Facebook ….. some love it, some can’t stand it. For us, it is our #1 way of letting our friends and family know what we are up to and also a great way to share ideas such as making paddling plans like the one we did today.
Last night Kari Challenger invited us (via FB) to paddle with her and Joanne Nicolson to Race Rocks from our base camp at Weir’s Beach. Although our paddling skills are far enough advanced (we think) that making the trip to Race Rocks by ourselves is doable, we liked the opportunity to join Kari and Jo today. Safety with numbers we think.
The weather?? Same as yesterday but colder (3 degrees) with a constant rain and the forecasted 10 knot NE winds showing themselves early. The gear?? Thank god we have dry suits and for the first time I used full finger gloves and pogies.
Leaving the put in location we made our way around William Head and started to see the effects of the NE winds on the water. Although not roaring with white caps the best way to describe the sea state is simply sloppy. The currents for making the trip were in our favour as we were on the last of the ebb, which pulled us along towards Race Rocks. But there is always the trip back that I had in the back of my mind.
After crossing Pedder Bay we changed direction towards the lighthouse on Race Rocks when Jo called out “ORCA”!! Sure enough, a massive pod of Resident Orca was about ¼ mile on our port side making their way towards Victoria. Our first sighting of Orca by kayak and it sure had the WOW factor. ( Sorry No Pictures :-( ) For us another “Kayaking Bucket List” crossed off and what better way to close out 2012.
Arriving at Race Rocks the first thing we noticed was the very low numbers of sea lions present. When we were last here in the summer every rocky islet was covered with California or Steller sea lions but today only a single islet was covered with the massive mammals. Keeping our distance we navigated around the islets before heading back towards Eemdyck Passage for our rest stop.
Leaving our rest stop we headed towards Pedder Bay and it was a bit of a slog with the wind blowing straight in our face but thankfully we were in the midst of the slack tide. Making our way around William Head it seemed that the wind had started to back off with the final push into Parry Bay put in location was very relaxing.
After 4 hours on the water we were all starting to feel the effects of the cold but it sure was a gratifying last paddle of 2012. Thanks Kari & Jo for letting us tag along.
Paddle # 81 - 15.69 km
Total Distance (2012) 715.85 km
That's All Folks!!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!