Thursday, March 16, 2006

16 March 2006

Man, what a gorgeous afternoon! The sky cleared off over Victoria, and the morning drizzle had faded away into pure sunshine. I suddenly realized that I had to get out on the water, so I piled into the truck and headed out to Telegraph Cove.

Deceptively pretty, isn't it?

There was a slight breeze blowing northward, so I thought Telegraph would be perfect; facing north, it would be sheltered from any chop if the breeze was blowing stronger at the beach than inland. And it's true, it was sheltered. I wasn't the only person there; a younger fellow was getting out of his truck as I arrived, and pulled on his wetsuit and hauled a baited crab trap out of the back. He didn't bother with no stinkin' boat—he had a surfboard and he knew how to use it. After all, he wasn't going all that far off shore—a 15 or 20 metres.

Coming back in....

I unloaded and quickly made it into the water—it took longer, I think, to put my sprayskirt on than it did to unload. Finally I headed off into the cove and then out into the deeper water.

But not for bloody long! The tide was on the flood and there was a low pressure zone somewhere south of me. So there were some fairly heavy swells once I got out from the protection of the cove. A bit scary at first, but I soon spun around and headed into them, and started having a great time. Been a while since I paddled anything a half-metre high—too much bathtubbing this winter—so it took a bit to feel at all comfortable. But soon I was headed almost due west out of Telegraph Cove and then spun to take advantage of the swells to do a little surfing.

The swells weren't quite high enough to get up any real speed, so once I found myself a bit too near shore again, I turned about and headed a bit further out from shore and back to the west. As I passed back across the mouth of the cove, the swells started to pick up a bit, and as I continued out and west, they began to significantly increase in size. Now about 125 metres offshore, the swells were becoming serious; check out the pictures. They were over a metre high and the surfing was great. I swept back into the cove and turned around. Took what, two minutes?, and I was suddenly seasick. Coffee isn't a sufficient lunch, I guess.

In total, I wasn't on the water more than 40 minutes before becoming so queasy that I had to land. Damn shame, really. There was some real fun to be had—if only my stomach had co-operated!

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