Monday, April 8, 2013

A Break In The Stormy Weather

This past Saturday Robyn and I joined the SISKA Energizer paddle that was destined for Portland Island but mother nature had other plans for our group. The predicted storm warning that was posted for all of the marine areas around southern Vancouver Island came ashore in fury around 4am. The wind was blowing so hard that it actually woke me up around that time on Saturday morning and I thought for sure that our kayaking session would be cancelled.

We received an update from our Paddle Leader (Sheila) around 8:00am and it looked like there was a window of opportunity to take to the water before the next system came ashore later in the day. So we joined 10 other SISKA kayakers at the launch point in Sidney for the 11:00am departure time with the clouds starting to break up and winds decreasing.

The updated Environment Canada forecast called for SW 25 diminishing to SW 15 late in the morning and we saw this developing as we prepared to launch. Heading north along the shoreline we crossed Roberts Bay into Tsehum Harbour and SW winds there were kinda chunky.

The group heads out on what looks to be a promising day.

This would be an indication of the winds that we could at least expect heading to Portland Island. Sheila gathered the kayakers together on the lee side of Curteis Point and the decision was made that we would not be making an attempt for Portland Island. The reasoning was quite simple as we would be fully exposed to the SW winds in Shute Passage which could make the return crossing a bit of a challenge and quite possibly exceed our Energizer guidelines of  acceptable light to moderate winds with light to moderate chop sea state.

Instead it was decided as a group to play around some of the small islands and islets that offer somewhat sheltered conditions just NE of our location. The group paddled through Fernie and Iroquois Passes and then we started our clockwise circumnavigation of Coal Island.

This route around Coal Island was a first for Robyn and I so that was a bit of a treat for us. As we made our way around the east side of the island near Charmer Point we were once again in the direct path of the SW wind and choppy seas. The group hugged the shoreline as we slogged our way down to Killer Whale Point and across John Passage to our lunch stop on Goudge Island out of the direct wind.

Lunch stop on Goudge Island , the spectators look on at the ad-hoc rolling clinic

Michael Egilson tries out Gary Jacek's Tahe in a series of hand rolls.

The lunch stop allowed some of the kayakers to get in a few rolls before it was time to do a little exploring of the islets in the area.

Tony Playfair and Heather Jones passing the small cabin on Harlock Islet. It's almost like something out of movie set.
One of our favourites to come and see when we are in the area.
More paddle or Rum Runner discussion .... The pub won!

After a consensus of the group it was decided to pass on another hour of paddling and head to the Rum Runner Pub for a debrief and hoist a few beverages. Remember that next system that was heading our way? Well she started to come ashore as we finished our drinks and snacks on the sundeck of the pub. Great timing all day I think!

2013 Paddle # 18 SISKA Portland Island - Plan B
Distance:  13.64 km  (7.36 nm)

YTD: 172.5 km (93.14 nm)

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