Sunday, January 26, 2014

Foggy Decisions

Go ...... no go ..... go ..... no go ..... let's go!! That was pretty much our Sunday as our planned trip to Rum Island got cancelled due to the mild fog that had settled over the southern island. Instead we went for a walk for breakfast and as we were heading home the sun started to poke through the mist which got us thinking.

Let's go!!! So we loaded the kayaks and headed to Cadboro Bay thinking we could just follow the shoreline in the fog if need be. As we pulled into the parking lot the fog was gradually lifting around the Royal Victoria Yacht Club on the west side of the bay. On the east side we could barely make out Flower and Jemmy Jones Islands so our paddle plan towards the west was determined. 

Cattle Point in the distance with the landmark anchor capstan on private property.

Following the ebb out of the bay, we paddled through the RVYC and towards Cattle Point where we were greeted with brilliant blue skies and warm sunshine. It was like being in the eye of a storm as Willow's Beach and the Oak Bay Marina had their own weather system compared to everywhere else.

Looking towards the Chain Islands, Discovery would be on the left (in the fog) and Oak Bay on the right (in the sun)

Heading towards Mary Tod Island we passed a number of kayakers heading towards Cadboro Bay

Carried by the ebb and N.E. breeze at our backs we made our way around Mary Tod Island and headed back towards Cadboro Bay. Along the way we passed several kayakers that we din't know but they had the proper immersion gear and safety equipment for this time of year. That couldn't be said for a SUP (Stand Up Paddler) who was making his way from Cattle point towards the Oak Bay Marina. Picture this .... running shoes, blue jeans and a windbreaker at about our 2 nm marker on our track below. Oh I have to give the guy credit for having a dry bag of some sort on the deck ..... Sheeeesh!! If that guy fell in he was done!

Not long after passing Cattle Point were heard a repeated call from the Canadian Coast Guard on the VHF informing mariners of a single "Mayday" call about 20 minutes earlier. Unable to determine where the call was made from, the CCG repeated the message several times but nobody responded about hearing the distress call. With all the fog in the area it just reconfirms the need to carry a radio at all times and in our case our GPS too just in case the fog closed in on us.

We landed back at the beach just about 2 hours after we left and both of us were glad that we made the decision to head out on the water. Just one of the advantages of living in Victoria ..... the water is only about 15 minutes from home in all directions.

2014 Paddle #2
Distance: 4.64 nm (8.60 km)
YTD: 10.17 nm (18.84 km)

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Coming Out Of Hibernation

WOW!!  It only took us 19 days into 2014 to finally get out onto the water for our first paddle of the year. Considering our volunteering schedule that past few weeks it felt like we were coming out of a hibernation of sorts ;-) as we participated in a SISKA Relaxed Paddle this weekend. 

Alan stops the group for one of his informative discussions

Launching from the Brentwood Bay, our group of 22 were lead by our Paddle Leader Alan Campbell who also played the role of tour guide along the way. Alan is known to be very articulate with his stories and for this paddle to McKenzie Bight he shared his knowledge of some of the history of the area. 

Being a relaxed paddle there really wasn't any rush to get to our lunch location at McKenzie Bight but most of the paddlers did notice the cool conditions that we had for the day especially when we stopped for one of Alan's stories. Over the past few months, Robyn and I have been used to building up heat in our bodies by paddling at a fairly good pace, but on this paddle we found ourselves resorting to our poggies on route to keep our hands warm. I even resorted to some winter gear after lunch. 

I don't care how it looks .... it is warm and that's all that counts!

We landed at McKenzie Bight and set up our lunch camp on a rocky knoll nearby with several of us using our Helinox folding chairs that are worth every penny. I think every time we have used them in a group someone tries ours and they are sold on them. 

After lunch Lorraine led some of the group through a yoga warm up on the beach before heading back towards Brentwood Bay. Some of us resorted to doing a little "energizer" paddle strokes just off the beach to build up the body heat. 

Gary Jacek bundled up in his recently acquired Wilderness. I wonder where he got the idea for a green kayak?? ;-)

Although just a wee bit late (for us), a good first paddle of 2014 but we have lots of other adventures on our kayak bucket list that we are looking forward to this year. 

2014 Paddle #1
Distance: 5.53 nm (10.24 km)
YTD: 5.53 nm (10.24 km)