Saturday, December 31, 2011

Paddling Out 2011

After another interesting night of weather at the camp we woke up to clear skies and slight winds but everything was frozen solid from the sleet that pounded down on us last night. I made the slightest suggestion to Robyn of heading out for a paddle and next thing we were suited up and on our way. We decided to launch out of Cooper's Cove as we expected there would be mirror like conditions but prepping the kayaks on the coldest day we have paddled in so far was a bit of a challenge. At least we didn't have to dump the water out of the cockpit covers since it was a frozen block of ice. Yeah..... I should have taken a picture DOH!

Trying not to get our feet wet I helped Robyn into her ride nice and dry I came up with the great plan of resting the stern of my yak on a log with the bow in the water. My theory was that I could get into the cockpit and with a nudge slide into the water. HA!!!! Butt and one foot in and the kayak decided it wanted to head to the water with me half in. Contact with the water resulted in a half roll, one leg soaked and Robyn chuckling nearby. Another DOH!

Last day of the year... you wouldn't think it is Dec 31st.

Back to more conventional loading techniques and I (we) were soon on our way out of the cove heading south towards Billings Point. Lots of Cormorants sunning themselves on the pilings on this brisk morning. They didn't seem to mind us today. We have found that Cormorants tend to be very nervous and don't hang around for their picture to be taken unless it is from a distance.

On the opposite side of the spit

We made our way along the shoreline down to the point where the ebbing current carried me past the spit to the opposite side. Checking our GPS track later I noticed that as we came closer to the spit our speed increased (dark blue) without even paddling as the ebb flow from the basin was taking us for a ride.  Robyn managed to get  a picture of me poking around the spit before I entered the current and worked my way back over to her. For the next kilometre we had a pretty good work out against the ebb current until we got out into open water on our way back to Cooper's Cove.

Crossing the Sooke Basin on a day when the water was like glass was amazing. We were visited by numerous seals that were hanging out around the crab traps. We were also taught a lesson today when the water in front of us came "alive" with a strong breeze from the east.

One second like glass....... the next here comes the wind.

In a split second the water rippled all around us and within the next 5 minutes we were slogging through a 1.5 foot chop just starting to threaten us with whitecaps. We took a few waves over the bow and it was a good workout paddling against the predicated 15-20 knot winds. A bit of everything today to make the last paddle of the year memorable.

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year for 2012

Mark & Robyn


  1. What a great way to close out the year! We had hoped to get out yesterday but didn't make it - life seems to "happen" even when you plan a paddle! With a bit of luck we'll get out in the next day or two and get a good kayaking start to the New Year! May 2012 bring you both lots of adventures on the water...and on the land, and in the air! Duncan.

  2. Thanks Duncan & Joan! Happy New Year to both of you and all the best in your reconfiguration this year.


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