Saturday, March 10, 2012

Playing Towards Race Rocks

Bad weather forecasted for the weekend........ go RV'ing with kayaks. Simple!

All week we have been watching the "doom and gloom" forecast that the weatherman has been promising so we figured that it was time to take the RV and go camping ..... sorry :-), RV'ing but with the kayaks in tow. Arriving at our favourite local hitching post (Pedder Bay RV Resort) on Friday it looked like Mark Madryga might be right as it did nothing but pour rain all night. However ........ every day has a chance of a new beginning and we awoke to Saturday with calm winds and a mix of sun and cloud.

A totally confused Red-Breasted Sapsucker (woodpecker) looking for directions in the RV park. 

After a walk down to the office to pay our camping fees (SORRY ..... RV site fees) LOL, I checked the marine conditions on the VHF radio since the Shaw internet service was down.  We loaded the yaks and launched at 10:00am and with winds predicted at 0-15 knots from the west, and a mix of sun and cloud it was the perfect opportunity to leave the bay and head towards Race Rocks.  

Every time we venture onto the water we encourage ourselves to to stretch our comfort zone and today was no exception. Heading towards Race Rocks would mean leaving the sheltered waters of Pedder Bay and skirting the open waters of the Juan De Fuca and playing with the currents a little bit. Our plan was to work our way towards Race in a counter clockwise direction so that we would have the wind and currents at our back when heading back towards camp.

A mother and her young watch us closely in Eemdyk Pass

Spring has definitely made it's way onto the west coast and a sure sign was the abundance and variety of birds that we came across. The large number of mature bald eagles and their young were the most we have seen over the past six months in total.

Race Rocks in the distance.

One of the goals for this paddle was to view Race Rocks and while being aware what was happening with the start of the flood tide and breeze from the west we paddled to the east side of Bentinck Island. Here the lighthouse on Race Rocks became visible but exploring it closer would have to wait for another day. We explored the islets of Eemdyk Pass riding the gentle currents while watching seals basking in the sun, sea otters rolling in front us. One in particular made a big splash right behind me and I think it was his way of saying it was time for us to move on.

On our way back towards camp we crossed Pedder Bay over to William Head covering a distance of about 1.5 km. Taking note of the time, the crossing was made in around 9 minutes and from our track below you can see we reached a speed of around 8 km/h or about 4.32 knots. It was good to see that we could pick up the pace and maintain it easily. This "pacing" will come in handy when we head to Portland Island next month.

Our last stop was to visit a couple of swans that we saw close to the RV Resort Marina this morning. Using our rudders we simply let the breeze slide us past the happy couple as they preened themselves. They are such a majestic bird and don't seem to mind very quite kayakers.

Tomorrow daylight savings time comes into effect so spring must be here. I think today we got to see a lot of spring making it's way onto the west coast and just while we were getting used to paddling in the winter. :-)

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