 23 km

Monday, January 01, 2018

January 1st 2018 - Discovery Island (#1)

Dan and I went out for a late morning trip out and around the islands to start the New Year off. It was a bit windy to start and our paddle across the top end of Chatham was exciting, but both wind and current decreased as the paddle went on. We ran into Cheryl in Rudlin Bay and made a brief stop near Commodore Point. We were given the "evil eye" by a couple of bull California sea lions, but they stayed at least 5 metres away from us!
click to enlarge
16 km, YTD 16 km