Sunday, April 5, 2009

2009.03.134 - Windswept

Occasionally, some paddles end up being exercises in frustration. Like today's, for instance. It was a sunny day, but unexpectedly breezy so we decided not to head out to Discovery and just putter around from Cadboro Bay to Cattle Point.

I stole this idea from Paddling With a Camera. By using an upturned monopod attached to a kayak sail base at the rear of my Delta Eighteen5, I hoped to get some shots from a new angle.

And that's when the frustration started. For some reason I couldn't get the camera to work. After a few minutes of pressing buttons and the camera bleeping and blooping, I discovered that the problem was operator error.
So I got the camera figured out and launched. Then my GPS crapped out on me. (I'm hoping it's just the batteries.) The paddle was not off to an auspicious start.

Louise was in her Delta Seventeen, while Paula took her Advanced Element AdvancedEdge that she is testing as she wanted to try it in windy conditions.

We headed out of Cadboro Bay towards Cattle Point.

I didn't get a lot of pictures today because the winds were just blowing us around. Anytime I stopped to take a picture with my big camera, the wind would sweep me away before I could get the shot.

As we explored the rock garden along the coast, Paula moved ahead to scout out whether the tide was high enough to allow us through the small channels. She shouted back that one looked too shallow to pass, but that was exactly what I was looking for at that moment. A heron had alighted and I thought if I grounded in the shallow channel, I would be stable enough to get a few shots. I snuck up to the heron and, as Paula thought, I grounded. Louise was coming behind me, and a sudden violent gust spun her sideways and into my stern. She pushed me over the bump I was on, and we both went sideways down the little channel, Louise trying to gain control of her boat, while I had no control as I quickly tried to stash my camera.
In the end, no harm done, but the wind was rising and we were all feeling a little frustrated. Paula was holding her own in an unfamiliar kayak, but we were all feeling like there wasn't much "fun" going on.
My camera mount was also leaning over precariously, the end result being a lot of pictures that looked like this:
The suction cups were giving way and I'm not sure why. Was it behaving like a sail in the wind? Or did I just raise it too high and make it unstable? The theory of the camera mount worked, it just needs to be refined. But with it leaning off to the side, it was in danger of leaning over too far and dragging in the water and that would have no fun on a calm day, let alone a stormy day like today. My paddle partners re-attached it and we headed back.
And, naturally, as soon as we packed up our boats, the wind died off.
And so it goes.

Trip length: 4km
YTD: 14.83 km
My pictures are here.

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