Sunday, February 17, 2013

2013.02.246 - Unexpected Visitors

Louise and I are struggling to get into paddling after our long lay-off over the fall and winter. But one thing guaranteed to help get a person back into paddling shape is to get out and, you know, paddle.
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This morning, we had a bit of free time so we rolled the kayaks down the hill and put in for a quickie up The Gorge.
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The air still has a bit of a bit of a chill to it, and some rain and wind is due in tomorrow, but the morning sun was bright and warm as it heralded the arrival of spring. Soon. We hope.

As we headed out, this paddled by. I may be mistaken, but it sure looks like a hollowed-out log. If it isn't, it's sure built to look like one. We did not get a chance to ask the paddler about it, alas.
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With the current not looking too bad, we decided to paddle under the Tillicum Bridge.
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There was a slight current going under, but a few moments later when we turned to go back, the current's speed had increased substantially. It wasn't enough to be a concern or worry that we couldn't return, but it was a bit of a workout, and another reminder that conditions on the water do not remain static.

Across The Gorge from our launch point, we spotted a pair of swans hanging out with some ducks. I've been noticing this pair hanging out here for a few weeks now and I'm hoping that they're going to nest in the area. They didn't pay us much attention as we paddled by.
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This merganser didn't pay us much attention either.
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Paddling up The Gorge, we approached the bridge at Admirals Road. (The road across the bridge is Admirals Road, but the bridge is called Craigflower bridge. Go figure.) Take a good look at the bridge -- by this time next year it will be replaced by a brand new bridge. Construction is slated to start in July and in addition to causing traffic chaos in the neighbourhood, it may put a kink in any summer paddles into Portage Inlet.
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But we had no such worries today. We passed under the bridge into the inlet, avoiding the lines of the few herring fishermen aligned along the bridge's railings.
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We weren't having a comfortable paddle. We'd forgotten one of our cardinal rules, which is "No eggs for breakfast on a paddling day!" The eggs, although delicious, were putting in a repeat performance. Not so yummy the second time. I was also feeling stiff and sore in the boat today. Just one of those paddles when you and the boat aren't communicating very well.
We checked out the Portage Inlet swans at their usual spot....
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...as well as a duck that paddled by.
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With both of us feeling a little off, we headed back to our launch point.
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As we landed and began packing, I looked up and saw that the first two swans we had encountered at the start of our paddle had swam across The Gorge to check us out. "Turn around," I said to Louise.
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These two were clearly very tame and it seemed like they were begging us for food. One of them was making a chirping-like noise.
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They hung around with us for a good ten minutes. Every time I grabbed my camera dry bag, they moved in closer hoping that I was digging out something for them to eat. Finally they realized we had nothing for them, and they continued on their way. And we prepared to push our kayaks up the hill.
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Trip length: 7.21 km
YTD: 11.40 km
More pictures are here.
2013-02-17 The Gorge

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