Saturday, March 3, 2012

SISKA Relaxed Paddle - Brentwood Bay to Coles Bay 3/3/12

Preparing to head out for the day from the beach next to the Brentwood Bay ferry dock

This morning we headed to Brentwood Bay to participate in the SISKA Relaxed Paddle to Coles Bay. The marine weather forecast was for cloudy conditions with temperatures of 9°C and wind predicted around 10 knots from the SW. A good size group of 19 paddlers took advantage of the spring weather conditions with the goal of making our way to Coles Bay to stop for lunch. While preparing our rides the westerly winds started making their presence known with the occasional gusts that had the ferry wind sock blowing straight out at times. Our paddler leader Lynn Baier reviewed the plan for the day, made sure that we all had immersion gear and once the introductions were done we headed out for a great day on the water.

Heading north out of Brentwood we approached the Tsartlip First Nations lands and we could hear drums beating and song from the long house just off the beach. Many times we have passed these lands on the highway but you cannot see the long house from the road so it was special to see the smoke rise from the fires within and exit through the roof vents. I would have loved to paddle to the shore, ask for permission to land from the chief and take in the ceremony within the long house. Maybe one day.

Continuing our paddle along the shoreline towards Coles Bay the presence of white caps off Henderson Point  changed our plans as the conditions were such that it exceeded the Relaxed Paddle guidelines. Lynn paddled beyond the point to check the conditions and when she returned the decision was made to turn around and head south through the Brentwood Bay Marina and into Tod Inlet.

Making our way back I took some more video with my deck bag mounted GoPro Hero 2 and playing around with my editing software at home I added a little intro to the beginning of the clip using Sony's Vegas Movie Studio Platinum 11 software.  I'm starting to understand the editing software the more I use it (makes sense) and it won't be long until I have full Hollywood quality movies produced. LOL

After a quick stop for lunch at a beach by the government dock in Brentwood Bay we headed towards the majestic Tod Inlet. This was our second venture into the inlet but first with our own kayaks and it is such a neat place to paddle with it's steep forested  valley walls. This is also one of the marine access points to the world famous Butchart Gardens.

Heading into Tod Inlet and out of the influence of the winds

Paddling to end of the inlet we turned and started our trek back towards our launch point. Recent rolling student graduate Kari Challenger decided it was time to christen her new Kokatat Dry Suit and try her first ocean roll. So we all gathered around in support of her quest while I let the GoPro do it's thing as she completed not only one but two perfect rolls under the watchful eye of our group leader! Great job Kari!!

After this great demonstration of recently gained paddling skills by Kari, we continued our trek back to the beach to end our day. By this time the sun was out, spring was trying its best to say "I'm here" and ..... the winds really started to blow from the west. Today was a great assortment of paddling and with a paddle time of just over 4 hours we covered 13.70 km. When you are with 19 others who have the same passion it just makes it that much better.  Thanks SISKA members and special thanks to our group leader for making it all possible. 

Next Up ...... let's see what tomorrow or this week brings.

Happy Paddling


  1. Sounds like you had a good time. We're wondering how the paddle was going as the winds started picking up here in town -- glad it went okay!

    1. Hi John, the great thing about Brentwood is there are many options when the winds aren't blowing in ones favour. Tod Inlet is always a great place to visit evenwhen your primary goal can't be reached.