Sunday, June 11, 2006

A Foggy Day Off Cadboro Bay

Wow, a day full of surprises! The first surprise was a pair of deer in Paula's back yard! Paula can't ever remember deer at the house. This was a little disconcerting, as Paula lives about a block away from a major street (Shelbourne Street), but the deer soon ambled on their way away from the busy traffic.

Then we got to Cadboro Bay: surprise number 2 -- a low tide. Not just an ordinary low tide, but an über low tide. This is as low as low tide gets in these parts.

And now surprise number 3 -- fog! In spite of it, Tracy, Louise and Paula gear up.
Gear Up

We couldn't miss a paddle on such a wacky day as this! We decided because of the fog to stay close together and hug the north shore of the bay, then turn north at the point and go towards the light house. If we went slow and kept in visual range of each other and the shore, we should be okay. We'd have to be careful -- maybe more surprises were coming!
The Three Amigos

This heron was grounded -- nothing was flying in this fog!

The fog made everything look a little surreal. Places that we have paddled by many times before look very different and mysterious.
Foggy Day

Adding to the strangeness was the low tide. What looks like a small gravel beach in the picture below is usually a small channel between islets that we often paddle through. It's hard to say for sure, but I'd guess that the water level was at least two metres below the usual low tide mark.

Another example of the extreme low tide. These boulders are usually totally underwater.

We continued on through the fog, eventually arriving at the lighthouse.
Paula in the Fog
Kayaks in the Fog

Hmmm. Is that something on the lighthouse?
Paula and the Lighthouse

Yep, it's an eagle. This guy must be local. He's always around when we go paddling in this area.
Eagle in the Fog

There was a real danger of being totally disoriented in the fog. Here's what looks like a snow-capped mountain in the distance. The only problem is that there is no mountain there. I'm not sure what it is. If we'd returned after the fog had lifted, I'm sure we'd never have found this spot again.

Some geese came out to play.

Then ghostly shadows surprised us in the mist.

A flotilla of sail boats from the nearby yacht club swung by us, dipping in and out of the fog.
Flotillas in the Mist

We had reached shore when Louise spotted the last surprise of the day. "Is that my old boat?" she asked.
Finally, that %$#^ing Fog is Burning Off

Yes, it was! Out of the fog came Stephanie in Louise's old plastic Dagger.

And then along came Karl in my old boat. As it turns out, they had left the beach a few minutes after us, but they went south instead of north.

Naturally, the fog lifted just as our paddle ended.
Are We Having Fun Yet?

A great paddle ends with a big smile.
Happy Paddler

My pictures are here.


  1. Great paddling day for all! What a different set of conditions in a familiar place.

  2. What John doesn't mention is that about at the point where he shows the photo of the white unrecognizable thing rising up out of the bullwhip kelp, I got the willies.
    I was paddling my little inflatable, which is nowhere near as stable as the other boats in our party. The tide was just turning, and we were just round the tip of Ten Mile point where strong currents can be expected! And the current would be against us as we returned. Louise and Tracey were only 30 yards ahead, almost out of sight in the fog.
    I called to John, paddling beside me, saying that I'd got the willies but wasn't yet freaked. While I waited in a small cove, he told the other two we were returning.
    Then he even tried towing my inflatable behind his Delta Kayak, which no one in our group has done before. No sense waiting till an emergency to learn how to tow or be towed... It went well.
    Well for me, that is, as the towee.
    Must have been hard on John, but for over half an hour he towed me. I tried to keep up but really, he did most of the work. Way to go!

  3. A learning experience:
    Learning to paddle in fog. Learning that a bungee tow line would help. Paula you really did paddle well in your little floatable.

    Speaking of willies, two kayakers came paddling out of the fog, quietly and gave me the willies.

    :) John is a gentleman to the core!

    He takes great photos too!!

  4. I can't believe how well the photos turned out. The display on my digital camera is hard to see through at the best of time, but because of the fog and the glare, I could hardly see anything. Most of the pictures were "p'n'p" - point and pray!