Sunday, July 01, 2012
Canada Day Paddle
Yes, we're 145 years young today, and what better way is their to celebrate than our annual Canada Day paddle down The Gorge?
Louise and I were joined by Robyn and Mark (Gecko Paddler). Normally, they would park at our launching point at the Victoria Canoe and Kayak Club, but since Gorge Road is closed today for the annual Gorge Road Canada Day Picnic, they drove to our house and all four of us rolled our kayaks down the hill to the put-in at the Kayak Club.
Of course, four of us launching at the same time created a bit of a traffic jam on this partly cloudy day.
Mark tried out a new idea of using his feet as pontoons.
It's only fitting that we spotted some Canada Geese on Canada Day.
We headed down The Gorge, passing by the vendor tents set up along the Gorge walkway.
Scooting under the Craigflower Bridge...
...my companions stopped to pose for a moment.
Entering Portage Inlet, we were hoping to see the local swans and find out if they had any babies this year, but they weren't around. They weren't in their nest and we didn't spot them along the shoreline. We did see something vaguely swan-shaped across the Inlet, but it didn't seem to be moving so we weren't sure what it was. We'd get to that mysterious object eventually, and even though the swans weren't around, the herons more than made up for them.
We paddled past purple martin bird houses. Purple martins have specific nesting needs and human encroachment has almost wiped them out, but thanks to bird houses like these, the martins are coming back. However, whatever was camped in this martin nest, it was not a purple martin.
We finally discovered what we thought from a distance was a swan. Not a swan, but it was a large duck, so you can understand our confusion.
Mark ended up stuck on a rock. I told Mark not to feel so bad because I had ended up stuck on rocks twice already today. I just had the good fortune not to do when I was surrounded by people with cameras.
We paddled back to our put-in and Mark and I decided to check the current under Tillicum Bridge. As we coasted in the current towards the bridge, another heron was fishing.
After the paddle, the four of us sampled the sights and sounds of The Gorge Road Picnic, starting with the classic cars.
My first car was a 1971 Plymouth Duster. It did not look like this one.
We took in music, dancing, and, of course, mini-doughnuts...
...along with a few thousand neighbours.
Happy Canada Day, eh?
Trip Length: 9.85 km
YTD: 63.86 km
More pictures are here.