Sunday, October 29, 2006

Cowichan Bay

What a lovely day -- or so we thought! We started early, some of us earlier than others as they forgot to set their clocks back an hour. (I won't mention names but their initials are Paula and Bernie.)
We knew that there were some wind warnings up, and this made us a little apprehensive of what we might face. But we wanted to try Cowichan Bay, about an hour north of Victoria, so we decided to go anyway and if the weather was good, we'd paddle. If not, we'd still have a fun day having lunch out and hitting the tourist traps.

But when we got there, the sun was out, the wind was calm, and the water flat.

Sure there was the odd cloud or two...
...but if the jellyfish weren't worried, why should we be?

So we got ourselves loaded up and hit the calm water. It was Lousie, Paula and myself in singles, while Bernie rented a double with his friend Richard.

There's no beach; all the waterfront buildings here are on pilings.
Look how flat that water is.

And away we go! And no sooner do we get literally thirty feet from shore, the wind came up and suddenly we were in heavy, heavy chop!
And Then the Wind Came Up

We weren't going to cross the bay today (that had been our plan)...
IMGP2060 we instead we paddled along the shore into the wind.

It was a good chance to practice in bad weather.
Rough Day on the Water

Amazingly, it didn't rain on us...
...although we were surrounded by it.

We headed back...
...and naturally the weather cleared up by the time we got back to shore.

Once ashore, we found some other boats that had decided to stay out of the water, This is a Triak, a small sail boat/kayak. It can be yours for about $5000 US.

Here's a homemade kayak. The builder decided to add his own built-in sponsons on the side, This creates a look which someone else on the pier described as "the worst-looking kayak in the world."

And here is an old First Nations canoe. It looks like it would been very fast, but you'd need to have good balance to not tip it.

My pictures are here.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Back in the Paddle Again

And away we go! We're off from Albert Head Lagoon to Witty's Lagoon at high tide where we hopefully will make into the lagoon this time. The last time we tried this, the tide was on the low side and we couldn't make it in. It's Paula, Louise, Alison, Bernie and myself today.
You can tell that winter's coming. It's 9:30 in the morning, but the sun is down low in the sky.
Sunny Day

We paddle past a couple of old gun turrets of WWII vintage.

While everyone else goes around a small island, Paula and I take a shortcut.
The Shortcut

I'm pleased with the result!

We were traveling with a good current going in to Witty's Lagoon. We even did a little mild surfing on the gentle swells.

Alison must be hanging around in too many hip-hop bars. Yo, she got the phat bling. Word.

Right around here, I saw a shark. Okay, so it was a dogfish. But a dogfish is a shark. Isn't it? We were in pretty shallow water and I looked down and HOLY #$%@, there's this four foot-long shark down there. Well, maybe three foot-long. But it was a shark! I swear! The water was so shallow that it looked like we still couldn't get into the lagoon. Bernie spotted a good spot to stop for a break...
IMGP1998 we did.
Witty's Lagoon

Bernie goes looking for my shark.

We didn't see any more sharks, but we did find seals!

While we were playing with the seals, Alison sneaked back to see if she could make it into the lagoon. The tide had come in a bit more and she found a channel that she could paddle up through and get into the lagoon. Unfortunately, there was a dog running around and it was jumping all over her kayak, so she turned around and left. You don't often hear about dogs harassing kayakers, do you?
A Flock of Seals

This guy had an itch that needed scratching.
Itchy Seal
He seemed quite pleased with the results!
Happy Seal 8x10

Call Mulder and Scully -- it's a super secret military base!

Everyone decided to take the shortcut on the way back.

Bernie decided to take an even narrower short cut. Don't worry, he lived to tell the tale.

Who says we don't get fall colours on the we(s)t coast?

My pictures are here.

Sunday, October 08, 2006


Last week, I took my camera with me during my ride to work hoping to get a good pic or two of the sunrise over the Gorge. And I did.
But when I finally took a good look at them today, lo and behold, I also got a kayaker in the water.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Brentwood Bay: Return to the Island of the Geese

Here we are at Brentwood Bay, a cloudy Sunday, but just right for paddling. Here, Louise, Bernie, Paula and Alison show how much they love to play to the camera. (Tracy loves the camera so much that she's already in the water and long gone.)

We decided to head first to 15 Minute Island.

We get close to the island...

...and discover that geese are everywhere! I've never seen so many geese in my life! Thousands of them! And they were all yapping! Louise figured they were arguing over Arizona or Florida. A heron flew away -- I figured that he was upset that all the best camping spots were taken. Or maybe he was upset with his new neighbors (but it's okay -- some of his best friends are geese)!

We went around the island.
Headin' Out

Bernie checks out the tidal life...

... while Paula chases down dinner.

We headed across to Bamberton...

...and put in for a pit stop.

Bernie make fire.

The Best Part of a Paddle - Lunch!

...then it's time to head out again.

We paddled past the cement plant.

We found this guy hiding in plain sight on a rock.
And with that seal of approval, our paddle is done!

My pictures are here.