Saturday, November 3, 2012

Relaxing With A Little Help From Our Friends

Living in one of Canada's premier kayaking destinations has many advantages. The south coast climate of British Columbia allows us to be on the water all year and there is no shortage of kayakers with the same passion as ours. Even with the possibility of rain showers and increasing winds, South Island Sea Kayaking Association members along with a number of guests took part in the Relaxed Paddle along the Saanich and Oak Bay shorelines.

A Relaxed Paddle is just what it means (an easy and informal manner) of exploration for the kayaker in the environment. No real goals, no real timelines, and no cares about what is happening beyond the shoreline we have just left behind. Simply all shared by friends who care about nothing but just being there.

Robyn goes "Camel" under the gangway ......
Under the guidance and watchful eyes of Lynn Baier (paddle leader) and Gary Jacek (pace setter) the group paddled through the Royal Victoria Yacht Club playing limbo under the gangways.

....... and back upright. Thanks yoga for making that happen! :-)
What better way to to avoid contact with the gangway structure than to perform a yoga asana of  forward folds or a version of camel. Everyone in their own way navigated the challenges of the marina kayak playground before heading towards towards the Oak Bay Marina.

Rock gardens for kayakers is not what it sounds like. It's just a term that associates us playing within the shoreline rocky outcrops that are influenced by the waves. Many times the passages are well defined and many times there is only a hint of ripples indicating the underwater jagged barnacle covered obstacles that make playing in "our" gardens challenging.

One of our paddlers today summed it up pretty well saying that "if you want to play in the rock gardens.... don't use a new boat".

Sooner or later it is going to happen and when it does the new boat (and owner) becomes officially christened after hearing that first scrape. Today my experience in the rock gardens went a little further as I saw white curly shavings from my hull float to the surface ........ it won't be the last time I think. I did happen to find a Castaway star in one of the rock garden crevices though ..... WILSON!!!!! 

After touring the Oak Bay Marina we paddled our way to Willows Beach which was our lunch stop destination. I love seeing a row of kayaks on a beach during a rest stop and today was no different other than Delta Kayaks full colors of the rainbow were displayed proudly by their owners. New paddler Ginny Glover fresh from her Go Kayak lesson the day before came along for the paddle in her green Delta 16.

Savasana in the rain after lunch :-)

After a refreshing lunch of tomato soup it was time to head back out towards our put in location and just in time as the rain started to fall. It's hard to believe but during the past year we have never paddled in the rain. Really!! I have heard that there is something special about paddling on a dead calm sea in the rain. Of course being in a dry suit helps with the experience but when the only sound you hear are the raindrops on the water the calming effect that it has on you is pretty special.  

Heading back towards our put in location the group crossed Cadboro Bay over to Flower Island for a lazy paddle on the east side of the bay back to the beach. One of the many benefits of a Relaxed Paddle is that attention to the water is not so critical (because of the calm conditions) which allows the paddlers interact with each other on a personal level. Many great friendships are formed this way and strengthens the bonds formed in a group like SISKA.

Remember last week was my first ocean roll? Practice make perfect they say so I gave it another go today before landing on the beach. The first roll was pretty good and the "head freeze" wasn't too bad either. Tempting fate I decided (urged by the onlookers) LOL to try another. It was all good until 3/4 of the way up I buried my paddle instead of continuing with the sweep. Yes it's all on video and NO.... you don't get to see that one either.  Besides ...... I needed to practice my wet exit anyway!!!  LOL

Next weekend is the Remembrance Day long weekend and we'll be based at Weir's Beach RV Campground. Lots of options depending on the weather but secretly we both want to do a little surfing right outside of the campground ;-)

Paddle #74

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