Sunday, September 21, 2008

2008.30.123 - The Grand Tour

It might have been the last day of summer, but this morning we were dressed like it was the first day of winter. The weather reports were a little confusing. Some were issuing small craft and gale warnings; others were calling for just a slight breeze. We had one thing going for us; the currents should be relatively light and easy to deal with.
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It was Richard, Louise, Paula and myself today. Our plan was to take advantage of the weak currents and give Louise's and my new Delta kayaks their first trip into more open water, and head over to Discovery Island. Considering the forecast, we decided to be a little cautious so first we paddled over to Flower Island at the end of Ten Mile Point.
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From there, we paddled another half km or so to Jemmy Jones Island. Here I started laughing. We'd reached Jemmy Jones in only 20 minutes, when back in the day when all we had were 10' playboats, this was a day's paddle!
We could see the occasional squall passing off to the east of us behind Discovery Island. The currents were slow as predicted, and there seemed to be no sign of the wind. So we pressed on and made the 1 km crossing to Chatham Island.
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Last week, we couldn't spit without hitting a heron. This week, the seals were everywhere. These two fellows were relaxing on the rocky shore of Chatham Island.
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From Chatham, we paddled towards its neighbour, Discovery Island. Once again, just about every rock had a seal on it. And it stank of dead fish and seal poo.
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At Discovery, the wind still had not come up and so we decided to alter the plan and do "The Grand Tour," and cross over to the Chain Islands. There we saw -- wow, what a surprise -- more seals! (And yes, this islet is totally covered in seagull droppings.)
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Richard crept in close to this seal.
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We said goodbye to the seals, and crossed back to the mainland.
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Once back along the shore, we headed south in the direction of Trial Island. We poked our noses out around Gonzales Point and found ourselves in some waves. This is the demarcation between Haro and Juan de Fuca Straits and can make for a bad day for the unaware and illprepared kayaker. Today, it was just fun. Louise and I were impressed with our new boats. We had huge smiles all day as the boats effortlessly cut through chop, wake and waves. We love our new boats!
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We headed back north up the coast our launch point at Cadboro Bay. We weren't the only people who enjoyed a great day on the water.
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The Grand Tour

Trip length: 14.91 km
My photos are here.
The Google Earth kmz is here.

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