Monday, October 08, 2007

Caddy Bay Turkey Day Paddle

It's with thanks on this Thanksgiving day that the weather gods blessed us with a few hours of sunshine this morning between weather fronts, so a quick paddle at Cadboro Bay was in order.
Louise and I drove there listening to a CD I'd made of songs from various "Simpsons" episodes. It didn't go over as well as I thought it would. This really has nothing to do with the paddle, but it does set up my closing joke for this paddle report.

Here's Bernie's new boat. We haven't made fun about how pink Paula's new boat is, so it wouldn't be fair to make fun of how yellow Bernie's boat is.

Unfortunately, Bernie's new boat doesn't have any room to store gear so he has to keep it all on his deck. Ha! I'm kidding -- got ya!
Actually, it looks like he has quite a lot of room for storage using his own patented design for the hatch covers. And as Bernie says, he'd rather have a kayak that when upside down looks big, yellow and unnatural than like a piece of driftwood.

Here's Bernie boat in action.

Paula is still enjoying her new Eliza.....

...while Louise just can't wait to get going.

This was my first paddle with my new carbon shaft. (You heard right, ladies.) I picked it up at the Ocean River sale a couple of weeks ago. I love it. It's a little shorter than my usual paddle (a 240cm paddle, down from a 245cm paddle), so that took a a little getting used to. But it sure is light and strong.
It was a sunny day when we started -- here's the picture to prove it.

We made it to Flower Island and were planning to cross to Jemmy Jones Island. Louise was having contact lens trouble, one had fallen out, and so her vision was not reliable. The wind had come up and was making waves, not enough to be a real issue, but enough to combine with her lens trouble and put Louise out of her comfort zone. So while Paula and Bernie headed out to Jemmy Jones, Louise and I stayed behind at Flower.
Around Flower Island

This gave me a chance to try out my other new piece of equipment, a new Sony DSC-H9 digital camera. I've retired my film camera. I just paid $75 to develop three rolls of film, get one set of prints each and a digital scanning of each roll. So this camera will save me money, save a little piece of the environment, and it has a monster zoom lens on it to take some great pictures. Check out this heron!

We saw these gulls that we've not seen before. They looked like regular seagulls, but were gray and smaller with bright orange beaks. They also sounded like they were barking when they chirped.

Bernie came in close to check out the gulls.

We headed back to shore as the wind came up.
Bernie's New Boat

We headed to the beach and to the end of our quick paddle, but as you have probably guessed, by the time we got the kayaks all loaded up, the sun came out again.

Next week, we had the idea to paddle at....never mind, maybe it's more of a Shelbyville paddle idea...

John's photos are here.


  1. Oh my... is Bernie's new boat a wood strip kayak? I see he's sporting the greenland paddle too - I think you guys just bumped it up a notch in class. bravery badges to you guys for going out during an SCA in haro - guess it wasn't too harrowing in the bay.

  2. Actually, Richard, even when there's a small craft warning in the strait, it's usually reasonably sheltered inside Cadboro Bay. The minute you get out near Flower Island, though, wham! the wind and currents hit you.

  3. We knew there was a storm due later in the afternoon, so there was no question that we were just going for a short paddle around the bay and that we weren't going to venture far from shore.
    Sometimes the most important piece of equipment you can carry is your mouth, because it can say, "Guys, I don't think we should be going any further."

  4. Richard, are you really in Afghanistan?
    Man, can you get any paddling done while you're there? Probably not.
    Even so, it would be great to hear a little about what you're doing in Afghanistan -- just a friendly query for the things you're allowed to talk about, ok?

  5. hahah no.. I just picked the top of the list for both fields: an accountant in afghanistan.. I'm on fort street in victoria :) I've read your blog and google taps me on the shoulder when you guys add updates. a little vicarious living until i finally choose a boat.

  6. $1700 and you can buy my Delta!

  7. Hehe... tempting ;) I sat in a delta 15.5 recently, and it's a pretty good fit.. I'm seeing what's out there still, because first, I'm kind of a big guy and the delta pedals seem a bit odd for big feet and second, I'm not sure if I'm sold on plastic boats yet. I did lessons in WS tsunami - a rotomolded kayak, and it had really dangerous hatch problems (mostly implosion, leaking and no day hatch bulkhead) on a 2006 model. it seemed like a lot of the failure happens because the platic just gave too much and made it difficult to get the tupperware lids on tight. The delta had way better hatches with implosion covers, but it felt kind of squishy getting in and out - I was a bit freaked by how much it gave when trying to get out with the paddle on the rear just behind the combing. I'm just going to keep taking notes and wait until I've got a little more boat time.

  8. Richard, have you tried the Advanced Elements inflatable kayaks? Our friend Dennis has two, their AdvancedFrame 10 foot model and the Expedition 13 foot model. He's got the Backbone, a keel that fits inside to increase tracking.
    I've got the Dragonfly, 8.5 feet of fun. It weighs only 20 lbs.
    These are half the price of a hardshell kayak and fit into a suitcase. I take mine on the bus. Dennis keeps BOTH his and his gear in the trunk.
    Pacifica Paddlesports carries them. Let me know if you want to borrow mine for a test paddle.