Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Rain Paddle

Sunday dawned drizzly, and John sent a note out saying we'd meet at the coffee shop instead of Telegraph Bay. But there was no way Alison was going to miss out on a chance to paddle her dear Kestrel that she left with her mom & dad when she moved to Montreal. She didn't check her e-mail before loading up and heading out.

When she didn't find us on the beach, she came back to look at the two coffee shops in Cadboro Bay Village. Sunny days find us at an outside table in front of Olive Olio's. (Yes, the tables take up at least two parking spots. Get over it -- they've been there for years and there's plenty of room for bikes.) Rainy days often find us at the Starbucks kitty-corner across the street, but on Sunday we found an inside table on that curved bench at Olive Olio's.

So we solved the world's problems for a while, then Alison and I resolved to go on the water, rain or no rain. As Brian Henry of Ocean River says, if you have the right gear there's no such thing as bad weather. Here are some shots John took, with Louise watching me walk my boat down to the shore (I loooove living right at the beach!) and cheering Alison on as she unloaded her boat from her car's roof.

The rain was really just a drizzle at worst by then. And the sea was calm, except where a big seal was fishing near Flower Island. We went out to Jemmy Jones Island, crossing a couple of currents that were just sliding along on an ebb tide. Alison got some good photos of a heron in the kelp. Over at Cadboro Point, the light stood above waters that were quietly flowing. The rain was just a mist as we circled in and out of the rocks and rode the current. We startled some otters on the rocks, and they ran.
If I'd checked the currents for Sunday, we'd have popped over to the Chathams, as the freight train was not looking scary at all. Unfortunately, we both knew that half an hour can make a great deal of difference for the currents that flow through Baynes channel. And we saw another group on their way back from the Chains, which suggested that the currents were due to pick up before long.
A baby harbour seal popped up while fishing, and stared wide-eyed at us. Or maybe he didn't like us talking all along our way. We did keep chattering, back across the bay and along to the beach... well, it was only an hour and a half, of course we were able to find plenty to talk about. Another time we'll go out to the Chathams or the Chains, but this day was good enough on its own.

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