Monday, October 7, 2013

Going A Bit Further

Our camping buddies (Dave & Kelly) had to head home this morning so Robyn and I headed out to do a little bit more exploring out of Pedder Bay towards Beecher Bay.

First off, great news arrived yesterday as the 2nd Pacific Paddling Symposium was announced for 2014. The event is going to be held again at The Lester B. Pearson United World College of the Pacific May 30th - June 1st. next year. Staying at Pedder Bay we paddle past this venue heading out to play in what we call our backyard play area.

Robyn paddles past the The Lester B. Pearson United World College of the Pacific boat docks

The forecast for today was for a mix of sun and cloud but the winds were supposed to increase from E 5 - 15 to a predicted Gale Force Warning later in the day. So we headed out just after breakfast with the goal of paddling west towards Beecher Bay which for some reason we just haven't made it to before.  Paddling into Eemdyck Passage on the last of the ebb we saw the hundreds of migrating (thanks Marie) Turkey Vultures again over Bentinck Island. This time I had my camera ready to capture the flock riding the thermals.

Can you count how many there are in this picture? This was only a small fraction of the Turkey Vultures visible.

Passing Christopher Point we were now into new territory as we paddled into Whirl Bay riding the back eddy along the shoreline of the DND property. As I came around the point, the small island in the picture below was a stark contrast in colors with all the waterfowl there. Just as I started taking pictures a huge Stellar Sea Lion came roaring (both verbally and fast) towards me and it kinda startled me for a second. Once he surfaced closer to me for the second time he quickly passed behind me and that was the last that we saw of him on the paddle. Massive animals whose bark is worse than their bite when they charge at our kayaks to defend their territory.

One thing we noticed about Whirl Bay was how rugged the area was and only a few crevices provided the opportunity for us to land for a rest stop. We did however find a spot to stretch our legs and I spotted an orange object just above the high water line. With further investigation I found that it was a hard hat but very close by was a spent ammunition container like the many that can be found washed up on the beaches all around the DND facility.


The other thing we noticed was the number and variety of gulls in the area and it was due to the amount of bait fish (minnows?) in the area. There were so many fish that the water below our kayaks shimmered like a silver coins flowing down a river.

On this paddle we made it to Church Point / Island just as the flood was starting and with the E-SE breeze it was time to start heading back towards Pedder Bay. The flood against increasing wind would make for a sloppy paddle back so we chose the more cautious plan. There was just enough of a layer of high fog forming around the point that we noticed the change in the temperature even though the sun was shining. The change in the weather was coming and we could see it in the cloud formations coming from the west.

Seals in Eemdyck Passage with a loaded super tanker in the distance heading out towards the Pacific

Heading back into Eemdyck Passage we decided to circumnavigate Bentinck Island. The many seals that reside in the passage came to see what we were up to. They are so curious but that's about it when it comes to interacting with kayakers, not like their pinniped buddy we encountered earlier.

The water around Bentinck was as expected a little sloppy from the wind, current and the many whale boats roaring by. We didn't see indication of whales in the area but the boats did head to Race Rocks to let the tourists see the very noisy Sea Lions that we could hear.

Thousands of seagulls around Rocky Point greeted us as we paddled back towards Pedder Bay as there was lots of bait fish in the water. I think we saw every type of seagull that could be possible at this location but thankfully they weren't flying above us :-)

Arriving back at camp we relaxed in the sun and drank a wonderful bottle of Malbec that Dave & Kelly left for us on our RV step. The perfect way to finish the day off.

2013 Paddle #62 Out Of Pedder Bay
Distance:  9.73 nm ( 18.02 km)
YTD:  349.92 nm ( 666.47 km)

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