Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Getting Back to Semi Normal

It's been a crazy last few weeks. Over the long weekend Robyn and I were heavily involved with the Victoria's Largest Little Airshow which the Victoria Radio Control Modelers Society (which I am a member of) hosts each year. Since its inception the airshow has raised over $289,000.00 for charity and this year we raised a whopping $24,300.00 which will be going to CFAX Santas Anonymous which helps families all year round but especially at Christmas. Last year, over 1500 Greater Victoria families received toys for the kids and Christmas hampers . The past couple of years the volunteers of the flying club and CFAX Santas Anonymous have worked hard together at the airshow so it's a great charity to support. 

On the work front, we are in a bit of a slow down for the next few months which means a shorter work week for myself. Financially it has drawbacks but on the positive side I have some personal projects to tackle and of course possibly more paddling .... maybe.

In late November of last year I had a surgical procedure done to correct atrial fibrillation (A-fib or simply an inconsistent heartbeat) which I have had for the past couple of years. It usually is considered to be successful if there are no further episodes during the first six months after the procedure which for me was in May. Smooth sailing and back to kayaking Robyn and I went. We even did a 10 day trip through the Gulf Islands in late May and had planned a trip to the Broughton's this coming September until ..... a week ago I woke up in A-fib and needed to have another cardioversion done. For those of you who don't know what that is, it is a quick 3 or 4 hour visit to the hospital emergency where they put me out and use a crash cart to correct my heart beat. Just like you see on TV ..... CLEAR!!!! And I'm back into normal heart rhythm. Other than it's inconvenient and takes a lot out of me for a few days I'm used to the procedure (8 to date) and sure appreciate the staff at the Royal Jubilee Hospital ER who look after me. Anyway, it looks like my surgery wasn't totally successful and I was warned that there was a 25% chance that it would have to be repeated and here I am today still alive. All good!!

Our kayaking multi day adventures are on hold in the meantime but it doesn't mean that I can't kayak. Robyn and I just need to manage the risks associated with having another episode while on the water so we are sticking close to home so that I can get medical attention should I need it again.

So with that Robyn and I went on a day paddle with our kayak club, the South Island Sea Kayaking Association, on Sunday to Rum Island (Isle-de-Lis of the Gulf Islands National Parks Reserve). David Maxwell was the paddle leader for this outing and as he noted the night before in his email communication, there were conflicting forecasts in terms of wind for Haro Straight. Part of the issue is forecasts tend to cover a huge area and so specific local conditions may be different that what is being predicted. We have found that apps such as Sailflow or the Big Wave Dave website are pretty accurate in determining localized conditions but a lot of the time just looking with your eyes helps.

Looking pretty nice to paddle today

Launching out of Amherst Beach at 10:00am in Sidney our group of 13 paddlers headed out past the Little Group and Dock Island assisted by a westerly breeze at our backs. I have taken this route to Rum Island several times and each time it's so unique when it comes to tides/currents interacting with the wind. As expected it was a bit chunky passing Dock Island but once we reached Domville Island the sea conditions calmed right down. 

Sidebar #1: Robyn and I arrived at the launch site a little early and paddled out to set our crab trap :-) 

Gearing up for the paddle with a nice high tide at Amherst Beach

Robyn paddling past the cliff outhouse on Sheep Island

Our group arrived at Rum Island just after 11:30am and were greeted by a couple of fellows who work for Parks Canada. To our surprise they said nobody was camped on the island so we had the place to ourselves.

Several of us went to check out the campsite and I was pleasantly surprised to see that the four tent sites all have new picnic tables. I guess they were allocated to Rum as part of the Canada 150 Parks Canada celebration. Did you know that camping in Parks Canada is free for 2017??

The group having lunch on the tombolo separating Gooch Island which is private and Rum Island

The Parks Canada skiff heading out

Nice new picnic tables!

Looking towards the San Juan Islands in the USA. Been there done that on another trip last year

Every time I think ... we should camp here. Never have yet ..... bucket list!

Michael Egilson practices his Greenland rolling during lunch

After about an hour on Rum Island we started to head back to Sidney via Forrest Island and once again encountered the chunky conditions passing Dock Island. Come to think of it... I don't think I have ever paddled past Dock Island when it has been calm LOL.

Nearing Amherst Beach, Robyn and I detoured to pick up our crab trap and sure enough there were crabs in it. A total of 5 red rock crabs and all male and all well beyond legal size but I released the smallest one anyway. Crab salad for dinner anyone???

To end the day our group gathered at The Roost and enjoyed some of their wonderful baked goods like apple pie while we did a debrief. It was then time to head home to clean our gear and cook the crab for dinner.

Sidebar #2 Many crabbers throw back red rocks in preference of dungeness crabs but Robyn and I actually think the meat of a red rock is a little sweeter although not as plentiful as a dungeness.

Sidebar #3 Arriving back at Amherst Beach we noticed very little wind but back at home 16km away it was blowing 20-30 kts. The beauty of kayaking on southern Vancouver Island is that there's usually always somewhere you can paddle even when it's windy.

Another successful crab haul. We are getting pretty good ... finally!! LOL 

Distance: 11.12 nm (20.59 km)

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