Monday, June 30, 2014

Fine Tuning With Cowichan Bay Kayaks

Robyn and I headed to Cowichan Bay yesterday to firm up plans for our Paddle Canada Level 3 course with Cowichan Bay Kayaks September 25th-29th in the Deer Group. We are so excited for this opportunity and have a lot of homework to do in preparation for this 5 day program that will be taught completely in the outdoors.

Dave Nichols who is a PC Level 4 paddler, PC Level 2 Instructor was taking a family out on a 2 hour wildlife tour of the bay and he let us tag along.

Dave gets his group ready for the the wildlife tour. 

Heading out towards the Cowichan River estuary to see what wildlife could be found

The wonderful thing about a wildlife paddle is that it makes you look for the obvious that you might miss while just paddling. On this tour above the water we spotted Purple Martins, Blue Herons, Muted Swans, Belted Kingfishers, Cormorants, Harbour Seals and several Ospreys and their nesting areas. Below the water there were egg sacks on the Eel Grass (maybe herring?), Lion's Mane Jellyfish and the bay was blooming with what is know as Red Tide. I have seen red tide before but never this crimson in color. In many parts of the bay it was almost blood red.

A mating pair of Ospreys guard their nest of chicks that recently hatched. 

While Dave was talking about the various creatures that the tour was seeing an Osprey was aggressively chasing away a Blue Heron that got too close to a nesting area. Just sitting back and watching nature in action is very cool. We all need to just be more observant to what is happening around us to see it.

The tour then headed into Genoa Bay which is a very small community near the south end of Sansum Narrows. There is a marina and the local favorite Genoa Bay Cafe that many pleasure craft visit each day.

Entering Genoa Bay

Janette, Dave and Dean with his son Easton paddle into the marina.

Robyn finds an orca ... well at least another statue of one.

After the wildlife tour Robyn and I headed back onto the water with Dave for a little coaching in preparation of our upcoming PC Level 3 course. Unknown to ourselves, Dave was assessing of paddling ability while on the wildlife tour and in particular our paddling strokes that we were using. After Robyn completed her rolling session, Dave then put us through a series of paddle strokes to blend them together to increase our ability to maneuver the kayak.

The reverse low brace .... never thought of that one before but I can see why I might need it.

We finished the day off with some rescues and paddling drills that we can use on our own over the next couple of months. We'll be going back to Cowichan Bay Kayaks in August for another tune up prior to our September course. Thanks Huw & Dave for a great day!

2014 Paddle # 22 Cowichan Bay Kayaks
Distance: 4.75 nm (8.8 km)
YTD: 114.58 nm (212.2 km)

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