Saturday, March 06, 2010

Summer In March

2010-03-06 Cadboro Pano - Copy
It's summer in March. By the time we hit the water it was already 8C, despite the fact there had been frost on the car in the morning. Officially the temp today would reach 12C but it must have been warmer -- people were out in shorts and t-shirts.
Louise, Richard and I were dressed a little more warmly as we took the gorgeous weather to mean only one thing -- time to hit the water!

We put in at Cadboro Bay, but we weren't sure what to expect. The tide charts were suggesting the ebb current would be quite strong today and the weather reports indicated a slight breeze from the north, with no wind warnings posted. But on the beach it was clear that the northerlies were more than a slight breeze. It wasn't blowing a gale or anything like that, but it was stronger than we had been expecting. We decided to head along Ten Mile Point and noodle through the rocks and see what conditions were like at the point.
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Near the point, the breeze was still blowing and we could see that the water out in the channel was bumpy but no overly so. Where was the current?
Richard and I amused ourselves by taking pictures of each other. (The other side of the equations is here.)
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At the point, we could see that Baynes Channel was pretty rough. We sneaked a look around the point and could see small breakers off Telegraph Bay, another put-in in this area. So clearly the current was running in Baynes, but it really wasn't coming down where we were. I quickly grabbed a few snaps of Mount Baker.
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From there we turned and headed south. Richard wanted to ride the current down to the Chain Islands, but Louise declined. Her stomach was doing the heebie jeebies and she didn't feel like venturing too far from shore. So Richard headed off and Louise and I headed along shore, with plans to meet Richard near Willows Beach.
Richard made it to the Chains, but all he got pictures of were seagulls. He missed the eagle on Jemmy Jones Island.
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This is my first time out with my new Olympus e510 that I picked up used over the winter. I was using a 140-600mm zoom lens on it, and I have to say that I wasn't sure about it. It was a big lens and hard to hold, especially in the bobbing kayak. I took about eight pictures of the eagle and I was sure that most of them would be blurred because of the motion of the kayak and the extreme magnification. But I was amazed how well the eagle shots turned out. If nothing else the Olympus has insanely good image stabilization. I'm still not sure about taking it out on rough water days -- I'll think I'll stick to my smaller Sony DSC-H9 for that -- but on a lake or a flat sea, the Olympus may become my weapon of choice.

We met up with Richard and started back. We weren't the only kayakers out today, as we spotted two other groups on the water.
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And who could blame them? What a gorgeous day it was. Even the herons were enjoying it!
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2010-03-06 Cadboro-Willows
Trip length: 11.22 km
YTD: 19.44 km
More pictures are here.
The Google Earth kmz is here.

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