Site Change

I have decided to change Killarney kayaks to a personal Kayaking page instead of a kayak business. I plan to use this site to foster one my passions – paddling Greenland style!

April 27th – Portland Island (#29)

I decided on the spur of the moment to head out for an afternoon paddle to Portland Island where I knew several folks were camping for the weekend.I had thought I would not make it, but then decided to try to do it in the afternoon. Left home just after 1 PM and was home by 6 PM! The paddle out was fast. I averaged over 4 knots and made it to Arbutus Point in 50 minutes. I spent just over an hour visiting with folks at Arbutus Point and then left to go back just after 4. This time, due to a stiff SW wind, it took a bit longer (70 minutes) even though the distance was slightly less - you can see how much slower the track is from Portland Island back to Knapp Island. I paddled back with Scott and Mark and had a fun paddle through the waves in Shute Passage. It was great to see several WCP folks again, even if it was for a short while. The Tahe Greenland T performed very well as did my shoulderless NLP paddle. I was very glad to have made it out and cleared my head!
Yahoo imagery of track - click to enlarge

Google imagery - click to enlarge
14 km, YTD 321 km

April 14th – Thetis Island (#28)

I joined the first SISKA paddle outside the Victoria area to paddle around Thetis Island from Chemanius. The paddle was organized and led by Reale, and we had magnificent conditions. Hardy any wind or current and enough water to get through the gap! This was probably the longest paddle the club has done and set a new standard for energizer paddles! The water was floccy with algae, and we saw lots of starfish and sea cucumbers as we paddled around Thetis. The starfish clumps got us into a good debate about why they clumped. Some of the hypotheses were - interesting! We also had a good view of many sand dollars as we came back to the beach in Chemanius. We had a nice lunch break on the north beach were we were treated to yummy chocolate by Reale and delicious rum balls by David! One our way back over we paddled by a large bulk carrier, bellemar, and I was able to paddle along side under the anchor and stern! It was a lot higher in the water than in the linked photo!
A great day on the water and nice to get a good long paddle in.
28 km, YTD 307 km

April 13 – Discovery Island (#27)

Dan and I went for a morning paddle around the favourite islands! The weather was a bit mixed, with wind, rain, hail and sunshine! Winds were fairly steady at around 15-20 knots from the SW and there was a decent ebb current, so we had some fun in the wind and waves crossing over to the islands. Once around Commodore point the wind was at our backs and the waves were smaller. We stopped off for a snack break in boat house bay and then made our way back around the top side of Chatham. Currents had slackened, so it was a nice easy trip.
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15 km, YTD 279 km

April 6&7 – Surge Narrows (#25&26)

I joined drove up to Quadra with Olivier to stay at Discovery Islands Lodge with Dorothea, Scott, Mike, Paulo, Dan and Walter for a weekend at Surge. Alan and Brent joined us on Saturday, and we had good paddling on both days. I managed to get some great rides on both days. The wave was pretty tricky during max flood, but became very nice as the tide rose and the current dropped a bit. We had a great pot luck at the lodge on Saturday evening. On Sunday we met John, Mike, and Paul as well as Brent.
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17 km, YTD 264 km

April 1st – Discovery (#24)

Dan, Paulo and I paddled out to Cadboro Point were me met Olivier and made our way out around Chatham and Discovery Islands. We managed to keep above the fast ebb current in Baynes on the way over and by heading straight across from Heritage point on the way back we seemed to avoid most of the current on the way back too. We stopped off at Rudlin Bay for a nice long lunch break in the sun. There was a cool southeasterly wind blowing, but this was the first paddle of the year for me in a short sleeved dry top and rash guard - summer may be just around the corner? I also used a shoulderless paddle by Northen Lights for the first time and liked it. Being narrower I found I needed a higher cadence, but it did not seem any more effort. This paddle should work nicely as a storm paddle. At 247 km on April 1st (Day 91 of 365!), I am on track for my 1000 km a year goal! The food caches have been installed in Rudlin bay and the site is open again for camping.
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15 km, YTD 247 km

March 30th – Cadboro Bay (#23)

Ed and I went for a nice morning paddle around Cadboro Bay. Ed is out visiting from Lethbridge where he does not get many paddling opportunities at this time of year! The weather was sunny and cool - magnificent! There were a few other paddlers out and a good number of dinghy sailors in the bay. There was a strong ebb happening at Cadboro Point and the tide dropped dramatically during our paddle.
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8 km, YTD 232 km

March 2013 – Florida trip (#s 13-22) (long post!)

(This is a long post as I am inlcuding the whole trip with 10 paddles in it!)
Monica and I went to southwest Florida for a two week spring break trip and managed to get several great paddles in. We packed the two Feathercraft Wispers into their bags and checked them in as standard 50lb bags - ended up costing us $20 per boat extra each way for the second bag. Our trip focussed on manatees and birds which we saw in good numbers. The land in Florida is FLAT, and the inshore waters are shallow. Most of our paddling was in 5 ft or less of water. The Wispers were great boats for this trip, giving us light comfortable and familiar boats to paddle which could be kept in the trunk of the rental car or carried on the roof. We bought a Malone Handirack to carry the boats on the roof, and it worked reasonably well once we had good bow and stern tie downs. I had my 3 piece Northern Light Greenland Paddle and Monica had a 4 piece Feathercraft paddle.
We basically had no fixed plan for the trip, flying into and out of Fort Lauderdale and we rented a full size car for the whole trip. No hotel bookings were made except for the last night. We drove straight to Cape Coral by way of "Alligator Alley" to pick up the Malone Handirack and the owner of the store recommended that we stay in a small place in Matlacha by Pine Island. We thought we might spend a couple of nights there, but ended up spending 4! We went for a nice day paddle to the west of Pine Island, as well as a couple of forays into Cape Corals canals where we managed to see a few manatees and some good birds. We also made a morning trip to Manatee Park in Fort Myers where the manatees take advantage of the warm waters coming out of the electric power station.
After Matlacha we went north to Crystal River in the hopes of swimming with Manatees. On our first attempt we took a tour, but the weather had been warm and there were three smallish dozing manatees by the spring. We decided to try again the next day (the night before was cold!) on our own, using the kayaks and had much better luck, getting to swim with our "own" manatee for a while. After that, we decided to head south to Everglades City where we stayed at a great lodge called the Ivey House. Again we thought we would stay a couple of nights but ended up staying four! The folks at the Ivey House were super friendly and helpful. On our way south we stopped for lunch at the Manatee Viewing center run by Tampa Bay Electric - we saw more than 40 manatees taking in the 29 C (85F) water.
The Everglades were spectacular with their mangroves and saw grass prairies, and we managed several paddles as well as a "ten thousand Islands boat tour". In addition, my friend and past student, Martin , came down to Everglades city with his flats boat and we had a great day on the water - the highlight was Martin hooking a 60 or so lb tarpon!
After Everglades city, we made our way to the Keys (stopping at Shark Valley for a 15 mile bike ride) for a couple of nights, staying in Key Largo. The wind was pretty strong for the time we were there, so we did not do any snorkelling or as much paddling as I would have liked. We tried to drive out to Key West, but got fed up with the traffic and turned around at Big Pine Key - after checking out some key deer.
For our last day we decided to leave the Keys and check out the Flaming area of Everglades park and had a great day of bird and gator watching.
All in all, the trip was all we hoped for and we saw more wildlife than we expected (lots of manatees, lots of alligators and well over 60 bird species), had some nice paddling in warm water and weather, and ate lots of tasty fish (grouper and mahi mahi).
Below are all the paddle write ups:

Paddle #13 - Pinelands to Part Island - March 16

Google imagery - click to enlarge

yahoo imagery - click to enlarge
Our first paddle in warm shallow waters. We made it out to Part Island (which is for sale for 1.5 M$ or so!) 13 km.

Paddle #14 - Matlacha to Sirenia Park, Cape Coral - March 17

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We paddled around Matlacha Island and spent some time looking for manatees in Sirenia Park as well as exploring some mangroves. 11 km

Paddle #15 - Fort Myers Manatee Park - March 18 AM

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Monica and I went to Manatee Park in Fort Myers were manatees were gathering in the warm waters around a power station - this was the first time we had come really close to manatees! They are BIG! We rented a double from the park concession for an hour! 1 km.

Paddle #16 - Matlacha to Sirenia Park and Cape Coral - March 18 PM

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Monica and I went for an early paddle over to Cape Coral again. This time we saw quite a few more manatees as well as a dolphin. 10 km

Paddle #17 - Crystal River - March 21

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Monica and I paddled to the springs and had our snorkelling gear with us. We hopped out of our kayaks, tied them up and went for a great swim with the manatees! 5 km

Paddle #18 - Halfway River Mouth - March 22

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Monica and I joined a ranger-led paddle with a couple for Germany and another from the Netherlands. 8 km

Paddle #19 - Halfway River Loop - March 23 AM

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This ended up being our longest paddle, and it was quite warm so were tired by the end of the paddle! Lots of mangrove tunnels but not much birdlife. Fortunately we had a good map as it would have been easy to get lost! 14 km

Paddle #20 - East River - March 23 PM

east river evening paddle - click to enlarge
I went for a solo paddle and joined up for a while with a group from the lodge. There was a large rookery of ibises and egrets near the start of the paddle which became very busy at the end of my paddle just as the sun was setting. As I paddled into the first mangrove tunnel, I was startled as three alligators splashed to escape! While I was on this paddle, Monica went back to the Marsh trail that had probably the best birding of the trip the nigh before. You can see both the mangrove channels and the sawgrass prairie in this image. 5 km

Paddle #21 - John Pennekamp Coral reef State Park - March 26 AM

Largo Sound - click to enlarge
Monica and I decided to go for a protected paddle in the mangroves of Largo sound out of the state park. It was fun exploring the mangrove channels. A highlight of this paddle was finding a small bay with dozens of upside down jellyfish! 8 km.

Paddle #22 - Seafarer resort to shell Key - March 26 PM

seafarer resort to Shell Key

This was my last paddle of the trip and a chance to explore the keys a bit. I went on my own as it was quite windy. You can see the Intracoastal waterway rout quite clearly in the image. I saw a few of the usual seabirds and a small shark. On the way back from Shell key, the waves were big enough to surf a bit! 10 km.

Total trip paddling summary - 10 paddles, 85 km, YTD 224 km.

March 10th – Trial Island and Chain Islets (#12)

I led a group of 20 SISKA paddlers from Oak Bay Marina around to Trial Island and then back out to the Chain Islets after a lunch break at the golf course. Conditions were good with the wind between 5 and 10 knots most of the time and the sea rippled for most of the time. The current turned to flood sooner than I expected, so there was a bit of current around Trial Island. It was great to meet some new paddlers and reconnect with many friends!
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15 km, YTD 139 km (8 NM)

March 7th – Discovery (#11)

Dan and I went for an after work afternoon paddle around Chatham and Discovery. Conditions were good, with a moderate ebb in Baynes Channel that made some small waves to play in off Cadboro Point. We decided to put in some extra distance in this time with a figure of eight around the islands. I was a bit out of shape after not paddling for a couple of weeks!
18 km, YTD 124 km