Saturday, December 23, 2023

December 23 - Discovery Island (#30)

I paddled over to Staines Island to meet up with Fraser (past student!) for a paddle. We had a great paddle around the islands getting caught up and chatting about kayaking and birds! We saw a nice collection of birds We also saw harbour seals and Steller sea lions - and heard California sea lions! Currents were benign and there was no lumpy water to speak of.

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15 km, YTD 339 km.

This will be my last paddle of the year as I am heading south soon. 30 paddles and 339 km is the second lowest in the 18 years of this blog! Too much time on expedition ships?

Year #Year# paddleskm totalkm per paddle

Monday, November 13, 2023

November 13 - Discovery Island (#29)

I paddled out to Maynard (Smuggler's) cove to meet Dan and Paulo for a paddle around the islands. Conditions were very nice with a favourable current for the outward and return trip! You can see our pace was fast for the outward journey around the east side. There was a little bit of lumpy water here and there. Birding was good with nice sightings of a dozen or so Ancient Murrelets (! First for me this season! We also saw some Steller sea lions on the rock off Seabird point. I also met Tom and Maureen from the house by the beach on my way home.

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15 km, YTD 324 km

Friday, November 10, 2023

November 10 - Chatham Island (#28)

I paddled out to Cadboro Point to join Dan and Paulo for a paddle out to the islands. It was hard work getting out to the point with a stiff head wind and lumpy water. I said that I did not think I could do the whole circuit so we did a smaller circuit around the Chatham Islands. Once we were across Baynes we were in the lee and also over the course of the paddle, the wind speed dropped. As a result, the p[addle back was a lot easier. We also had a bit of current assist for the crossing back.

I did see a decent number of birds including lots of marbled murrelets. 17 species:

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11 km, YTD 309 km

Saturday, November 04, 2023

November 4th - Oak Bay (#27)

I joined Michael, Ali and Jo for a coaching session with Gordon Brown. Lots of great tips and I was tired at the end of the day even though we only went 5k! As you can see from the track we were between the Oak Bay Beach Hotel and the Marina. Conditions were not bad and we had several nice rainbows!

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5 km, YTD 298 km

Thursday, October 19, 2023

October 19 - Discovery island (#26)

I paddled out to Cadboro Point to join Dan and Paulo for a paddle around the islands. As soon as I got to Cadboro Point, the fog came down, so the visibility crossing Baynes was so-so. You can see from the track we accidentally went 90 degrees to our intended path! Other than the fog, conditions were great - light winds and a small ebb current. The sea was mostly glassy and the fog gave things a magical atmosphere.

I saw a good number of birds - partial list here: 

We saw one sea lion near Seabird Point and hundreds of harbour seals

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16 km, YTD 293 km

Sunday, October 01, 2023

October 1 - Loon Bay SUP (#25)

I went for a short afternoon SUP paddle to Loon Bay and back via the yacht club. I could see Rainier today as the air was much cleaner after the rains!

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2 km, YTD 277 km

Monday, September 18, 2023

September 18 - Cadboro Bay (#24)

I went for an afternoon paddle after getting a bunch of tasks finished. Kind of a reward. Lovely conditions. I tried the kayak mode on my watch as well as my regular GPS (Etrex HCx). Both gave similar results, though my watch went 30m further! 

Ten species of birds recorded: 

from the eTrex HCx

From my Garmin Fenix watch

6 km, YTD 275 km

Saturday, July 22, 2023

July 22 - Oak Bay (#23)

I went for a morning paddle over to Oak bay. I took a short break on a beach by OBB hotel and then made my way back. Lovely conditions!

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9 km, YTD 269 km

Friday, June 16, 2023

June 2nd, 3rd,9th and 12th - Haida Gwaii (#s 18-22)

I was up in Gwaii Haanas for a couple ofd trips and managed to get five short paddles in.

June 2nd and 3rd - De La Beche Inlet

I managed to take guests out for an afternoon and an early morning paddle in De La Beche Inlet. Such a lovely spot with plenty of seals following us!
click to enlarge - De La Beche
6 km

June 9 - Dolomite Point

I managed to get out before and after breakfast for paddles with guests before heading to Dolomite (Burnaby Narrows)
I had a great encounter with a young seal who followed me for almost the entire paddle - it even came up and played with my paddle!
click to enlarge - Dolomite point
6 km

June 12 -  Echo Harbour

We managed to get out for a short paddle before dinner in Echo Harbour. A lovely last paddle of the trip.
click to enlarge - Echo Hbr
2 km

All paddles

all tracks - click to enlarge

14 km, YTD 260 km

Friday, May 26, 2023

May 26 - Discovery island (#17)

Dan and I paddled out of Killarney to go around the islands. Conditions were excellent! No wind and very little current, so we made a good pace. we saw both the SALTS ships, Pacific Grace and Pacific Swift. swift was in Cadboro Bay and Grace was off Puget Cove on Chatham. It is a little hazy to the east - fire smoke? - and we could barely see Mt Baker. We did see both Steller Sea Lions and a California Sea lion male. The Steller's were on Brinn Rock and the California was swimming in the are and barking regularly!

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15 km, YTD 246 km.

Sunday, May 21, 2023

May 21 - Telegraph Cove (#16)

Dave and I led a small group of SISKA paddlers on another intertidal exploration paddle. We originally planned to operate out of Willows Beach but we decided to move to Telegraph Cove due to the winds and the possibility of lumpy water. We had a beach talk about tides and intertidal life followed by an exploration of the low tide area by kayak. We ended up pretty much avoiding any significant wind and saw many seaweeds and marine invertebrates. A lovely day on the water!

We also saw a lot of purple "ochre stars" - more than I have seen around here in some time!

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4 km, YTD 231 km

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

May 17th - Discovery Island (#15)

I organized a "Wednesday group" paddle to go around the islands - 20 kayaks and 21 paddlers. We had great conditions. Lots of nice colours in the track. I decided to head out into the gap/Baynes early since there was a strong flood current and we had a nice push back into the bay. Nice coffee visit after at the Moka house.

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16 km, YTD 227 km

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

may 16th - Margaret Bay (#14)

I paddled out to Cadboro Point to meet Dan and Paulo, intending to paddle around the islands, but it was quite windy from the south, so we decided to paddle north instead. Conditions were great! :) On the way back I had the wind mostly at my back for the paddle into the bay which was nice!

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20 km, YTD 211 km.

Sunday, May 14, 2023

May 14th - Discovery Island ((#13)

I paddled over to Staines Island to meet Fraser who is over from Vancouver for a paddle around the Islands. Conditions were excellent - sunny, not too much wind or current. As we paddled across Baynes Channel, I noticed that the VK cardinal buoy at Fulford Reef was gone. As we approached Seabird Point (1.6 NM to the SSW) we noticed a north cardinal buoy, paddled over to it and sure enough it was VK (Victor Kilo), so it has moved quite a bit in the past few weeks!  The navigational buoys around Victoria are usually prefaced with a V - one of my favourites is the VF buoy which is almost at the US-Canada border south of Race Rocks. I have been out there a few times fishing for coho! You can see where we paddled around the buoy at the easternmost part of the track.

We saw some Steller sea lions, harbour seals as well as surf scoter, rhinoceros auklet, pelagic and Brandt's cormorant, Canada goose (a few with small chicks), and pigeon guillemot.

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17 km, YTD 191 km

Sunday, May 07, 2023

May 7th - Oak Bay (#12)

Dave and I led an "intertidal paddle" for SISKA. We began on the beach where we talked about how tides work and also how life handles the intertidal zone. We then set off to cruise along the shore looking at seaweeds and intertidal invertebrates. I use these handy ID guides. We had a low tide of 0.0 m in Oak Bay today! On my way home, I went over to Flower Island to do some ecological work. Just before we launched I saw a couple who had just built themselves Cape Falcon F1 kayaks - nice to see a couple more in Victoria! 

ID guides - click to enlarge

paddle route -click to enlarge

11 km, YTD 174 km (The club portion of the paddle was about 3 km!)

Thursday, April 27, 2023

April 27th - Discovery Island (# 11)

I paddled out to Cadboro Point to join Paulo and Dan for a paddle around the islands. There was little current for the way over and a bit more on the way back, but conditions were generally nice , so no lumpy water! I saw a couple of folks on Griffin Island who were doing plant surveys for the ecological reserve and checked in with them. We also recovered some crab floats off Jemmy Jones.

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16 km, YTD 163 km

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

April 19th - Discovery Island (#10)

I paddled out to Cadboro Point to meet Dan and Paulo for a trip around the islands. When we started, it was a bit windy and there was some SE swell in Baynes which made for some lumpy water while crossing. Once across the channel conditions calmed down and we had a nice paddle around the islands. I ran into some of the "Wednesday group" on Cadboro bay beach, but they were leaving quite a bit later than us. By the time we were heading back both wind and current had lessened, making for a pleasant, easy crossing!

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16 km, YTD 147 km

Tuesday, April 04, 2023

April 4th - Discovery Island (#9)

I paddled out to Smuggler's Cove to meet Dan and Paulo for a paddle around the islands. Crossing over there was current and wind at our backs, so we made good speed in spite of the lumpy water. On the way back, I split off near Heritage Point, but you can see how the headwind and current slowed my progress.

Birding was good and I saw at least 16 species:

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15 km, YTD 131 km

Sunday, April 02, 2023

April 2nd - SISKA birding paddle to Chatham Island (#8)

I led a SISKA paddle with Daniel Donnecke and 10 other members from Oak Bay Marina to the Chatham Islands. we had great birding with 35 species seen! I paddled from home (Cadboro Bay) to Oak Bay to meet the group and back afterwards so added just over 8 km to the paddle. Some highlights were a rock sandpiper, several long-tailed duck and a greater yellowlegs!

Daniel's checklists:

the track - click to enlarge

21 km, YTD 116 km

Sunday, March 26, 2023

March 26 - Discovery Island (#7)

I paddled out to Cadboro Point where I met Dan and Paulo to a paddle around the islands. It was good to get out in my home "paddling grounds". There was a bit of a headwind and some lumpy water to begin with as well as a strong ebb current. The winds and sea conditions improved over the paddle and it was nice to see the usual seabirds and a group of sea lions by seabird point! The current was still strong on the return and though I went due west, I was pointing north-west!

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16 km, YTD 95 km

March 20th - Lake Taupo (#6)

I rented a SOT kayak from Taupo Kayaking Adventures in Acacia Bay on Lake Taupo to paddle to the Maori carving. I had great conditions and a fun paddle. I also managed to get Monica to paddle and see the carving (she hiked out to the point and then we switched places in the kayak for a bit!).

the track - click to enlarge

the carving - click to enlarge

11 km, YTD 79 km

March 1st, 2023 - Quail Island (NZ) (#5)

John Kirk-Anderson of KASK very kindly offered to take me out for an afternoon paddle around Quail Island (Thanks for the connection, Gary!). We met up at his boat shed and john was able to loan me a kayak and gear. We had great conditions and a nice paddle. We spent some time with the wrecks (Darra), some nice geology and birds - including my first Spoonbills of the trip! We also visited some of the historic buildings on shore.

the track. I had an issue with my GPS for the first part!

me in the wreck of the Darra

8 km, YTD 68 km

Thursday, January 19, 2023

January 19th - Discovery Island (#4

I paddled out to Cadboro Point to join Dan and Paulo for a paddle around the islands. conditions were very nice - no current to speak of and no lumpy water! I could see the silhouette of Mt Rainier in the distance as I set out as well as a 22 degree ice halo around the sun. There were so many logs in the bay as a result of the high tides this past week and also a lot of plastic (especially stryrofoam) floating as well. This had all been re-mobilized as a result of the high tides. I wish we could find some solutions to this issue...

Birding was good:

Managed to get four nice paddles in this past week! :)

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16 km, YTD 60 km

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

January 17 - Discovery Island (#3)

Dan and I went for a morning paddle around the islands (my first of the year!). Though there was not much wind the water was fairly lumpy until we came back around Commodore Point on Discovery and headed back for Cadboro bay. It was nice to see some marbled and ancient murrelets as well as long-tailed ducks. The bird list: . We also were treated to half a dozen Steller's sea lions at Seabird Point.

The waters around Seabird Point were the lumpiest I have paddled in for quite some time. Some combination of swell and current made for steep and confused waves.  I was definitely tired at the end of the paddle!

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15 km, YTD 44 km

Sunday, January 15, 2023

January 15 - Cadboro Point (#2)

Dorothea and I led a club clinic to practice sea kayaking in currents. The five participants all made great progress over the morning. At the end I took a short detour to play in the lumpy water at Cadboro Point Light. Also on the way back we saw Paulo, Dan and Ellen paddling back from going around Discovery and stopped for a quick chat.  A nice morning on the water!

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8 km, YTD 29 km

Saturday, January 14, 2023

January 14 - Gordon head (#1)

I paddled around to Telegraph Cove to join 12 others on a SISKA  paddle led by Jo. It was nice to get out on a SISKA paddle again and it was a great first paddle of the year. A highlight of the paddle was seeing a feeding grey whale of Glencoe Cove. Surfaced several times around us.

click to enlarge

21 km, YTD 21 km!