Sunday, January 15, 2012

Snow Day

Now don't start laughing, but it snowed in Victoria last night. I know that barely 2 cm of white stuff on the ground wouldn't count as a "real" snowfall in most locales, especially here in the Great White North, but for Victoria, 2 cm is almost a blizzard. Which isn't to say what we haven't had real blizzards, for we most assuredly have, but snow is a rarity here and anything more than a light dusting throws this town into a tizzy.
I couldn't resist a quick paddle this morning and wheeled my kayak down the hill. It's not often you see a guy in a Santa hat walking his kayaking in the snow. Even one of Victoria's finest was distracted from the traffic ticket she was writing.

Louise would normally accompany me, but she stayed on shore and walked along beside me, the idea being that she could take a few shots of me and the snow for a Christmas card for next winter. She took some nice shots, but they'll have to wait until the holidays roll around again.

I put in at the bottom of my hill....
....and paddled into the quiet morning. Even the small amount of snow on the ground was enough to dampen the sound of the neighbourhood.
But I was quickly joined by a duck that landed right beside me. IMG_0459 copy
While the ducks and other fowl are fairly tame in this area, it's still a bit unusual for them to approach this close unless it's obvious that you have food. I suspect that they're feeling a bit hungry this time of year, although they certainly aren't suffering. When it became obvious that I was wasn't going to feed him, he went on his way.

Enjoying the crisp and cool air, I continued on, past the (barely) snow covered trees...
...while three swans swam towards me.
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The swans had also drawn the attention of a photographer on shore who asked if he could take a few pictures of "Santa" in his kayak, even though "Santa" never brought him the bicycle he wanted. Turns out he's a local professional photographer named Jason, and he snapped quite a few shots. I was starting to feel like Cindy Crawford.
Check out his website,there's some nice stuff there.

I turned around at Craigflower bridge. Clouds were building to the east and there had been some wicked squalls blow through the last copy of days.
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In the end, the clouds never amounted to anything, but on the way back I encountered the swans again at the same spot, only now we were both going the opposite directions.
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A heron was bundled up against the cold...
...while Cormorant Tree was draped in its namesakes.
Meanwhile Louise kept pace with me, taking pictures as I drifted along in our temporary winter wonderland.

I landed and began organizing myself for the always fun uphill trek with the kayak.

Trip Length: 3.38 km
YTD: 3.38 km
More pictures are here.
2012-01-15 The Gorge


  1. Perfect!!! LOL
    Great post. Would have loved to been out there but had to be a yogi this afternoon. Great photo wheeling the yak down the road. Obviously the police officer had a sense of humour too.

  2. Nice paddle outing, with your ground crew keeping warm onshore!

  3. It was a gorgeous day for a paddle indeed.

  4. Yeah, it was. Where were you, Ryan? I was out in Cadboro Bay, noodling around Flower Island.

  5. Just plain awesome! You're making it look like it might still be fun? Cheers from the other part of Canada - further east (the National Capital Region) with way more snow and ice! Beautiful pics! Thanks for the smiles!

  6. Thanks for the kind words, folks!

  7. I have been kayaking almost all winter here in the Okanagan Valley and loving it. I used to only kayak spring till fall and never thought of paddling in the winter but after paddling this winter I think I will be making it a habit. Absolutely love kayaking and reading other people's trips. Have an awesome day and thanks for sharing your trip!


  8. Is that a camera I see on the Stern of your kayak? Is it remote controlled or a video camera?

  9. It's a GoPro video camera. I've got it set up to shoot stills, but it also shoots full HD video. It doesn't have a remote control, but one will be available soon.

  10. Awesome! One of these days I will get a GoPro I like the quality of the videos I have seen from those cameras. I use a HD Kodak Playsport Video camera on my kayak. Mounted it to a monopod on the back of the front seat on my kayak in arm's reach so video and photos are close at hand. I rarely have a front passenger. Usually full of camping gear anyway. Here is a shot of the mount with my other camera mounted.

    Great post, Thanks for the reply.


  11. Nice set up! I used to use a monopod for my camera mount, until the set-up failed on the water and my camera went swimming. Now I use a Spirit Sail base as the mount, and hardware from Sticky Pod and this seems to work well. Go-Pros are awesome! :)

  12. Need a good mount for sure! That Sticky Pod looks like a great mount but is there enough surface on your kayak for all 4 suction pads? I just got this mount for my LadyFriend "Fat Gecko Mini Camera Mount" it has one suction cup but man what a suction once mounted you can pick up the entire kayak with it. She also uses a paddle bungee for her camera just in case it might detach for safety.

    Awesome pics, keep paddling. I'm following your blog now.
    Have a great day!


  13. Thanks for Following, Guy. I don't think the Sticky Pod 4 pad mount would work unless you've got a boat with a really flat deck. That's why the Spirit Sail base works so well -- it's made for the curves of a kayak. The Fat Gecko looks interesting -- I'll have to check that out!