Sunday, July 19, 2015

Paddling Cooper's Cove with a new paddle

Got a minute to get back to writing about that short outing in Cooper's Cove the other day, trying out my new paddle. Things have been busy around here with the move, and I was glad to take the time to go out in a boat.
Cooper's Cove is a nice sheltered place for taking a recreational kayak, and a good place for entering Sooke Basin. I like that there's room for a couple of cars to park, and a loop for turning around. The Galloping Goose bike & hike path is right here, and bus stops for the #61 bus! There's even a kayak rental place right here, and a restaurant.
I sent a SPOT OK signal while paddling here -- you can see my location at this link. Looking at the map just now, I noticed again that sometimes when I'm near a cliff the signal doesn't reach always reach a satellite right away. Half the sky is blocked by the cliff, eh? The signal got through about two minutes later, when I was a few dozen yards away from the cliff and headed towards the launch site. If I really wanted to pinpoint my location up against a cliff, I'd send the signal and stay put for a few minutes, letting the SPOT keep flashing its OK signal till a satellite comes into range.
The paddle I was using is by Advanced Elements, and it's their Ultralite Pack Paddle. At 23.6 ounces, it's certainly lighter than any other paddle I've handled, even my carbon paddle with scoop blades. It comes apart into four pieces, and has its own drawstring bag with a mesh side.
For paddlers needing a paddle to use in challenging conditions, I recommend Advanced Elements' Touring 4-part paddle with dihedral blades rather than the Ultralite. The Touring is what I used on the Red Deer River, though if I were going there again my spare paddle this time would be the Ultralite since the stretch I paddled isn't whitewater. The Touring 4-part paddle is sold through West Marine stores as well as Advanced Elements' website.

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