Monday, September 24, 2012

Duke Point Petroglyph's

Earlier this spring while staying at the Living Forest RV Campground (one of our favourites) we planned to return in the fall with Dave and Kelly Reaville by checking the tides of the Nanaimo River estuary for optimum water / paddling conditions. Selecting this weekend, the tides were perfect with most of the estuary covered by water all day allowing us to leave the river at the put in location without worrying about getting back later in the day.

To start the weekend we spent Saturday hiking / Geocaching around Newcastle Island and then went for lunch at the Dinghy Dock Pub.  The last time we were at the Dinghy Dock we arrived by kayak but this time we took the little walk-on Nanaimo Harbour Ferry. Hiking around Newcastle was the perfect way to check out the facilities of the Provincial Marine Park that we no doubt will use during a future kayak / camping trip.

Hip "Fit Kit" installed
Sunday morning we woke up to a slightly foggy morning with low clouds which the sun was working hard to break through. Over the past 36 hours there has been a noticeable change in the daily temperatures and right on target since Fall officially arrived at 07:49 in the morning. Our plan for the day was for Dave and Kelly to rent kayaks from the campground and then we would venture out across the estuary and follow the shoreline over to Duke Point. It would also be a good opportunity for us to try the Delta Fit Kits that I installed in our kayaks last week as well as our new GoPro Hero 2 Dive Housing.

Dave & Kelly's Necky's at the Living Forest Campground beach on the Nanaimo River

The campground has a fleet of Necky Rapid's which were perfect for Dave & Kelly. They have been on secluded day trips before with us and we enjoy taking them out with us to experience our kayak adventures. The conditions were absolutely perfect with no wind allowing the group to easily see the shallow bottom of the estuary. A few curious seals played around us as we made our way over to Duke Point but they never ventured close enough to see them under water. Robyn took the lead as she had the GPS with Geocaches loaded in hopes that we would be able to find some close to the shoreline. Sure enough the first one we came across was pretty neat.

Duke Point Petroglyph .... two headed wolf or dogs??

Although we are pretty sure this is not an ancient petroglyph, it was great to see from the water and only a few steps away from the high water line. This was also our first Geocache stop as it was hidden close by.

Continuing our paddle to the north we explored some of the rock gardens which Dave seemed to like to play in. Our next goal was to visit an Earthcache that was located further along the shoreline. Unlike a Geocache, an Earthcache doesn't have a hidden object but rather it brings you to a geological formation and teaches how it was formed. In this case the Earthcache was a honeycomb formation in the sandstone and to complete the challenge we needed to get information off the little bench just above on the trail.

I scrambled out of my kayak to get the information and took a picture of the Earthcache and our paddlers just below.

One thing that we didn't know about the west side of Duke Point was the amazing sandstone galleries that can only be seen from the water. We have hiked the trail along the shoreline but unless you are on the water you miss some pretty cool formations.

Having seen these types of formations before it was great to share a bit of what we do when kayaking with Dave and Kelly. This was a perfect example of why we kayak and how such and experience like this just increases our passion for being on the water.

Lunch stop
We stopped for lunch in a little cove which also had a Geocache and Dave & Kelly made their first kayak up to find. Geocaches are great to find while out for a walk or hike but they are special when you arrive by kayak.

Heading back to the campground along the shoreline the north winds started to pick up a bit. Both Dave and Kelly did great in their little kayaks and there was a hint by Dave that maybe ..... just maybe they should get a couple little kayaks. Living so close to the Brentwood Bay ferry dock we think it would be a great idea!!

The RV's from the Nanaimo River
The tide was just starting to ebb as we entered the the Nanaimo River and paddled our way back to the campground. It was now my turn to try and complete a roll in my Delta Expedition 15.5 for the first time so we found a spot on the river bank that was shallow enough to try and get 'er done. I have recently completed rolls in kayaks owned by our kayak instructors but had yet to pull one off in my Delta. So under the watchful eyes of the group I said to myself " I hope I don't screw this up" as how embarrassing would it be for Kayak Man to "head fail". LOL  I also decided to use a paddle float (thanks Sheila) for orientating my paddle power face correctly while inverted.

The rest is history .... 7 out of 7 rolls completed successfully with each one feeling a little bit better than the previous one. The best part was capturing it on video with my bow mounted GoPro Hero 2 as well as Kelly and Robyn getting other perspectives of the same rolls.

GoPro Hero 2 video

Kelly's video of roll #1

Another great day on the water shared with some good friends. With the ever increasing shorter days and cooler temperatures its time to start thinking about Fall kayaking opportunities. A year ago we just wanted to get out in calm conditions and start this amazing adventure. Now we are looking at the play zones for this Fall. Anyone want to come out and play with us??  ;-)

No comments:

Post a Comment