Monday, May 03, 2021

May 3rd - Discovery Island (#46)

I paddled out to Cadboro Point to meet Dan and Paulo for a paddle around the islands. Today the sky was overcast with occasional sprinkles. The predicted 5-10 knots of wind decreased to -5 as predicted which made for easy paddling. The buffleheads have definitely all gone and there are fewer species of birds around now. It was nice to see a few marbled murrelets around.

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15 km, YTD 475 km

Sunday, May 02, 2021

May 2nd - Little Group - Paddle workshop (#45)

I joined 9 other SISKA paddlers for a full day workshop with Blue Dog Kayaking. This paddlers workshop was ably led by Alana and Evan who led us through many maneuvering strokes, rescues and tows. I enjoyed myself and picked up several tips on stokes, rescues and towing! We had stunning weather and light winds. Another great day on the water.
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9 km, YTD 460 km

Thursday, April 29, 2021

April 29th - Cadboro Bay (#44)

I helped lead a SUP session for SMUS grade 8s. We did not paddle very far, but had a nice time exploring the bay! :)

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6 km, YTD 451 km

Sunday, April 25, 2021

April 25th - Cadboro Bay (#43)

I went for a quick solo paddle around the bay on the surf ski. I stopped for a chat with Kellie and Eric at their new house. The sea was rippled and I saw relatively few birds. Interestingly, no buffleheads today - looks like they may have all gone!

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8 km, YTD 445 km

April 22nd _Gordon head (#42)

I paddled to Telegraph Cove to lead a club paddle out towards Gordon Head. Conditions were good and we had a nice paddle. I was not fully focused on birding, so the check list is incidental:

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19 km, YTD 437 km

Monday, April 19, 2021

April 18th - Karst creek (#41)

I went for an early morning paddle around the bay in front of the Ralph River Campground (before we left to head back to Victoria). The sun had risen but had not reached the lakeshore until the end of my paddle. I saw a few common mergansers and Canada geese. It is interesting to see the root systems of all the trees that were logged before the lake was dammed.

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7 km, YTD 418 km

April 17th - Myra Falls (#40)

Bill and I went for a nice morning paddle from Ralph River campground to Lower Myra Falls. The lake was flat calm with spectacular reflections. We saw a few common mergansers and Canada geese.

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13 km, YTD 411 km

April 15th - Cape Lazo (#39)

I went for a morning paddle with Bill from the campground around Cape Lazo. We saw lots of harbour seals, heard a California Sea lion as well as lots of red-breasted mergansers and harlequin ducks. Fabulous conditions again!

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7 km, YTD 398 km

April 14th - Cape Lazo (#38)

I went for a solo morning paddle along the shore towards Goose Spit from our campground. Weather conditions were spectacular - calm and sunny. I saw quite a few common loons and red-breasted mergansers and then a flock of 1000+ scoters and long-tailed ducks

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9 km, YTD 391 km

Saturday, April 10, 2021

April 10th - discovery Island (#37)

Dan and I paddled out to Cadboro Point, where we met up with Paulo for a paddle around the islands. There was not much current to begin with - a slight flood had started. By the time we got near to discovery we realized that the stiff westerly would make paddling westwards along the south shore of Discovery a challenge, we decided to paddle a figure of eight. As it turned out that was a good decision, but we paddled in some of the lumpiest water I have seen for some time! The winds at Trial were steady around 25 knots and I am sure we were paddling in 20+. When we eventually made it back I was a tad tired! I did not keep a bird checklist today... too busy paddling! By the time we were heading back, the flood was strong and between the headwind and the current, we had a hard time making it back past Cadboro Point.

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17 km, YTD 382 km

Monday, April 05, 2021

April 5th - Oak Bay to Cadboro Bay via the Islands (#36)

I joined a group organized by Gary to paddle out and around the Islands from Turkey Head/Oak Bay Marina. We made our way past the Oak Bay Beach Hotel  to Gonzales Point before heading out to the Chain group and the Islands. We had spectacular conditions and a nice lunch break in Rudlin Bay. I am not sure when I have seen so many boats out and around the Islands! The birding was good and I saw marbled murrelets in summer plumage! (

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17 km, YTD 365 km

April 4th - Loon Bay (#35)

Jenny and I SUPed over to Loon Bay via the yacht club for a short afternoon paddle. Great conditions and a nice little paddle! The tide was way out as you can see from the starting position!

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2 km, YTD 348 km

Saturday, April 03, 2021

April 3rd - Discovery Island (#34)

Dan and I went for a morning paddle around the islands. conditions were calm and we could see all of Mt Rainier to the south. There was a bit of current. The Steller sea lions were out on the rock by seabird point. There were plenty of birds around ( and it was nice to still see a marbled murrelet around as well as some rhinoceros auklets

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15 km, YTD 346 km

Saturday, March 27, 2021

March 27th - Gonzales and Cadboro Points (#33)

I paddled over to Turkey head by the Oak Bay Beach Hotel (about 4 km) to help lead a SISKA "energizer" paddle. The original intention was to paddle to Gonzales Bay but it seemed like there was a stiff westerly so we opted to stay in Oak/Cadboro Bay. Lots of the usual birds: My paddle ended up being about 8 km longer than everyone else's due to the back and forth!

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24 km, YTD 331 km

Thursday, March 25, 2021

March 25th - Cadboro Bay (#32)

Dan and I went for an afternoon SUP around the bay and encountered very nice almost windless conditions. It is neat how much more one sees of life under water from a SUP versus a kayak due to the angle.

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6 km, YTD

March 25th - Cadboro Bay (#31)

I led a group of SISKA paddlers on a "light" paddle around the bay. It was a nice relaxed jaunt around the bay. When we rounded Cadboro Point we encountered a stiff northerly breeze and lumpy water, so I decided to take the groups over to Jemmy Jones and the other side of the bay. It was nice to have Monica join me! We saw most of the usual birds: (17 species)

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8 km, YTD 301 km

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

March 24th - Chatham Island (#30)

I paddled over to Staines Island to meet Fraser and we went for a nice paddle in the rain! The wind was low but the current was building and the water in Baynes was getting lump. So we decided to paddle over towards Cattle Point. Shortly after we left Chatham I spotted a strange animal... It was a sea otter, which I have not seen in this area for years! The birding was also good!

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12 km, YTD 293 km

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

March 23rd - Discovery Island) #29

I paddled out to Cadboro Point to meet Dan and Paulo for a paddle around the Islands. Conditions were magnificent - little wind and little current. The birding was good with 23 species observed ( I did count some birds on land!) It was nice to see a couple of marbled murrelets in Rudlin bay. We saw that the wolf sculpture was being installed on the Cheryl and David's property by seabird Point. It looks great! We had a nice break on a beach in Rudlin Bay. I saw and heard a song sparrow and a white-crowned sparrow.

The wolf sculpture is being installed - click to enlarge

Steller sea lions on the rock by Seabird Pt - click to enlarge

Black turnstones and Surfbirds by seabird point - click to enlarge

Three nice kayaks on the beach - click to enlarge

My track - click to enlarge

17 km, YTD 281 km

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

March 17th - Cadboro Point (#28)

Dan and I decide to head out for a quick paddleboard trip this afternoon and had great conditions (no wind and no lumpy water) for our trip to Cadboro Point and back. We had nice conditions for birding and picked up 12 species. Dan was paddling his new SUP, a RED Voyager 13'2". It is a nice board!

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6km, YTD 264 km

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

March 16th - Discovery Island (#27)

I paddled out to Cadboro Point to meet Dan and Paulo for a paddle around the islands. Conditions were great with nice views of Mt Baker and Mt Rainer. I saw plenty of the usual birds but did not list them today. I have not seen murrelets (ancient or marbled) recently...  We had some fun playing in the current between Vantreight and Chatham.

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17 km, YTD 258 km

Monday, March 15, 2021

March 15th - Chain Islands (#26)

Michael and I paddled from Cadboro Bay on a birding mission to find rock sandpipers. Along the way we saw lots of good birds and were rewarded with our goal at the south end of the Chain group. Bird list (23spp) here: Nice conditions and birding made for a great paddle. I also used my Nikon P950 in the kayak and was very pleased with the results. I also got a shot of cormorants that very clearly showed several Brandt's cormorants.

rock sandpipers -click to enlarge

Brandt's and double-crested cormorants - click to enlarge

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13 km, YTD 241 km

Thursday, March 11, 2021

March 11 - Cadboro Bay (#25)

 I led a group of 4 paddlers for a SISKA light paddle around Cadboro bay.

Very nice conditions with plenty of birds!

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9 km, YTD 228 km

Sunday, March 07, 2021

March 7th - Cadboro Point (#24)

I led a SISKA currents clinic in the channel at Cadboro Point with Michael E and four keen participants. The current was barely ebbing when we arrived at 9ish, but was running nicely when we stopped around noon. Off the point there were some "haystacks" and very lumpy water. The channel was calm and gave us plenty of opportunity to practice our eddy to eddy S turns and ferrying across the channel. It was nice to see everyone develop their skill and confidence. We also managed to avoid the early morning wind as well as the wind that picked up after we left!

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10 km, YTD 217 km

Monday, March 01, 2021

March 1st - Discovery Island (#23)

Dan and I paddled out of Killarney to meet Paulo at Cadboro Point for a paddle around the islands. The winds were pretty calm throughout but there was a strong ebb as evidenced by the track speeds crossing Baynes and on the SE side of Discovery. Paddling back across Baynes was hard work but we made it without falling below Jemmy Jones! Good birding today with a lot of surf scoters and more red-breasted mergansers than I normally see/notice: There were a good number of Steller's sea lions on the two rocks off Seabird Point. On our way back, Dan and I checked my crab trap. Unfortunately there was just one legal red rock crab which I threw back.

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16 km, YTD 207 km

Sunday, February 28, 2021

February 28th - Cadboro Bay (#22)

I decided to try the SUP as a "crabbing platform" and used a kayak paddle while seated. I came home with one nice crab which will do us both for dinner. There were not as many birds visible on my route today - only 3 species: buffleheads, Canada geese and g-w gulls.

The SUP board with a kayak paddle worked pretty well and I may have been going faster sitting with a kayak paddle than standing with a SUP paddle! The board was definitely stable enough to bring a trap out of the water as well as rebaiting etc. You can see where I drifted while bring the trap up and emptying it as the orange section. The ten knot SE wind was pushing me slowly back into the bay.  

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3 km, YTD 191 km

Saturday, February 27, 2021

February 27th - Cadboro Bay (21)

I led two SISKA workshops on towing today. We learned about the gear involved and practiced various techniques. We had good conditions for both clinics, though by the end of the day, the water had become a bit lumpy with the increasing wind. At the end of the afternoon, a few of us paddled out to check my crab trap which had two nice keepers in it. Another nice day on the water!

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6km YTD 188 km

Friday, February 19, 2021

February 19th - Cattle Point (#20)

Dan and I went for a late morning paddleboard out to Cattle Point. It was a bit windier than we expected/wanted which made the paddling a bit challenging as the water was lumpy in places and we are not as steady on the boards as in our kayaks! Our speed on the way out against the headwind was slower than the return as can be seen in the track. However, we never got up to our usual kayak cruising speed! As we did not go far from the shore, I did not see that many bird species (11):

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5 km, YTD 182 km

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

February 17th - Cadboro Bay (#19)

I went for a birding paddle around the bay on the surf ski, stopping to look at and try to photograph some of the birds I saw (see below). I saw 21 species including the starlings on the road walking home! You can see many of the spots I stopped to look/photograph by the slow spots on the track.

common goldeneye - click to enlarge

a pair of marbled murrelets - click to enlarge

male and female hooded mergansers - click enlarge

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7 km, YTD 177 km

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

February 16th - discovery island (#18)

I paddled out to Cadboro Point where I met up with Dan and Paulo to paddle around the islands. Conditions were great, with a following current, until we rounded the corner at seabird Point (There were about 20 Steller sea lions on the two rocks). From Seabird Point to Commodore Point we were fighting a stiff headwind and lumpy water. Once around Commodore Point, the wind was on our side and the going was easier though we had current against us. You can see a big difference in my speed over ground between the outward trip and the return. Since the tide was at a middling level, there seemed to be many more shorebirds around including a small sandpiper I coould not ID. Today was a good birding day with 29 species recorded!

my track - click to enlarge
16 km, YTD 170 km

Saturday, February 13, 2021

February 13th - Cadboro Bay in snow (#17)

I went for an afternoon paddle because I could! :) There was ~8 inches of snow in the street walking down to the beach but the bay was reasonably calm. I managed a good birding session with 14 species ( in spite of the visibility. No one else on the water today and the RVUC boats were under snow (see below)

a view of the bay - click to enlarge

another view of the bay - click to enlarge

Dighies @ RVYC - click to enlarge

my track - click to enlarge
5 km, YTD 154 km

Sunday, February 07, 2021

February 7th - Cadboro Point (#16)

I led a group of SISKA paddlers (Sean, Julie, Darlene, Steven and  Leanne) out to play in the currents at Cadboro Point. We had fun learning how to do eddy to eddy S-turns and get a feel for moving water. Unfortunately we had to leave earlier than intended due to rising winds. We had a bit of lumpy water and wind in our face for the paddle back to Flower Island. It was cool to see both ancient and marbled murrelets close to Flower Island. We also had nice views of harbour seals and river otters. The bird checklist is here:

A cool coincidence. Jennifer P happened to be flying by the point in a friend's plane and took this shot - you can see the kayaks from two of our group below the "glass house":

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Steven and Sean by the glass house - click to enlarge

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There is a link to view a zoomable version temporarily available here: 

7 km, YTD 149 km.

Saturday, February 06, 2021

February 6th - Finnerty Cove (#15)

Edgar and I set out from Cadboro Bay in relatively good conditions to paddle out to Cadboro Point and Maynard Cove where we met Jennie and Delcie. Due to the westerlies the current channel was a bit sloppy so we decided to paddle northwestwards and made it to Finnerty Cove for a lunch break.
If you look at the track plot, you can see by the colours that we had the westerlies and current in our face slowing us down. You can also see that Edgar and I had a strong headwind slowing us down between Cadboro Point and Flower Island. Between Cadboro Point and Flower Island the waters were a bit lumpy but for the rest of the trip we had pretty calm seas. It was harder to see birds in the lumpy waters, but we still managed to find 15 species: It was good to get a nice look at some surfbirds - I have not seen them very often this winter. I was also happy to see both ancient and marbled murrelets fairly close to shore.
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14 km, YTD 142 km

Friday, February 05, 2021

February 5th - Cadboro Bay (#14)

Dan and I went for an afternoon SUP around the bay. It was a bit windy from the SE to begin with which made paddling out hard. We crossed the bay, which was a bit lumpy, kneeling and then took a big rest at Flower Island. While we were resting the wind died down. A bit harder to see birds today but I still saw the usual suspects:

Paddling a SUP definitely uses a different set of muscles!

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5 km, YTD 128 km

Wednesday, February 03, 2021

February 3rd - Chatham Island (#13)

 I Joined Jennie's group of Wednesday paddlers (Jennie, Julie, Julia, Pat, Diane and Barry) for a play in currents at Cadboro Point. A nice ebb had set in and we had fun ferrying back and forth and playing in the eddies. After a while we decided to head over to Chatham, encountering some lumpy water on the way. The "sluice" was running well and we had fun playing there too. On the way back the current was weaker and we made it over to Jemmy Jones and Cattle Point. We experimented with each others' paddles and I was able to give some pointers on greenland-style paddling. Sunny without too much wind made for a great day on the water. I was not as focussed on birding today so I submitted an incidental ebird list: The view of Mt. Baker today was spectacular!

our lunch spot - click to enlarge

Yours truly playing in the current - click to enlarge

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13 km, TDT 125 km