We weren't sure if we were going to have much of a paddle today as Louise, Richard, Paula and I met at Cadboro Bay beach. Wind warnings were up, and Richard's pocket weather station was picking up gusts of 15 knots on shore. Our initial idea of going out to Chatham Island was up in the air (no pun intended), but Cadboro Bay itself was reasonably sheltered so we thought we would poke our noses out of the end of the bay and see what the channel beyond looked like.
We weren't the only people out for a paddle; Ocean River brought down a bunch of kayaks for lessons, and a couple arrived with these beautiful wooden boats on their SUV.
We headed out to Flower Island, and looked out to Jemmy Jones and Chatham Islands beyond to the east. Looking north, we could also see that the "freight train" was running full bore. The flooding tide and northerly winds were kicking up a large standing wave and breakers across Baynes Channel. As the forecast was calling for the winds to increase, it was clear that we weren't going to cross today.
We decided to head north along Ten Mile Point towards the lighthouse at its tip. This was one of the few times that Richard looked at us and thought we were nuts. Usually, it's the other way around. But we assured him we had no intention of going further -- that would have put us right into the "freight train," and let's face it, we're wimpy flat water paddlers at heart.
It was a tough slog at times as the winds were getting stronger just as forecast. One of us (who will remain anonymous but her initials are Louise) was heard to remark, "I [DELETED EXPLETIVE] hate [DELETED EXPLETIVE] kayaking!" as the waves bounced her boat around and she somehow ended up with spray in her ears.
This is a small channel near the lighthouse. It's usually flat calm, maybe the occasional swell, and we've rarely seen a wave on the water beyond, but today it was a little gnarlier. The wind was not kicking up really large waves where we were, but it was coming in at close to its forecast 20-25 knots and paddling was becoming more like work than fun.
So we turned around to head back...
...and almost got run over by a flotilla of sailboats.
It was good to see that someone was enjoying the windy day!
Trip length: 6.97 km
John's photos are here.
The Google Earth kmz is here.
Richard's blog report is here and his pictures are here.