Monday, April 30, 2007

2006.05.69 - Telegraph Bay

Ah, you gotta love a Monday off work. Louise, Bernie, Paula and I went for a paddle, putting in at Telegraph Bay.
Paddling Telegraph Bay

Louise headed out....

... but Bernie headed waaaay out.

We made our way to the cave that Louise and I explored last summer.

Paula and Bernie poked around inside it. The tide was a lot lower than when Louise and I had been here previously so we were able to get quite a ways inside.

Not much in the way of sea life today. Normally we'd see a whole bunch of seals out on the rocks, but there wasn't a one to be found today. The best we could do was three seagulls.

This one was trying to hide... but we surrounded him.
Near the Rocks

We pressed on and found a pair of deer on the rocks.

Okay, not exactly seals, but we won't complain too much.

But now the weather had changed and it was time to head back.

My pictures are here.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

2007.04.68 - Windy on the Willows

Time to test some new gear. This is a Sticky Pod, a suction cup camera mount. It's meant for cars, but it'll work just as well on a kayak. The idea here was to set my camera to interval shooting, a picture every twenty seconds.

Here is the Sticky Pod in action. Louise, Paula and I headed out for a little paddle around Willows Beach. It started out nice, but turned windy and choppy. Louise had a sore arm (ha! finally some one else has a sore arm!), so we didn't stay out long.

Here's the picture it took.
A Nice Day at Willows Beach

It took about 160 pictures. Most of them looked like this.

... but I did get a few nice shots.

Mind you, because the weather turned rough, about 100 of the pictures have big water spots on them and look like this.

Then again, it's a pretty cool effect. (For some reason I suddenly have the urge to get mellow and listen to Dark Side of the Moon.)

But we still had a good paddle!

My pictures are here.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

2007.03.67 - Breakfast, Anyone?

Sunday's paddle was an example of great minds thinking alike. And yes, even though the minds in question were Bernie's and mine, it still all worked out okay in the end.
Bernie suggested a paddle at Thetis Lake and further suggested that we arrive an hour earlier than our usual meeting time of 9:00 am. His thought was that if we met at 8:00 am, we should get good parking spots and avoid all the early morning Sunday dog walkers.
I countered that we could meet at 8:00 am, but we didn't have to launch right away... we could have breakfast on the shore.
And thus was born The Breakfast Paddle.

Bernie make fire.... and food.
Bernie Make Food

After a yummy breakfast of poached eggs, lamb sausage, and wraps, we napped for an hour. Well, no, not really. But we did get into a discussion of water bottles and we soon discovered that between the five of us, we had nine bottles. Clearly, we're a bunch of heavy drinkers. Nine water bottles? For Thetis Lake?? Louise and I only had one each, so between Paula, Bernie and Alison, they averaged two and a third bottles each. I know it pays to be prepared but this is ridiculous!

On the other hand, we are a bunch of gearheads.

And away we go.

Not much in the way of wildlife today...

...but it sure is pretty.

A nice day to just float and see where you end up.

Mind you, you have to give The Killer Goose plenty of room.

And then the rain came!

Time to head back -- quickly!

My pictures are here.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

2007.02.66 - The Eagles Have Landed

Another easy paddle was the order of the day, mainly because my recovering shoulder and arm are still not ready for a long paddle, and because The Usual Gang of Paddling Idiots was accompanied by a rookie paddler, Jenny.
Bernie gave her a quick on-shore lesson in his technique and expertise, but despite this, she was still keen to try.

So away we went for a short cruise around the home port, Cadboro Bay. It was Louise, Alison, Paula, Jenny and myself today, as Bernie begged off.
We tried to give Jenny all of our worldy kayaking knowledge. Here Paula demonstrates how to cause a traffic jam and almost fall in at the same time.

Louise has her I'm-not-doing-anything-when-John-is-pointing-the-camera-at-me-so-he-can't-make-up-a-goofy-caption-for-the-blog look down pat.

And away we go!

We watched a pair of eagles fly around for a while, until they landed.
The older one (the one with the white head) was eating a fish or something, while the other one (the younger, brownish speckled one) watched. But they got bored with us and flew away. They were big, though. The brown one circled over us later, down fairly low, and it seemed to have a huge wingspan.
Are You Going to Finish That Fish or What?

We went as far as Flower Island. It was cloudy when we started, but the sun burned through and it turned into a pretty nice day. We had a slowly turning tide that gently pulled us out after we launched, then gently pushed us back as we returned.

Alison and Jenny are discussing why it is that only the cool paddlers have red boats.

A paddle wouldn't be a paddle without a heron.

As we headed back, the young eagle returned and parked itself in a tree.
It didn't seem to be paying me any attention. Which is fine. I can get more pictures that way.
Eagle in a Tree

After saying goodbye and thank-you to the eagle, this heron decided it wanted to pose for a while.

And pose he did.
Heron on Cadboro Bay 2
Heron on Cadboro Bay
You couldn't have a much better day on the water than today!

My pictures are here.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

2007.01.65 - Back in the Paddle Again

Despite my prediction in the last installment that it might be at least a month before I'd be back on the water or on my bike, a few days ago my physio-therapist gave me permission to kayak and ride again. So not being a person to let moss grow under my feet, mainly because then they smell icky and turn green, it was time to return to action with a short paddle at Elk Lake.
The Usual Gang showed up: Alison, Paula, Louise, Bernie, and myself. Even the elusive Dennis appeared.
Getting Ready

My left arm is still weak, so getting in and out was a bit of a challenge. I tried a couple of times on land and it was doable. So I got into my kayak and Paula pushed me off.

And now, 161 days after my last paddle, I can only paraphrase Bill Murray from the film What About Bob?: I'm paddling! I'm paddling!
My First Paddle in 161 Days

Louise soon hit the water, while Dennis decided to wave goodbye and go home. No, just kidding. It was good to have the gang out on the water again.

Bernie headed out.

Dennis decided that I was taking too many pictures of Bernie, so he made sure that Bernie's face was hidden in this picture.

It was busy out on the lake today... the rowing club was having a big celebration this weekend and was using much of the lake, but that was okay. We were just doing a small, short paddle today, because I didn't want to overdo it on my first paddle.

So we paddled gently and watched the races.

My shoulder survived reasonably well. It was sore and stiff, but not overly so. The hardest part was tying down the kayaks onto the van. Holding my arms up while tying off the straps took a lot of effort. But I did it! Or rather, we did it, as everyone was very keen to help. Afterward, The Gang presented me with a Challenge Trophy, for overcoming a challenge!

Ah, bliss!
Ah, bliss!

My pictures are here.