Sunday, January 13, 2008
13 January 2008--Esquimalt Harbour
(crossposted from Notes From a Year on the Water)
Pulled into the parking area just after 9:00 am this morning, got out and the van with a kayak on the roof that had been parked just down the beach was pulling in next to us within moments; Richard had joined us!
Before we'd even got the hellos and initial picture taking out of the way, Alison pulled in, having successfully navigated her way to the lagoon. With a bit of help, Richard got his new (to him) kayak off the roof and onto the beach, and we geared up and got on the water.The day was a bit dull, but no wind or rain, so for January it was pretty much perfect.
We headed out the race, around the point and into the harbour. About halfway down the harbour the sky darkened and it rained briefly, but then stopped and slowly brightened up. In fact, the morning just kept improving , getting brighter and warmer without any real wind at all right up until we left the beach at about 12:30.
It was an enjoyable slow paddle, exiting the harbour and heading up the brackish estuary under the bridge and next to the 6 Mile Pub.
The water shallowed considerably in the estuary, and then deepened again once we got into the river proper.We were only able to paddle about a kilometre up the river until we were stopped by a waterfall.
We floated about for a bit, took some pictures, and had some hot chocolate--well, I had to test my thermos bottle somehow, didn't I? Then it was back down the river to the harbour.
But with the tide going out, the water level in the estuary was dropping, and Paula and Alison ran up on a sandbar. Rather than muck about too much, Paula simply got out of her boat and pulled the two of them across the bar and back to less-shallow water. causing Paula to have to re-enter her boat with chilly feet....
then it was an uneventful paddle back to the launch site. The swells were breaking on the sandbar at the mouth of the now rapidly outflowing tidal race at the lagoon, so once we had all crossed the bar in the midst of the small breakers, it was time to turn around and do it again! And again! (Repeat as necessary...). At one point I met an incoming swell exactly on the shallowest part of the bar and the resultant breaker swept over the front of my boat and broke across my chest and face. Yee-Hah!s and WooHoo!s were heard from all concerned.
Such an enjoyable day.
So this makes three out of thirteen days that I've spent at least part of the day paddling. Not the ratio I'm shooting for, but not a bad start, eh?
Then off to Tim's for lunch and more chat.