Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Little Bit Of Everything

After spending a soggy Saturday at the Victoria Tea Festival we were anxious to see if the weather man might be wrong about his Sunday forecast of rain and wind not really suited for kayaking. Sleeping in until 07:30 which is very rare for me I woke up to overcast skies with the sun trying its darnest to break through. Naw.... the weather man is always right isn't he???

Powering up the laptop I pondered what type Keurig java I would need to kick start this morning while trying to make a decision whether to take in a yoga practice or load the kayaks for a day on the water. Checking all my favourite internet sources for marine weather and wind / current forecasts suggested that we just might be able to get in a few hours of exploring so it was time to wake up my paddling buddy and get suited up for another day on the water.

A few weeks back we explored some of the small islands just north of Sidney with the SISKA paddlers and with only a 40% chance of showers and winds predicted to be around 15 knots SW swinging to SE later in the day, we decided to do some more exploring of the area. The SISKA "Energizer" paddle was also somewhere in the area but we didn't see them from our Ardwell Ave. put in location. Crossing Tsehum Harbour we only encountered a few sail boats heading out to catch the winds in the Sidney Channel and we were assisted by a noticeable flood current on our outbound track and a slight breeze on our backs.

Making our way past Canoe Bay we entered Iroquois Passage with the goal of checking out the public dock in Swartz bay. It was also a great opportunity to see the BC Ferries from the water as the Coastal and Spirit ships came by.  

Heading around the northern end of Goudge Island into John Passage the SW winds swung around to SE as predicted with a rain squall following closely behind. As we rounded the southern end of Goudge, whitecaps started showing themselves between Tsehum Harbour and Little Shell Island so we detoured between Fernie Island and into the sheltered waters of Canoe Bay. After spending a few minutes exploring Canoe Cove Marina we started heading back along the protected shoreline into Tsehum Harbour. 

In close formation with Geocko Paddler #1 (LOL) as we transit under the docks

The squall gradually passed and the winds started to fall as rapidly as they began and we stopped for lunch at the public beach where we had been with SISKA a few weeks back. We both brought a thermos of hot tea made from our purchases at the Tea Festrival and it was the perfect warm-me-up before we headed back onto the water.

Our plan was to further explore deeper into Tsehum Harbour but the once again the SE winds started to rise and whitecaps started forming pretty easily so we decided it was time to head back towards Roberts Bay  where we left just over 3 hours earlier. Working our way through a good chop to Armstrong Point I looked to my left and behold a flotilla of kayaks were making their way across the harbour on an intersecting course as ours. The SISKA "Energizer" paddlers closed rapidly and we joined up with them to exchange a few hellos  and to continue the transit past the point with them. Great timing for my GoPro to run out of memory as it would have made for great pictures of us joining the group. Can't wait for that Wi-Fi BacPac to become available!

After rounding Armstrong Point together we left the SISKA paddlers as they were heading towards Amherst Beach just beyond Roberts Point. The water in that direction didn't look friendly at all (+ 15 knot wind) but I did notice the group tighten their formation before reaching the point as they paddled out of view. During our load up back at the beach we kept looking back to Roberts Point where the breakers seemed to get larger. At the end of the day, we got to experience  a variety weather and sea conditions and by using good judgement and common sense during the trip we further explored our personal comfort zones. All in all..... a great day on the water!    


  1. Looks like a nice day's paddling, Mark. Strange, but in all these years, we've never paddled much "south of the Malahat" - always Maple Bay and up-Island. We'll have to investigate your area, for sure. It's not like it's a long drive for us! D.

    1. We were thinking the same thing about heading into your neck of the Salish as the warmer weather starts moving in. Might be a good RV weekend get away ;-)

  2. Nice paddle! But we decided that breakfast in bed and snuggling warm furry cats was the way to go last weekend. Hopefully Spring will arrive soon!