Sunday, August 03, 2008
Time Stand Still
Paula, Alison, Louise and I put in for a paddle at Telegraph Bay. We couldn't ask for a better day weather-wise. The early morning clouds were just burning off, and the promise of sunshine made us eager to start.
Paula is trying to catch up to Alison way off in the distance. Perhaps the weight of her handy-dandy home-made wheels was slowing her down. Actually, she put together quite the nice little rig for walking her boat to the beach.
The issue we were facing was one of currents. We were hoping that we could ride the outflowing current from Telegraph Bay around Ten Mile Point towards Willows Beach. We were expecting a brief period of slack tide that we hoped we might exploit to make a quick dash out to the Chain Islands. Then we would have the current with us again as the tide turned for the paddle back. But as we rounded Ten Mile Point, we could see that the "freight train" through Baynes channel was running and showing no sign of slowing. We ventured out a bit to check it out, but we could see whitecaps and swiftly moving water, so we decided to stick close to shore and head towards Cattle Point and reassess whether we would cross to the Chains or not.
But as we paddled along the shore, we could see the current die off. The slack had come, just as predicted. We changed course and headed out for the Chains.
We encountered little current or trouble heading out and soon we were at the Chains watching the seals basking in the sun. Usually we see some eagles out here, but not a one today. However, the number of seals more than made up for it. If you like seals, this is your place. It even smelled like seals!
We felt like we could've stayed out there all day, but we knew that we only had a short slack, so we didn't dawdle and were soon heading back. And we hit a patch of rough water but we made it through with no problem.
We paddled past a small group of islets that were also covered with seals. We just couldn't get away from them.
I like this picture. The seal's head pops up, and it looks like he's saying, "Uh guys, there's some humans over there...."
We tried to keep our distance from the seals as some of them were clearly very young, but they were all over the place and we kept stumbling upon them.
We could have kept paddling all day. As it was, we were out for nearly four hours, but we felt like we could have gone for hours more. As we approached Telegraph Bay, we could see James Island beckoning us. But Louise, like the rest of us, reluctantly turned back to shore and the end of our paddle.
Trip Length: 15.2 km
John's pictures are here.
Download the GoogleEarth kmz here.