This past past weekend may have been the last long weekend of summer, but it sure felt like the first weekend of fall. Cool breezes and showers developed over the course of Saturday, Sunday and the holiday Monday, which put the kibosh on our copious paddling plans. But we can't complain; we've had five months of splendid kayaking weather, kayaking every weekend since the beginning of April though until the end of August, and this was our first weather cancellation since, what, January? Five months is a pretty good run.
Even though the weather wasn't the best on the weekend, I had a sneaking suspicion that today's weather would be pretty good. After all, today was the first day of school, and the first day of school was always warm and sunny. At least, that's the way I remember it, as I stared out from my school desk through the window to beckoning blue skies all those years ago.
And so on this bright and clear Tuesday, as thousands of school children across the city moaned and sighed at the prospect of the new ten-month forced incarceration that lies ahead, Louise, Paula and I headed towards Telegraph Bay to get at least one paddle in over our extended long weekend.
Before we hit the water we saw a deer and two fawns make their way through a small copse of trees. This turned out to be a little foreshadowing for our paddle, as the four-legged animals ended up being far more interesting than the winged or finned animals that we usually see.
It was a perfect day to be out....
...but when you get right down to it, we saw a lot of odd things. Paula rescued a volleyball from a kelp bed. How in the world does a volleyball get in a kelp bed?
We passed by this seagull enjoying a breakfast of fresh fish heads...
...then past this house with its own helipad.
How do you get a helipad in a residential area? Isn't there some kind of zoning thing or something? I mean, the hoops you have to jump through to get a new driveway put in, and this guy has a helipad? His neighbours must love him every time he comes home, dive-bombing out of the sky and rattling windows for blocks around.
I was using my Stohlquist drysuit for the first time today. This was my first experience in a drysuit, having generally used a neoprene Farmer John and a paddling jacket up to now, but I've gotten tired of the neoprene itch and the wonderful aroma that permeates my van on the way home after a kayak paddle, that unmistakable stench of wet neoprene.
And so far, so good. It kept me nice and dry, and not too warm. It seems to breathe really well. I wore some Icebreaker Merino wool underneath and that did the job keeping me comfortable today, although I suspect that I will need to add some fleece to that as the weather gets cooler. The only complaint is that the neck gasket is very tight, uncomfortably so. I felt like I was getting strangled the whole trip. I see that this year's model has replaced the rubber neck gasket with a neoprene gasket. I can't say that I'm surprised.
Finally, we passed by a house that we've watched being built for the last three years. As we looked at it, a dog loped into view. A big dog, with odd flopping ears, and it was followed quickly by another. Then another. We quickly realized these weren't dogs, but it took a moment until our brains finally matched up the unexpected visual images our retinas were sending with the patterns of farm animals taken from too many childhood renditions of Old McDonald's Farm.
Goats! A flock of goats! (Yes, "flock," though uncommon, is acceptable.)
We weren't sure if the goats belonged on this property or not, as they looked like they were enjoying the free run of the neighbourhood. They trundled up a small hill and headed down the street. So if you live on Ten Mile Point and your goats are missing out of their enclosure, try the big house at the end of the point. Your neighbours' gardens will thank you!
Trip length: 12.32 km
YTD: 291.35 km
More pictures are here.
The Google Earth kmz is here.