Sunday, February 22, 2015

Port Renfrew February 22nd.

Just catching up on some blog posts that have been sitting in a pile on my desk. This has been happening too much with my (our) volunteering duties the past couple of months. :-)

Anyway, on Sunday February 22nd, Robyn and I managed to finally paddle at Port Renfrew for the first time and we were treated to a spectacular day of weather, sea conditions, rock gardening, BCMTN Site Condition Reporting and of course great fellowship.

Only 2 hours from home we met up with Reale, Janice and Beverely at the Gordon River Pacheedaht First Nation campground for a day of exploring along the north side of the inlet. Up to this point we had only heard of how great the rock gardening and sea arches are in the area.

The surf zone by Gordon River. Not much action when we first arrived, only a couple of surfers waiting for sets to come in.

As you can see in the picture above, not a cloud in the sky, no wind and just enough swell that would make our rock gardening interesting. Leaving the beach at 11:00am the plan was to follow the shoreline up to Thrasher Cove where we would have lunch before heading back.

Robyn coming through a swell after exiting a cave. You can just see Reale's helmet inside the opening.

The tide was pretty low on the way out and some of the arches didn't have enough water for us to paddle through but never the less we explored almost every nook and cranny.

Janice and Robyn check out one of the many arches.

We had some great rides through the surge channels and it was interesting to see how a calm channel would suddenly explode into turbulent foaming turquoise sea underneath our kayaks. It was a great place to use a variety of paddle strokes to navigate through some of the tide spaces between islets.

A few seconds ago it was flat calm and then ........

By the way, an update on my Jackson Kayak Happy Seat. This was the first real test of it in dynamic conditions and I can't say enough about how it helped the feel and control of my kayak. The additional thigh bracing that it provides allowed me to effectively use my legs to pull the kayak around rocks and through some tight spots. If fact, on Monday I was wondering why my core was so sore and then I realized that I was using core muscles more than I have in the past. Yes ... I am sold on using it in my play boat!

After a couple of hours of play we arrived at Thrasher Cove which is on West Coast Trail route of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. The 75 km West Coast Trail is part of the ancient paths and paddling routes used for trade and travel by First Nations.

Lunch stop at Thrasher Cove

A great beach to land on with a few campsites in the upland area.

Reale and Janice check out the sites and take pictures for the BCMTN map page.

The long, very long stairway up to the West Coast Trail. The sign next to me indicates the tsunami evacuation route. Tough to haul our kayaks up in an emergency. LOL

Janice and Beverely enjoying the sunshine while Robyn, Reale and I explore the beach.

How big are west coast trees? Robyn and Reale are dwarfed by it's size.

The only thing that didn't happen on this paddle was doing a little surfing. I was hoping that maybe there would be some action when we arrived back at the beach but there wasn't any waves being generated. Maybe next time. Oh yeah .... and this amazing weather is in February! Looks to be an early spring for us on the west coast. ;-)

2015 Paddle #9  - Port Renfrew
Distance: 5.97 nm (11.56 km)
YTD: 60.30 nm (‪102.90 km)

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