Sunday, December 30, 2012

By The Numbers

One sure thing about living on the west coast is that the weather forecast can change overnight (also hour to hour) and so was the case this morning. Instead of waking up to sunny skies and little wind it was just another day of clouds (although a bit colder) and the threat of 10 – 15 knot easterlies. Why would we want a perfect December day to paddle in anyway????

We decided to watch the Canadian Jr. hockey game against U.S.A. before making a move to head out on the water. Our boys did well and so it was time to go put in some kilometres from our base camp at Weir’s Beach (Parker Bay) in hopes of reaching the 700 km mark for 2012. The easterlies were starting to show themselves which we enjoyed as we had to work a bit to maintain our speed and track towards William Head.

Playing in the rock gardens we paddled into Quarantine Cove to get a better view of William Head Federal Penitentiary. Situated on the tip of William Head the prison is pretty much surrounded by water so escape by sea would be a foolish option considering how cold the water is and the speed of which the currents run by. 

In realty I would think that there are worst places to serve time and from an outsiders view William Head has sort of a country club appearance of open expansive grounds. Still …. It’s good to be on the outside looking in.

Many times over the past year we had paddled out of Pedder Bay, which is on the opposite side of William Head from our campsite. Today we really wanted to get a view of our Pedder Bay playgrounds so we continued on towards Ned Point where we were able to see Race Rocks and the DND islands at the tip of Rocky Point. A couple of sea lions were playing close by but they were very shy about getting their pictures taken. Today we wouldn’t be making the transit across Pedder Bay as the easterlies would simply be not in our favour on the trip back. In fact the idea of landing in Pedder Bay and walking balk for our truck just didn’t work for us today but it would have made for an interesting story.

Keeping a close watch on our track distance we headed back across the front of the campsite and towards an elusive Geocache that we have been trying to get to for the past year. Although one can reach the cache location at low tide by walking a fair distance along the rocky shoreline we have been pondering a water approach every time we have paddled by. Today was “go” day and Robyn made a landing just below the step cliffs where the cache was reported to be hidden. 

Upon exiting the cockpit of her kayak I saw her franticly search for something in her deck bag and on herself. When I asked what she was looking for I heard the word “GPS” and all I could think of that it was somewhere in the depths of where we had just paddled. As I headed towards the beach Robyn wadded back into the water and below the surface at arms length she spotted her Oregon 550 rolling around on the rocky bottom. Now that is one lucky find!!

After checking to make sure the GPS was still working (it’s water resistant) she locked onto the Geocache location and climbed the rocky cliff to the top and located the treasure. 

While on the cliff she took the following picture of her landing area and the RV camp in the background. We'll look back at this Geocache find with fond memories of not loosing an expensive "finding tupperware in the woods" device not alone our primary electronic navigation tool. LOL

Heading back to the camp we played a bit in the surf breaking around the shoreline as it also allowed us to add a bit of distance to our paddle. 

Remember the target of 700 km? Well, we started the paddle needing 8.92 km and by the time we landed we had covered a distance of 9.08 km today reaching our milestone for 2012. But wait ….. we have one more day left in 2012 which means more adventures and distance to add tomorrow. The pressure is off now!

Paddle # 80 - 9.08 km
Total Distance (2012) 700.16 km

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