Friday, June 29, 2012

Four Seasons

Last Sunday there was a change in our paddling plans so Robyn and I slept in for the first time in a while and when we managed to get out of bed we decided that it would be a great day to launch out of Island View Beach and paddle to James Island. 

Heading north we made our way to Cordova Spit where there was a rip tide of currents and opposing winds on the other side. We were taking photos of the town of Sidney in the distance and noticed that were being pulled into the rip from the back eddy on the south side of the spit. At this point we decided to back track a bit before entering the main ebb flow currents of Cordova Channel and head over to James Island.

The ebb flow was fairly noticeble on the crossing as we ferried our way to the lagoon and sneaked a look at the yacht named C4 at the dock. It is pretty evident that the island is private just by some of the signs posted above the high tide line. 

James Island is privately owned by Craig McCaw who was a pioneer in the cellular phone industry in the 1980's and he bought the island for 19 million in 1994. Boasting a Jack Nicklaus designed golf course, airstrip, and many other luxuries the island is now up for sale. Price tag?? 75 million!

From the lagoon we headed south to get a close up view of the bluff that can be seen from any high vista lookouts around Victoria. Formed during the last ice age it is an impressive sight close up and a great example of how many of the islands around Vancouver Island were formed. It reminded me much of Denman Island that we recently visited.

Being exposed to the SE winds we started to notice that the water was beginning to get darker indicating that the winds were picking up a little bit. We decided to then visit fellow kayakers Peter and Wendy who are staying at the Beachcomber RV Resort south of Island View Beach. From James Island this was a 4 km crossing (our longest yet) and with the ebb flow and opposing SE winds the water got a "little" choppy in the middle of the channel. We did have bail out options to divert direct to our put in location if needed but the ebb flow carried us at a pretty good clip at around 8 km/h right in the direction of the RV park.

We spotted the paddle up bar (Arctic Fox RV) on the far right and Peter welcome us ashore while Wendy was picking up refreshments for our arrival. It was then that I took my Sony Cybershot camera out of it's open zip lock bag that I keep in my spray skirt only to discover that it was "wet from taking a few waves on the crossing. Sure enough it wouldn't work any more so that just confirmed that I really need a waterproof digital camera.

After a refreshing beer on the beach (thanks Wendy), Peter decided to head onto the water and paddle back to Island View Beach with us before he headed over to James Island for a little work out. It was great to see Peter and Wendy again.

Oh yeah ...... the Four Seasons thing. Well we started paddling last Fall, continued through Winter, played some more in the Spring and this weekend paddles were our first in the Summer. Sort of a full circle thing and during this time we have been on the water 40 times. Not bad for newbies!

Heads for blog posts this weekend ..... new "Gear Head" arrivals and the Victoria MEC Paddlefest. 

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