Monday, January 30, 2006

Portage Inlet

This past Sunday, we paddled the upper Gorge and Portage Inlet. We struck out early as a major windstorm was expected in the afternoon, so we set out under early morning clouds.

A pair of geese showed little fear, or interest, in our little plastic fleet.

However, a pair of swans showed much interest and visited each of us in turn.


John's pictures are here.

It's not a mistake if nobody dies

The question to ask is not "How long until I begin suffering hypothermia?" Nor is it "how the hell did I end up upside down?" The question to ask is "now that I'm upside down in the freakin' ocean, how long is it going to be before I make my first bad decision?" The goal is to be back upright in your kayak before making that decision. And the reason for a paddle partner is so that when you make that stupid/bad decision, you've got someone to tell you you're an idiot.
Though on those days you might be paddling out to James Island solo in some pretty heavy chop that you're really not ready for, sometimes it's good to be alone with your stupid decision....

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Inner Harbour Paddle Party

It's a new year, so time for another paddle!

We've got a full crew today: Dennis, Alison, Louise, Paula, Bernie and myself. I think it's the first time all six of us have gone out on the water together.
Starting Off

All of us were able to get out because Paula and Bernie have rented a double to try out. (They really need to become a two-boat family.)

Off we go!


I think planes have the right-of-way.

Dennis has moved up to a newer inflatable.

Am I having fun? I think so!

We crossed the harbour and came back along Fisherman's Wharf.


Bernie is risking his marriage by using his paddle to pour water down his wife's back. He claimed innocence, but I know it took him a couple of tries to perfect his technique.
This is a great picture. I wonder if someplace like Wavelength magazine would publish it?
Bernie Gets in Trouble

We approached the Johnson Street Bridge....

...and passed under it. But the mysteries that lie beyond it will have to wait for another paddle!
The Bridge

John's pictures are here.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Thetis Lake

This morning was cool and clear, finally a break in the days of rain we've been getting this winter. A kayaking trip was in order!
At Thetis Lake, we put in for what would usually be a two-hour paddle, but nature had other plans and was about to give us an unexpected show only moments from the start of the trip.
Rounding the first point very close to shore, I came almost face to beak with a bald eagle. He was sitting on the rocky shore, between three and four meters away.
He didn't fly away, like a duck or a seagull might have. Instead, he sat and watched me as I was watched him. No doubt he was as surprised to see me as I was to see him. I grabbed my camera and had time to take a picture or two; unfortunately, the glare from the sun off the lake was blinding, and in exactly the wrong position: directly behind the eagle. Any picture that I had taken would have been overexposed, and next to worthless.
The eagle finally had enough and flew off. But it had something in its talons which it dropped in the water as it left. Only then did I realize that I had interrupted the eagle's breakfast; it had dropped a dead cormorant in the water.
It flew to a nearby tree, and perched atop a high branch, perhaps to hoping to add a little something extra to his meal, and I finally got a picture.