Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Thank Goodness Out With The Old!!

Well the Christmas vacation wasn't what we had planned but it was still nice to get away and relax even though both of us had terrible doses of the flu that kept us off the water and on the couch for a few days. It wasn't that we didn't try for we even made it to Port Renfrew only to have to head back to camp when I got sick.

We did however manage enough strength to make it to Jordan River on New Year's Eve where we saw a lot of familiar faces having fun in the surf. Eager to try surf a bit we made our way out beyond the surf zone before deciding that it really wasn't a good idea when only feeling about 50% good .... if that.

Common sense dictated that maybe it was best to just watch and in hindsight that was a wise decision as ending up in the water without the energy to roll just wouldn't make for a good day. Jordan River will have to wait for another day ... in 2014.

2013 was another amazing year of paddling as we bought a couple of P&H Delphins to play in, went Greenland, figured out rolls, did a lot of kayak camping and love it, paddled with killer whales, played in big surf on the West Coast, took a whole bunch of courses with cool East Coast people, went to the Pacific Paddling Symposium and had a blast, fireworks by kayak, Nanaimo Paddlers we are, paddled to watch the Snowbirds, tried again to catch crab, caught fish, navigated through fog, played at Surge Narrows, paddled with Nice People to Paddle with and finished with 73 paddles .... 408.56 nm (775.05 km). The best part is that once again we paddled with a wonderful bunch of people who share the same passion (obsession?) as ours and we are grateful for their friendship.

So we leave 2013 behind and bring in 2014 wishing everyone we paddle with, those who follow our blog and our understanding family who now know that we have every gear-head safety gadget in our possession a very Happy New Year!!

2013 Paddle #73
Distance: 1.09 nm (2.01 km)
YTD: 408.56 nm (775.05 km)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

A No Sales Boxing Day Paddle

Merry Christmas to all our friends and blog followers! For us, we had an amazing adventure the past 30 days and even though we didn't manage to get out on the water, thinking back to what we have done during that time it was worth every minute.

After celebrating Christmas with our families we set up camp at Weir’s Beach RV Resort where we will unwind through New Year’s. Today we took advantage of the almost spring like conditions and headed out on a very leisurely paddle to the Pedder Bay Marina for coffee.

The lack of winter storms to hit the south island has resulted in the beach at Weir’s being almost totally clear of driftwood and kelp that we have seen in previous years. There have been years that we actually couldn't get to the water because of all the debris so it was nice to launch on the sandy beach for a change.

Our beachfront camp at Weir's Beach RV Resort

Winter is one of our favorite times to be on the water because of how quiet it is with few power boats. The other thing that we really have learned to appreciate is the diversity of the water fowl that you don’t see during the summer. The south coast is the winter range for many species like the Bufflehead and it is not uncommon to see Mallards and Canada Geese inhabiting the grassy knolls of the shoreline. Although there still a few of the summer species around, their numbers are quite a bit decreased such as Blue Heron, Cormorant, Bald Eagles and even gulls.

However, there always seems to be seals where ever we paddle on the south coast but during the winter months they tend not to take to the water when we come into view. Could it be that they too are aware of how quiet we are and don’t feel insecure like we have seen during the busy summer months?

The Olympic Mountains and Race Rocks Lighthouse

Winter paddling also offers amazing scenic views especially on calm sunny days with the sun low in the sky. It’s not hard just to stop paddling and soak in the beauty that we have here on the south coast. Today we could even see Mt. Rainier in Seattle in the distance.

Paddling around William Head we entered Pedder Bay and thought about our encounter with Orca at Weir’s Point (which we now call Killer Whale Point). Today there would be no Orca to be seen but the memories were still with us as we paddle to the dock at Pedder Bay. The marina was surprisingly busy with a few boats launching to go fishing and other people stopping in for coffee.

Coffee time at Pedder Bay

On our paddle back to camp we played a bit in the rock gardens spotting a mink scurrying along the rocks and even a few deer. Arriving back at Weir’s Beach, the late afternoon sun bathed Victoria in a golden hue with Mt. Baker in the background. The perfect lazy paddle to get back on the water and think about our planned 2014 adventures.

2013 Paddle #72
Distance:  6.57 nm ( 12.17 km)
YTD: 407.47 nm (773.04 km)