Saturday, August 17, 2013

Launching From The Dock In The Bay

Thursday evening we went on a "back to our roots" sort of paddle with fellow Geocachers Drew and Marie Fidoe from the Ocean River dock. It wasn't long ago (2 years) that we started our kayaking adventure from this very same dock and in the same type of Delta kayaks. Drew and Marie travel a fair bit in their Vanagon and recently while in the Gulf Islands "our" kayaking bug hit them after following our blog.

So after renting some kayaks they headed down to Ocean River a few weeks ago and the next thing we know they purchased a couple of the rental fleet Delta 15.5 Expeditions. Awesome!!! It gets better .... the gear shopping has started for them but since they don't take possession of their kayaks until September they used some of their rental time on Thursday night and we went on a little Gorge waterway exploration.

Drew and Marie looking pretty happy to be on the water.

As it turns out Drew and Marie know some of our kayak circle of friends already like Yves & Patti of Go Kayak as well as John Hebert of Kayak Yak. I think I also heard the term "I'm a gearhead" from Marie a few times and talk about moving fast ....they are now also members of SISKA too! HOOK, LINE and SINKER!!!! They are going to love kayaking!

Since neither Robyn and I have paddled up the Gorge waterway before from the Ocean River dock it was unexplored territory for us. There werealso quite a few dragon boats on the water preparing for this weekend's Dragon Boat Festival in the Victoria inner harbour.

We paddled up to the Tliicum Narrows and I just couldn't let the opportunity to run through it pass by. With the flood happening the water under the bridge didn't look too much of a challenge but as my kayak (going backwards) got closer it reminded me of the movie "Black Hole" being sucked into the vortex. The reason I let myself get closer backwards was that it was easy to test the current speed and paddle away before making the run to the other side.

I had to dig deep to get back through the Tillicum Narrows

After my assessment of the current speed, I made the run through to the other side and entered the back eddie to set up for the return trip. From that side the current looked a little bit gnarlier than I expected so I positioned myself to make the run right through the center. I wish I had taken Robyn's GPS with me to record my speed through the narrows cause I really had to work hard to make it back through. I estimated that the current was running at around 3.5 knots and sure enough checking my AyeTides app later I was right on with my estimate.

Once my fun time was over :-) , we headed back towards Ocean River and played under some of the gang planks along the way. Marie disappeared for a bit and when I found her she was working on her kayak sustainability skills. It wasn't long before we were all munching on Marie's patch of blackberries.... Yum!!

Marie finds a loaded blackberry patch only accessible by kayak.

Passing by Point Hope Shipyard, Marie spotted a river otter having dinner on the pilings. Most of the time a river otter will slip beneath the water if you try to get close but this little fellow just went about his business breaking apart some sort of crunchy sea creature.

We landed back (climbed back on) at the Ocean River dock and headed to the Moon Under Water pub for a paddle debrief at the suggestion of Marie and Drew. The perfect way to finish the evening off! Thanks for the paddle guys and welcome to our world ;-)

2013 Paddle #51 Ocean River Dock
Distance:  3.74 nm ( 6.92 km)
YTD:  278.56 nm ( 515.87 km)

1 comment:

  1. Yea! Thanks Mark & Robyn, it was a really fun evening... the first of many, I hope!