Monday, November 26, 2012

Figuring Out Discovery Island

Boy, being off the water for 15 days really wears on you but at this time of year the November winds storms sometimes keep you high and dry. You just have play the waiting game but in between weather systems there are windows of opportunities to get out there and become one with the water.

This weekend was one of those opportunities and although Saturday presented many chores to be completed we opted to play on Sunday instead. The marine forecast called for no warnings all around southern Vancouver Island so we really had lots areas to choose from. Keeping in mind that the sun sits lower in the southern skies these days was one of the factors why we chose to make a run over to Chatham and Discovery Island. With the warm sun, the tides and currents were also in our favour allowing us to get a little action crossing Baynes Channel and get some currents practice in as well.

Our put in location was at Gyro Park in Cadboro Bay and to our amazement not another kayaker was in site this morning. It just might have been the fact that we experienced our first frost of the fall over night and there was a definite chill in the air.

SUP's turning back after reaching Jemmy Jones Island. No PFD's or inclement weather wear but the did have day bags?
My guess is that they planned on going to Discovery but saw the rip in Baynes and thought twice. Good decision!!

With a brisk 5 knot NE wind meeting the flood, Baynes was showing a good rip off Strongtide Islet so we crossed over using the radio towers on Vantreight Island to keep our track on course. The goal for today was to explore the many islets that make up the Chatham / Discovery Island chain with a lunch stop at the marine park in Rudlin Bay.

Now which way to go? Hard to believe but this is the slough at high tide and we paddled right through it not knowing.

However, if one doesn't bring a chart ..... trying to find the "slough" becomes a bit of a challenge. DOH!! Yes of all things I forgot to bring was my chart of the islands (oh yeah ... and watch) so we simply started peaking here and there for that narrow play zone that we visited back in July with Yves (Go Kayak) during our currents training. For some reason the seascape totally looked different from our previous trips to the islands and it didn't dawn on me until we got home that we were on a high tide this time. All of our previous trips had been at low tides which expose many narrow passages between the islets.

Making our way south after going through the slough and not recognizing (LOL) it we headed east between Chatham and Discovery Island towards the marine park in Rudlin Bay at the south end of Discovery. This is one of my favourite locations to visit and today we had the whole bay to ourselves. It is one of those magical places that is hard to explain and pictures just don't do it justice. Simply ... you have to see it for yourself to get the feeling that you are so far away from Victoria but yet so close.

180 degree panoramic of Rudlin Bay. Sea Bird Point on the left and Commodore Point on the right.

Last weekend orcas were seen off Sea Bird Point and the wolf was also spotted but this weekend we were greeted only by seals that call Rudlin Bay home. After a hot lunch of soup and chilli it was time to head back towards civilization but we did a little more exploration and once again found ourselves at the southern end of the slough. With the ebb tide starting to flow, the slough was starting to take on it's more familiar look to us so we rode the downstream :-) current out towards Baynes and made our way across towards 10 Mile Point.

Playing at 10 Mile Point we had some Police boat company coming through Baynes Channel

Before heading back to the put in location we played in the currents running between the islets at 10 Mile Point. This is a great place to work on edging while entering the main currents and back eddies and we must come back here soon when the tide is a bit lower to get a full work out.

Another fantastic day on the water ..... then again ...... isn't every day on the water fantastic??

Paddle #76


  1. Discovery is indeed a great destination to paddle too from Victoria. Only a short paddle and you feel that you could be miles away from civilization. I love paddling through channels and do some rock gardening, playing in current and just enjoying this wonderful playground.

  2. Wow what a wonderful place for paddling. I wish I could go there paddle one day.