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)


  1. go...let's go! Great decision, Mark, and we enjoyed the same changing conditions - and were prepared to find our way home (safely) back along the shoreline. It's also a great decision to dress appropriately and have coms at the ready. As for the SUP paddler, cotton on the water is a pretty risky choice at any time of the year. As you indicated, having (and wearing) the proper "tools" is important. Best wishes, Duncan.

  2. Hi Duncan,

    Once again ... sorry for the delay in responding. As for the SUP paddler, we see this type of thing too often around here. That could be a great topic for a future blog post ;-)