Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Fog

We planned for a paddle over to Chatham/Discovery Islands this morning. The tides and currents looked favourable, and even the weather looked like it would cooperate. Yes, last night's weather forecast called for clouds this morning, but it still promised to be decent paddle weather on a flat sea.
Come morning however, the clouds appeared as promised, but brought their children, their in-laws and their neighbors with them.
Foggy Pano 1

We were absolutely socked in. We've paddled in fog here before, but this was the thickest we'd seen it here on a paddle day.
2008-11-30 The Fog 026

It was just Paula, Louise and myself today. We were well-equipped for the fog, each of us with a compass as well as my GPS, so a paddle out to the islands would probably have been technically feasible, but it really was thick fog and showing no sign that it was ever going to burn off anytime soon. (And it didn't burn off all day.) So we decided to stick close to shore and paddle south down to Willows Beach and explore the rock gardens along the way. No sooner had we launched than we saw Mike Jackson and some friends assessing the conditions. Paula never misses a chance to talk kayaks.
2008-11-30 The Fog 027

We passed by the Yacht Club...
2008-11-30 The Fog 030
...and discovered that the fog was so thick that even the herons were grounded.
2008-11-30 The Fog 071

In fact, many birds weren't flying today. Many of them were asleep! We passed by a number of small islands covered with oystercatchers that were sleeping. I wonder if the thick fog was confusing them, as if they hadn't realized that the sun had come up.
2008-11-30 The Fog 042
And what's with this sleeping on one foot thing? That does not look comfortable!
2008-11-30 The Fog 096

While I was checking out the oystercatchers, I saw this colourful head pop up.
2008-11-30 The Fog 089
I drifted around the little island and saw him again.
2008-11-30 The Fog 098

We paddled down down to Mary Tod Island, then turned around to head back. Here's Paula and Louise just off Willows Beach (trust me -- there's a beach there)...
2008-11-30 The Fog 051 Mike Jackson's group came out of the fog. They were headed down to Trial Island (and you can read about their paddle here).
2008-11-30 The Fog 052

The fog was getting thicker on the return trip. We had to keep our eyes open as other boats were out playing in the mist.
2008-11-30 The Fog 059

Soon, we approached our launch point on the beach at Cadboro Bay. (Once again, you'll have to trust me.)
2008-11-30 The Fog 049

A happy landing!
2008-11-30 The Fog 069


Trip Length: 8.47 km.
My photos are here.
The Google Earth kmz is here.


  1. Nice Job, John. You have done a much more complete job of documenting your paddles than me! It's all I can do to get the track posted and a sentence or two most days. Nice shots of the Harlequin ducks. It seemed like all the birds were grounded today! I'll try to put a link to your blog on mine too. Let me know when you are coming down to the bay - I am alsways keen for an excuse to get out - and I live 150 m from caddy bay beach! I can also see you have been busy blogging! Cheers

  2. Wonderful images. You really captured the day

  3. I love paddling in the fog ...

  4. Sorry I didn't make it out guys.. family stuff this Sunday :P. You wouldn't have wanted me there anyway, I would have dragged everyone out to Chatham :) Great photos, paddling in the fog is a really neat feeling.

  5. Thanks for the comments, folks!

    Mike: Yes, we'll try to give you a head's up when we're heading down to the Bay next. Paula lives right at Gyro Park and she heads out there two or three times a week.

    Richard: We would have let you go to Chatham by yourself...then we would have called the Coast Guard. :)

  6. Love the photo of the two kayaks in the fog (second from the top). Thanks for sharing.

  7. Great photos again! Haven't posted mine yet. Although I loved my blue kayak I do have to say the red with the orange gear does look good in photos.

    Mike, please do join us. If we aren't kayaking we sometimes do coffee in the Village with maps and kayak yak.