Monday, May 18, 2009

2009.12.143 - Reunions

After yesterday's sunshine, we were hoping that we might get a repeat of the good weather today, the final day of the Victoria Day weekend, but no such luck. The forecast called for clouds and rain in the afternoon, but it came early and while others were enjoying the parade, we readied our kayaks in a light drizzle. But a couple of things happened that brought sunshine to our hearts. First, Bernie joined us today.
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He's paddled a couple of times in the last year, but this is the first time he has paddled with Louise and I in about 14 months. Then an even bigger surprise: Tracy suddenly appeared on the beach! We haven't paddled with her in a couple of years. She tried to surprise us at Esquimalt Harbour yesterday but arrived late and we had already launched.
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So feeling like old times, we geared up and launched into the light rain.
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We knew that the weather was slowly going to get worse, and the currents were also going to slowly speed up, so we decided to put in at Cadboro Bay and kayak quicly out to Chatham and Discovery Islands, explore there for a bit, then head back and noodle around the rocks on the protected south side of Ten Mile Point.
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The drizzle soon stopped, and the water, while not glass smooth, was fairly calm. Currents were light and we quickly left Cadboro Bay and moved into more open water.
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At Chatham, we wondered if the owner of this boat misjudged the tides. It was tied up to the shore so it wouldn't float away, but that certainly wasn't going to be a problem today.
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We saw some seals, and being a large fleet today we didn't want to crowd them....
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...but this one didn't seem to mind posing as we passed him between Chatham and Discovery.
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We bade Chatham goodbye...
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...and crossed back to the mainland. We paddled slowly along the coast, passing families of geese and their latest additions.
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A moment later, I saw some otters on a small island. Usually, otters don't hang around long enough to let me get any pictures. I've been kayaking for four years, and I have taken only three pictures of otters. Today, most of the otters, as per usual, quickly scurried away, but one stayed in position, possibly too distracted by eating something to notice me.
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But something else noticed him. Suddenly, an eagle swooped in! I'm not positive what really happened. The eagle was being harassed a pair of crows, so I'm not sure if the eagle was after the otter, or after something the otter was eating, or was just looking for a little peace from the crows and just happened to land near the otter. Needless to say there was a brief moment of National Geographic-like consternation and uproar. This was my best picture, not so good really, but at least I did get the otter and eagle in the same frame!
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In the end, no harm was done, although the eagle kept getting an earful from the crows as it took shelter in a tree. The otter was briefly annoyed...
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...but quickly regained its composure, and went back to whatever it was doing on the rock, even after it finally noticed me.
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Soon, we landed, and in the final reunion of the day, Richard made a surprise appearance at the post-kayaking coffee at Olive Olios.
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Trip length: 10.07 km
YTD: 85.07
My pictures are here.
The Google Earth kmz is here.

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