Saturday, May 4, 2013

Summer Dreams

After spending a good part of the day walking the dog ;-) , Robyn and I decided to take advantage of the early summer like conditions and paddle around James Island. Last summer we had done this paddle in a clockwise direction so today we would simply go the other way. 

With nearly no wind and the ebb current nearing slack we launched out of Island View Beach at 16:30. Joanne Nicolson also joined us for the paddle even though she had just finished a SISKA paddle.   

At launch time the temperature was 25 C so we decided to take our dry suits with us in the hatches since the water and wind conditions were perfect for light gear. The beginning of May and yet it felt like a late afternoon summer day and the forecast is more of the same for the next seven days. What a week it would have been to simply load up the camping gear and disappear into the Gulf Islands. But that's for later in the year ;-)

Robyn with her new MEC buff and James Island in the background.

After crossing Cordova Channel we reached the bluffs on the south end of James Island. When I looked behind me the sight of the snow capped Olympic Mountains in the distance and Mt. Doug in the foreground was stunning. Do we live in paradise or what?? 

A beautiful picture of Robyn and Jo with the Olympic Mountains 

Heading up the east side of the island the water was crystal clear and we could see the bottom several fathoms below. Jo spotted a couple of Dall's porpoise about 100 feet off our starboard bow heading south so we just watched as they passed by us. There is something special about seeing cetaceans in the wild while in a kayak. Somehow you just feel like you are sort of connected to them as we paddle quietly along in their environment.

Jo and I watching the Dall's porpoise (not in view) heading towards us with Sidney Island in the background.

Rounding the northern tip of the island there were a couple of kayaks on the beach below the high water line getting ready to head back out onto the water. James Island is privately owned and there are plenty of "No Trespassing" signs all around the island above the high water line. However, on a low tide the island offers lots of places to land on the sandy beaches for a rest stop.

As we headed back into Cordova Channel we picked up the last of the ebb current as it assisted us along back towards our put in location. We spotted a cruise ship in the distance just on the back side of D'Arcy Island heading towards Rum Island. What an afternoon it would have been to be camped at Rum Island watching the cruise ships go by. More summer dreams for the future.

We landed back at Island View Beach at 19:00 and the radiant heat coming off the beach was quite noticeable. Aaaahhh ...... summer!

2013 Paddle # 25 James Island Circumnavigation
Distance:  14.26 km  (7.70 nm)

YTD: 257.64 km (139.11 nm)

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