Monday, February 27, 2006

Paddle Sunday

Sunday was a bit windier than expected, so Telegraph Cove wasn't on. A strong onshore wind left the water choppier than was comfortable for our least strong paddler. We keep in mind the adage that you paddle to the conditions best suited to your least experienced paddler, so we moved across the point and back into Cadboro Bay—making this the third time out in the bay in seven days.

The wind was blowing more or less offshore in Cadboro Bay, and the natural features protected us from many of the effects the wind might produce. So, led by Louise, we set off toward the south shore to do some exploring.

The paddle out toward Cattle Point was easy—the small chop was following and the wind gave us a bit of headway even without paddling. With the firm breeze bidding fair to last the entire day, quite a few sailboats were leaving the marina and heading out into Haro Strait. And, for the first time in a couple of weeks, a harbour seal popped up to look us over. Dennis commented that “he must think we're really bottom of the barrel—we've no sails.”

Not much else in the way of wildlife greeted us; the standard contingent of mallards, scaups, cormorants, a sandpiper, and the ever-present herring gulls. I think this may have been the first day in months that an eagle didn't watch over us....

We hadn't quite exited the bay when the wind freshened and shifted slightly, and all of a sudden we were presented with wind-driven chop that had more than doubled in size, and so we returned to the beach, making our way in single file for most of the way. When he found himself at the front of the flotilla, Dennis was heard to say that “You know, I don't find this paddling in single file any easier...,” while the rest of us crowed in behind him, taking advantage of the slight shelter he afforded.

Not a bad day, but one of those when the coffee afterwards lasted almost as long as the paddle itself did.

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