Had a good time on the water on Saturday. Bernie and I launched at Cooper's Cove and headed into Hutchison Cove. Both coves are part of Sooke Basin, where we've paddled before several times!
We ate a ripe blackberry each as we walked from the van to shore with our boats. No lingering to harvest blackberries! Today was just a short day. If I'd thought about driving to water, I'd have taken my 13-foot Expedition inflatable kayak, but the little 8'6" Lagoon is still so new that I'm practically carrying it to the grocery store and everywhere. I was in the Lagoon and Bernie in the red Pamlico when we set off. By the time I hit the water -- a bare six minutes after leaving the van, I might add, which is a terrific inflation/set-up time for any folding kayak!-- Bernie was drifting back from the middle of the cove with a smug smile.
"I've already caught a crab," he said. "And a fish. Well, the fish struck at the blackberry seed I spit out of my teeth. And I've seen a turkey vulture soaring overhead. My day is complete." Congratulations were in order, even when he admitted that the crab had been thumb-sized, floating, and already released, and the fish was a tiny fingerling.
Most of the sea life we noted after that was a series of jellyfish. Moon jellies were floating all around. We paddled past the bluffs and into the mouth of Hutchison Cove, where we drifted for a while and contemplated an immensely large house visible on the shore. Here's a SPOT signal showing our location on our way back.
We followed along the Goodridge Peninsula on the outside of Cooper Cove and then on the inside, contemplating the geology and the wear-and-tear on this little peninsula. It formed after the end of the last Ice Age, and most of the sediments we can see above the waterline piled up in the last 10,000 years. There are clamshells and black earth here, which apparently means the ashes and shells from First Nations middens. It would have been a nice place for clams and ducks. A hundred years ago it was a site for construction of concrete tunnel sections to convey water from Sooke Lake reservoir to Victoria, so the site saw some pretty rough use. Now it's recovering and looks like a park. Part of the Cove is a sanctuary for migrating birds.
A seal or two popped up behind our boats and watched us before dipping down again. We weren't on the water long, but it always feels like the right place to be.