A cloudy and breezey Sunday morning greeted us beside the ferry dock at Brentwood Bay. We arrived an hour earlier than usual hoping for a long paddle south down Finlayson Arm and we were hoping that the early start would diminish our exposure to the afternoon winds that often materialize in the area. But of course, our weatherman's name is Murphy. The winds had come up unexpectedly overnight and were forecast to increase further in the afternoon. Still, we were keen to give it a shot, so we decided to venture out carefully and play it by ear.
It was a small crew today. Louise headed out in her Delta....
...while Alison avoided the ferry in her Current Design boat.
I was in my Delta and using my brand new Pentax Optio W60. It takes pretty good pictures, wouldn't you say?
Brentwood Bay was fairly calm, but once we turned the point into Saanich Inlet, it got a little rougher. The winds were blowing from the south against the flooding tide creating some choppy waves. Plus, the wind was in our faces. Of course.
We perservered and paddled past McKenzie Bight, and into Squally Reach.
As we reached the entrance to Finalyson Arm, the wind seemed to die down. We weren't sure if the winds had actually died down or if we were being protected by the tall hills on the side of the inlet. We were hoping that the wind, if it was still blowing, would still be coming from the south and at our backs for the return trip. We passed a rock playing host to a flock of seals enjoying the day. One was splashing about in the water so we kept our distance.
Alison spotted this eagle.
A few minutes later, Alison also scared a seal who was sitting on a rock. He dove into the water with a loud splash. And a few minutes after that, Alison scared him again. After he dove into the water he began following us, but we stopped for moment as Alison tried to take some pictures for a panorama shot. The seal didn't realize this and he surfaced right beside Alison. He frantically splashed again as he dove under.
This rock found it all very amusing.
We turned around and headed back. We soon realized that the wind had indeed died off, so now we had no help paddling against the tide. But we still made better time on the return trip.
The water was reseaonably cooperative on the way back. It was quite a marathon paddle. Actually, we were out five hours...so that's two marathons!
It ended as it began -- trying to avoid the ferry!
Trip length: 19.2 km
More pictures are here.
Download the Google Earth.kmz here.