Friday, January 22, 2010

New paddle friends

It's always great getting out on the water on odd days. I may not go out to as many daring places as some people, but I do get a boat in the water some mornings or afternoons that aren't on the weekends! It's terrific and feels a bit wicked to be out in the wide world while so many people are stuck at responsibilities like jobs and so on. Well, I have a responsibility, too -- if I don't haul my kayak down to the water and paddle it around the bay, I'll end up too fat to fit in it and not fit enough to have any fun paddling.
Ran into Mike Jackson and his friend Dennis when they were launching, a hundred yards down the beach from the boat launch at Gyro Park. Ever so nice to cruise on along the shore and out past Flower Island to the point with some new company! The guys went on to cross Baynes Channel and go round the Chathams, while I turned back into the bay and went back to the beach.
Landing was a more crowded event than launching had been -- the new members of the University of Victoria Sailing Association were there. It was apparently time for a sailing lesson. Four of them were trundling out their zodiac and others were getting their small sailboats. As they rolled down the sandy launch ramp, the young fellows discovered that last night's storm had piled some small logs across their path. And now I was coming ashore.
"No problem," I said. "I'll be out of your way in a minute. Maybe one of you could help me carry my kayak up onto the grass, out of your way?"
And of course, one of the young men DID help me. He took the bow end, and started walking. But it seemed like a lot of strong people willing to help out, he didn't know what was going on behind him. Namely me, struggling over the driftwood.
"Hold on!" I called. "First lesson of carrying a boat with two people: the guy in front walks slowly, especially on uneven ground."
"Yeah," he said. "All this stuff is in our way for our rollers. Do the waves wash this stuff in every night?"
"Sometimes. Especially when there's a storm."
"It's hard for us to roll the boats over the logs!"
"Try it with a kayak on your shoulder!"
He laughed, and joined his friends clearing the small logs to make a path on the sandy slope. The waves will move the logs again and again in the future, and the sailors will have to learn how to move the logs without hurting themselves or tearing up the beach. But clearly, there's a willingness to learn here, which is good to see.


  1. Ultimately they brought in a machine and tore up a fair bit of beach. I must admit that I got a bit steamed seeing the unthinking nature of the pile of logs and sand next to the seawall promenade on the beach. It's this kind of stupidity that means we're all going to die.

  2. It IS a big heap of logs and sand -- looks like they got in a little Bobcat tractor.