Thursday, December 31, 2020

December 31st - Discovery Island (#101) and Mike's 2020 year of Paddling

Dan and I went for our last paddle of the year around our favourite islands. Conditions were excellent, which was a pleasant surprise after yesterday's wind and waves. I saw the usual suite of birds ( I love to see ancient murrelets at this time of the year. they are so cute!

One of the pear cactus patches on "cactus islet"

We ran into a couple of other groups in "cactus islet inlet" on East Chatham and had a nice chat. You can see from the track that we had a pretty good boost from the current as we went across Baynes 

I took an old Canon S1IS camera that I found was still working and had a waterproof housing out with me today as i want to have a camera ready to take pictures of some of the birds I see. It has a 10x zoom (400mm 35mm film equivalent) which may help me get some good ID shots. Here are few that worked out. Shooting telephoto from a kayak is tricky!

Glaucous-winded gull - click to enlarge

a group of glaucous-winged gulls - click to enlarge

some of the Steller sea lions off Seabird Point - click to enlarge

click to embiggen!

17 km, YTD 905 km

Mike's 2020 year of paddling

Due to being home in Victoria from March onwards, I managed to get quite a bit of paddling in, easily exceeding my more recent goal of 50 paddles and 500 km. I am happy with 101 paddles and 905 km. This is the end of my 15th year of bloging every paddle and the totals are adding up! Over 1400 paddles and almost 15,000 km logged. I am sure that having the blog helps me get out on the water more often than I might otherwise.

Year #Year# paddleskm totalkm per paddle

I hope to get lots of paddling in during 2021 as I am not expecting to get out on ships for a few more months.

Monday, December 28, 2020

December 28th - Discovery Island (#100)

Dan and I went for a Monday morning paddle to clear out the weekend's cobwebs. Conditions were decent with not too much wind or current against us. We also managed to find a short section of lumpy water at the top end of west Chatham to enjoy. The tide was high so we paddled "over land" at the top end of east Chatham Island!

click to enlarge

Birding was pretty normal, except that I am sure I saw a ring-billed gull on Chatham Island. The distinct black ring on the bill and brown mottling on the back of the neck seem to be diagnostic... My bird list:

It felt pretty good to have completed 100 paddles in the year ( with time for a few more!). I won't make 1000 kms, but I might make 900. Not too bad since my goal was 50 paddles and 500 km! :)

click to enlarge

15 km, YTD 888 km

Saturday, December 26, 2020

December 26th - Caboro Bay (#99)

I went for a quick afternoon paddle to test out the CD expedition after I had some repairs (gelcoat and rudder cables) done to it. All good - I thinkit is ready for an expedition next year! The water was a bit lumpy and I had to work a bit against a southerly wind, but it was good to get out. I did a 5 km circuit of the "inner bay" instead of my usual 8 km circuit around the "outer bay". :)

click to enlarge

5 km, YTD 873 km

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

December 23rd - Discovery Island (#98)

I paddled out to Cadboro Point where I met up with Paulo, Dan and Leslie for a paddle around the islands. Conditions were excellent with good views of Mt Baker and glimpses of the peak of Mt Rainier. The winds were less than predicted and the current did not cause too much hard paddling! I had to ferry a bit to cross Baynes channel on the return. I saw a good number (25) of bird species on the trip including quite a few ancient murrelets (one of my favourites - they are so cute!) in the middle of Baynes (both ways): 

click to enlarge

16 km, YTD 868 km

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

December 22nd - Cadboro Bay (#97)

I paddled over to the yacht club to join David and Jennie for a lovely, relaxed paddle around the bay. We chatted and birded as we went, seeing greater yellowlegs, Canada geese and killdeer in addition to the usual bunch ( ). I can't believe how different today was from yesterday! Sunny and calm versus windy, rainy and snowy. According to my weather station ( we had 67 mm over 800 minutes, which explains why the crawl space got wet and Hobbs creek was almost overflowing!

click to enlarge

11 km, YTD 852 km

Sunday, December 20, 2020

December 20th - Discovery Island (#96)

Dan and I went for a morning paddle as we thought we might avoid the forecast winds later. As it turned out the waters were quite lumpy and we had an exciting time crossing over to the islands. As you can se from the track, the current was a bit against us (ebbing) and that, combined with the wind, slowed us down considerably - especially between Cadboro Point and Flower Island. I saw many of the same birds today as I saw when doing the Christmas bird count yesterday from my boat, but I did not keep a count today! :) I just listed the species seen: 

click to enlarge

15 km, YTD 841 km

Thursday, December 17, 2020

December 17th - Cadboro Bay (#95)

I took advantage of a lull in the winds (mostly) to paddle around the bay. I was on the lookout for birds (preparing for the Christmas Bird Count) and had a pretty productive paddle:  The wind picked up a bit at the end but was not too bad. It was also good to take the F1 out for a spin!

click to enlarge

9 km, YTD 826 km

Monday, December 14, 2020

December 14th - Cadboro Bay (#94)

I went for an afternoon paddle and bird around the bay. Conditions were nice and I saw a good number of birds. 

birding while kayaking is a challenge as many birds seem to be spooked by kayakers and it is hard to get a good look at some birds...

click to enlarge

8 km, YTD 817 km

Wednesday, December 09, 2020

December 9th - Discovery island (#93)

 Dan and I went for a morning paddle around the islands. This was my third paddle around the islands in a week! It was a bit windier with a decent flood current, so we had to work hard around the south side of Discovery. Good birding again: black oystercatcher, black turnstone, long-tailed duck, harlequin duck, marbled murrelet, ancient murrelet, glaucous-winged gull, bald eagle, surf scoter and Pacific loon.

click to enlarge
15 km, YTD 809 km

Sunday, December 06, 2020

December 6th _ Discovery Island (#92)

Dan and I went for a morning paddle around the islands. There was a bit more wind and current than last time but not too bad. The wind was from the ESE, so we decided to head down between the Chathams instead of to the east side. I was almost caught against the rocks by a freighter wake but managed to stay upright and afloat! The birding highlight today was seeing several groups of ancient murrelets. One group was pushing a school of small fish to the surface and gulls were taking advantage from above.

click to enlarge

15 km, YTD 794 km

Friday, December 04, 2020

December 4th - Discovery island (#91)

Pete and I went for an afternoon paddle around the islands. We had great conditions, sunshine, no wind to speak of and little current! We ran into a couple of groups of paddlers out in the islands: Delcie and Edgar were there as was Paulo with his Friday group. The birding was good with pelagic, Brandt's and double-crested cormorants, long-tailed and harlequin ducks, buffleheads, black oystercatcher and black turnstone, bald eagle, glaucous winged gull, surf scoters and more. We also saw Steller's and California sea lions as well as harbour seals. We took a detour into the inlet in Chatham to look at the cactus patches on the islet as the tide was pretty high.

click to enlarge

16 km, YTD 779 km