Friday, July 09, 2021

July 9th - Cadboro Bay (#55)

I went for a morning paddle around the bay. Conditions were nice and calm and sunny. My primary purpose was to do a census of the Canada geese that are along the shores of the bay. They are currently molting, so will not fly and are easy to count. I counted 217 geese between Cattle Point and Cadboro Point. Only 5 were clearly young birds. In addition I saw a nice assortment of sea and shorebirds (rhinoceros auklet, black oystercatcher, killdeer and a good number of purple martins at the yacht club

https://ebird.org/canada/checklist/S91492903

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8 km, YTD 580 km


Thursday, July 08, 2021

July 8th - Discovery Island (#54)

Dan and I went out for a morning paddle around the islands - probably my last chance for a month - and had a great paddle. Conditions were windy but not bad - a bit of lumpy water here and there. It was still ebbing when we started but had turned to flood by the time we returned. I was pleasantly surprised by the number of rhinoceros auklets we saw - three groups of 20+ near Jemmy Jones Island. 

https://ebird.org/canada/checklist/S91449736

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15 km, YTD 572 km

Friday, July 02, 2021

July 2nd - Discovery Island (#53)

Dan and I went for a morning paddle out to the islands and conditions were excellent, no wind and little current. It was one of the few times I have paddled through the "sluice"  with no current. Looking at our track back from Commodore Point, it is pretty straight. We saw many Canada geese - one wonders how many of these pests the bay can support! Visibility was not great so we could not see Mts Baker or Rainier.

https://ebird.org/canada/checklist/S91143425

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15 km, YTD 557 km

Monday, June 28, 2021

June 28 - Chatham Island (#52)

I paddled over to Staines Islet to meet Fraser who is briefly in Victoria and go for a paddle. The current was fairly strong crossing Baynes, but not enough to make the water lumpy! Fraser wanted to practice his self rescues so i coached him a bit on scramble and paddle-float reentries. After that we went to play in the currents between Vantreight and Chatham islands - the "sluice". We had fun ferrying across the current and also doing eddy s-turns. https://ebird.org/canada/checklist/S90939411

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11 km, YTD 542 km

Sunday, June 27, 2021

June 27th- Cadboro bay (#51)

I went for an early SUP to avoid the heat (might have been better todo it later in the day and fall in!) and to deposit some crab shells back into the bay. It was a beautiful morning and I had a leisurely paddle looking for birds.  Though there were not many species, most were different from my usual! belted kingfisher, greater yellowlegs and many purple martins around the yacht club docs. The nest boxes must be working! https://ebird.org/canada/checklist/S90909396

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2 km, YTD 531 km

Thursday, June 24, 2021

June 24th - Discovery Island (#50)

I paddled out to Cadboro Point (Maynard Cove) to meet Dan and Paulo for a paddle around the islands. We had favourable currents on the outward and return journeys which was nice! We could see both Mt. Rainier and Mt. Baker today which was nice. There were now California or Steller's sea lions on Brinn Rock, though there were plenty of seals around. I saw a good number of marbled murrelets in their summer plumage https://ebird.org/canada/checklist/S90712315 

We had some fun chats about how so many people are on the conspiracy theory bandwagon...

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16 km, YTD 529 km


Sunday, June 20, 2021

June 20th - Discovery Island (#49)

The morning after my return from the six-week debris removal expeditions I managed to get out for a morning paddle with Dan. It was great to get out on the water after several weeks with almost no paddling. The wind and the current did not cause us much trouble (minimal lumpy water) and we saw quite a few others on the water. I found a scotsman fender/buoy on Griffin island which I managed to bring home! Mt Baker was nice and clear, but we could not see Mt. Rainier. Marbled murrelets, rhinoceros auklets, harlequin ducks, black oystercatchers, Canada geese, great blue herons were on the bird list. Looking at the track, we were able to keep up a steady pace.

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15 km, YTD 513 km


May 27th - McMicking Inlet (#48)

Carl and I went for an evening paddle to join the gang on the beach by the bog forest. We had the wind behind us on the way out and against on the way back to Cascadia. It was a beautiful evening and we also went for a short hike to the bog forest behind the beach. There were lots of sundews in the bog - more than I have seen before.

paddle track - click to enlarge

trail to the bog forest - click to enlarge

8 km, YTD 498 km

Wednesday, May 05, 2021

May 5th - Discovery Island (#47)

Dan and I went for a morning paddle (last one before I leave for MDRI2021) around the islands. There was a bit of a northerly wind but virtually no current. We decided to go through the Chathams instead of around and I saw someone on Alpha Islet ER and went to check them out. It turns out it was Matt F so no problem and we carried on. We also saw someone on Jemmy Jones and I explained to him that it was an ecological Reserve. he apologized and left the island. (I am in the process of becoming an ER warden). No lumpy water today and not that many birds. We saw Oystercatchers displaying which was cool. https://ebird.org/canada/checklist/S87222848

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15 km, YTD 490 km

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. https://ebird.org/canada/checklist/S87028821 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. https://ebird.org/canada/checklist/S86391998 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: https://ebird.org/canada/checklist/S86391771

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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! ( https://ebird.org/canada/checklist/S84889527)

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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 (https://ebird.org/canada/checklist/S84695457) 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: https://ebird.org/canada/checklist/S84231389. 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: https://ebird.org/canada/checklist/S84104872 (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! https://ebird.org/canada/checklist/S84045510

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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!)https://ebird.org/canada/checklist/S83967492 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: https://ebird.org/canada/checklist/S83481221. 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: https://ebird.org/canada/checklist/S82590200 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. https://ebird.org/canada/checklist/S82541263

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): https://ebird.org/canada/checklist/S81955989

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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 https://ebird.org/canada/checklist/S81846543 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! https://ebird.org/canada/checklist/S81768543

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 (https://ebird.org/canada/checklist/S81273597) 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