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 WestCoastPaddler.com 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.
click to enlarge
15 km, YTD 279 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.
click to enlarge
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 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!
click to enlarge
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

February 8 & 10 – Courtenay (# 6 & 7)

Monica and I went up to Courtenay for the weekend and stayed at a nice little place by the River (Courtenay River Cottage) . The cottage was right on the river so after an afternoon of Cross Country Skiing up at Mt Washington, I went for a short paddle down to the estuary. The cottage is on the tidal part of the river, so it was a tad muddy upon my return! Bill and Sharon joined us the following day, and on Sunday morning Bill and I went for a paddle down to the estuary again and checked out the marinas in the slough and by Comox Valley Kayaks. We were surprised to run into a beaver!
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It is definitely harder work paddling upstream!

13 km, YTD 77 km

February 3rd – Discovery (#5)

It was good to get out on the water again as my paddling plans for the previous weekend were nixed by a nasty cold. I had originally planned to go up to Surge for the weekend, but decided that it was not wise. Once staying home, I thought I might have made it out on the Sunday, but still was not well enough... The cold still lingers on, but I am much better and went out for a nice paddle around our favourite islands with Dan and George. The Sailboats were starting their races as we headed out and were finishing just as we returned! There are "park closed" signs all over the marine park on Discovery. In spite of a predicted strong ebb around noon, the currents did not cause us much trouble as we were able to keep up a good pace throughout.
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15 km, YTD 65 km

Jan 20th – Chathams (#4)

Dan, Paulo and I went out to the Chathams for a first paddle together in a while. Dan had had some back problems, so had not been on the water since November. We saw John and Louise on our way out and then met up with Olivier and Peter near Heritage Point where they had justseen the wolf again. The ebb current was building up as we paddled, so we had a play in the sluice and also found some fun waves by Strongtide Islet. Nice weather, though a tad chilly still. 2 pairs of mitts make for comfortable hands all day (onbe before lunch and one after!).
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13 km, YTD 49 km.