The sun glinted off the glassy flat sea in sparkles of silver and gold as Paula, Richard, Louise and I put in the water early on Sunday.
The water was dead flat, practically a mirror.
As I paused fo a moment to watch a heron, the other three had a quick discussion. Richard decided that he wanted to head south and check out Trial Island, while the rest of us would putter around and meet him out at the Chain Islands. We checked our radios to make sure they were working, and Richard headed off while the rest of us headed out toward Flower Island.
From there, Chatham Island beckoned. The currents were mild as we paddled across under the clouds.
We saw a few seals, but they were camera shy. After skirting the south side, we turned to make for the Chain Islands.
When we got to the Chains, we saw more seals, and they were a little more willing to pose.
Although the water was flat, there were currents pushing through the Chains, turning us around. This can a tricky place when the currents really get going. Then I spotted an eagle on a rock.
I drifted in close....
...and snapped pictures like crazy.
As we paddled around the far side of Great Chain Island (and scaring a dozen or so seals into the water as we did), we saw a speck heading our way from Trial Island. We waited for Richard, floating in the current around Great Chain. When he arrived, he said, "It was a high-pitched squeal on the Bernie-Cackle-Meter™! You guys would've killed me if I had dragged you down there! As soon as I hit the point, there was rough and confused water. The currents around Trial were crazy! I was paddling like mad and going nowhere!"
The currents where we were were not as crazy, but they were moving us quickly along. We thought for a moment that we could ride all the way back to Cadboro Bay, but we soon realized that they were taking us through Baynes Channel and out to sea. That meant that it was time to start paddling again.
We headed towards Mary Tod Island near the shore, but I took a detour as I had spotted something perched on the navigational light.
We headed back into Cadboro Bay, and the water was even smoother than when we left! A great paddle!
Trip length: 12.66 km
My pictures are here.
The Google Earth kmz is here.
Richard's blog report is here and his pictures are here.