Saturday, October 20, 2012

Where Has All The Summer Gone

Silence on our part over the past two weeks doesn't mean that we have put the kayaks away for the winter and we are entering hibernation for the next five months. Contrary to the fact, we spent last weekend indoors at the Crystal Pool working on rolling techniques in preparation for our up coming winter kayak season.

Getting it done in the pool

Kayaking in winter you say??? Well, those of you who have been following our adventure know that we started this passion just over a year ago and there wasn't much that stopped us from being on the water even in our wet suits and bundled up to build time on the water.

This weekend we are back at the Pedder Bay RV Resort but what a change in the weather from a couple weeks ago when it was 18C. The much needed rains came to the west coast this past week and with it the beginning of winter arrived with the first wind storm. A lot of things have changed in terms of equipment since last year and today we experienced winter kayaking in our Kokatat dry suits which not only kept us dry but more importantly allowed us to keep nice and toasty on our first winter like paddle.

The weather forecast simply wasn't the greatest but with the possibility of thunder storms, predicted westerly winds of 20 knots on the Juan De Fuca Straight and a 4+ knot ebb running at Race Rocks we headed out into Pedder Bay to do a little exploring. Pedder Bay has become one of our favourite places to paddle as it offers so many different conditions depending on where you go and what the weather is doing. One of our goals for the day was to make it to Bentinck Island and see what the conditions were like for a possible transit into Becher Bay.

As we left the marina the Katabatic like winds were starting to pick up really good but we were bundled up for a brisk day on the water. Robyn was sporting her new "yak hat" that she picked up at the Fulford Harbour ferry terminal on Saltspring Island this past August. We both knew it would come in handy and today she was "stylin". 

Paddling out of the bay we were greeted by the glorious warm sunshine with a view of the snow dusted peaks of the Olympic Mountains across the straight. But that wouldn't last for long as we made our way past the DND jetty and towards Bentinck Island where we became exposed to the westerlies and an approaching front. Entering Enetdyk Pass it was clearly evident that we wouldn't be making it to Becher Bay with the breakers rolling into the west end of the pass.

A little GoPro Hero 2 video in the Pass. Check out the color under water.

Race Rocks Lighthouse just beyond Bentinck Island
Like we have done many times, we reassessed the conditions and decided to head back into Pedder Bay and made the crossing over to William Head.  Half way across the  northerly winds coming out of the bay collided with the westerly winds creating a pretty good wind rip of waves and spray. A good energizer work out for sure.

Reaching William Head we slogged our way back into the bay until the the landscape shielded us from the crazy winds. Being on the water is always special but today when we reached the boat launch it felt so good to take off our dry suits and be perfectly warm and dry. Winter paddling??? Love it!!!

Next weekend we are back in the pool on Saturday night with the folks from Ocean River Sports to work on more rolling techniques. On Sunday we will be participating in the SISKA Energizer Paddle outside the Sooke Basin and maybe play in the waves a bit. Who knows .... maybe I'll even attempt a "head freeze" ocean roll too!  :-)

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