Saturday, February 20, 2010

2010.02.171 - Telegraph Bay

The winds were up higher than forecast, and a stiff breeze was blowing right off the water into the usually sheltered Telegraph Bay and our planned launch point.
2010-02-20 Telegraph Bay Pano
So we decided to stick to the bay. Louise is not a confident paddler and abhors the wind and Paula has inner ear issues and occasional balance troubles and she abhors rough water, so it was a good chance to safely practice paddling in windier conditions than we normally do. Richard however abhors anything with the word "practice" in it and set out by himself on a quest to find calmer waters. (He eventually found a new car.)

One of the things we did was practice something I had read early in the week over at The Gnarlydog. There, he posed a question to a number of experienced kayakers: In the event that I should be caught out on the water in a group of 6-8 paddlers (too far from shore to be reached in time) what would be my best way to ride out a short storm? The post makes for an interesting read and I recommend you check it out. Nigel Foster suggested a couple of training exercises, including this one.
"Another useful practice session in similar conditions is to paddle a figure-of-eight path around two anchored floats. It gives practice in turning in every direction to the wind and shows how effectively you can control the kayak in that strength of wind. The more practice, usually the quicker and more effectively you can do it without getting blown onto the beach."
And that's exactly what we had here in the bay. There were a couple of floats out that we did some figure eights around.
2010-02-20 Telegraph Bay 022

We went to the edge of the bay and enjoyed surfing the waves back in.
2010-02-20 Telegraph Bay 009

We also saw otters (I couldn't get any pictures), 3 deer (I couldn't get any pictures), and two eagles arguing over a tree (yeah, that's right -- no pictures). But we did see some geese, and I did get a picture. (Fortunately, these geese were of the pacifist variety, unlike this one.)
2010-02-20 Telegraph Bay 026

Finally came the best part of the day, a warm drink at Olive Olio's!
2010-02-20 Telegraph Bay 035

2010-02-20 Telegraph Bay

Trip length: 2.18 km
YTD: 8.22
More pictures are here.
The Google Earth kmz is here.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

2010.01.170 - Thetis Lake

It was supposed to be sunny, but last night's wind and rain storm hadn't quite finished passing through and when the dawn broke, it did so behind wet grey clouds. Which was okay actually, because we hadn't really planned for a major excursion today. Today was the first time out with our new paddle wheels, so all we wanted to do was a quick jaunt somewhere to work out the bugs of loading and unloading the kayaks onto our new (to us) vehicle. Of the other regulars, Richard was also only interested in a quick paddle and Paula was spending the day helping a friend in a flower shop sell Valentine's Day flowers. Richard had suggested Thetis Lake, and after a long lay-off from the water this seemed like a fine idea to Louise and I.
We were able to work out the transportation kinks and I think this is going to turn out to be a fine kayaking vehicle.

At Thetis, we quickly put in and started paddling. There wasn't much in the way of wildlife around, just this dogfish.

The reason why the animals weren't around became plainly obvious a few minutes into our paddle as the sky ripped open and we were pelted with rain. Cold winds whipped up as well and we laughed at our lousy weather luck.
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The windy squall was brief and a few minutes later the sun finally dealt the clouds a fatal blow. A modest beginning, but my 2010 paddling season is finally underway.

2010-02-14 Thetis Lake

Trip length: 6.04 km
More pictures are here.
The Google Earth kmz is here.