Monday, February 23, 2009

Just Around the Corner

Yep, it's February all over. Even the sunny days are pretty chill. So on Saturday the 21st, when Richard and I went paddling, I just had a short trip while he did a second, longer loop before going back to shore.
Launching at Gyro Park is easy for me, with the wheels to roll my Eliza from the house down to the water. Lucky for me, Rich was willing to meet me there instead of at a new beach, and lately, he's been ready at a moment's notice to go kayaking because he's been keeping his boat on the roof of his van.
The tide was just ebbing from high, so there was no current to speak of. Out we went, past Flower and over to look at Cadboro Point. There was a bit of a breeze over the calm water that picked up as we got closer to the point, and through the gaps in the rock we could see chop and whitecaps on the other side. Amazing how one side of a point will have such different conditions from the other side...
Turning around, we went towards Jemmy Jones Island until the chop got me unsettled. Back towards Flower Island, then, no seals or otters in sight, though I saw both earlier that week. That's where we split up, so I could get back to shore before getting chilled and Richard could do another loop and get a good workout.
It was a good moment to get back to the beach, by the way -- saw my neighbour who gets on the water 200 days a year, in his kayak or on his paddleboard. The evening before, Friday, he'd been on the paddleboard out by the Chathams and surprised a male Stellar's sea lion. "Yep, the heart monitor was showing my heart rate at a steady 120 beats per minute until I saw him," he reported. "Then it spiked up to 170." No kidding -- bull sea lions are 18 to 20 feet long! Now he was on his way in his kayak with a camera to see if he could get a picture. What a man, what a man...
After Rich got back to shore, there was coffee, there was hot cocoa and hommous at Olive Olio's, there was sundry scanning of Volume one of the BC Atlas for Coastal Recreation Kayaking and Small Boats and various plans for attending Ladysmith's Paddlefest and doing some day trips around Nanaimo, but that was all after the fact. Getting on the water was what mattered, out under the bright blue-and-white bowl of the sky.

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