Monday, April 14, 2014
2014.03.256 - Thetis Lake
This morning, Louise and I headed down to Thetis Lake so that Louise could try a dry-suit for the first time. Up to this time, Louise has used various combinations of neoprene pieces and paddling jackets. However, her main paddling jacket is in need of replacement and we've been discussing the pros and cons of a dry-suit as a replacement. Personally, I don't see any cons to a dry-suit -- except maybe the cost -- but until now Louise has remained unconvinced. We borrowed a dry-suit from another local paddler, but when she put it on we quickly discovered that Louise suffers from "clothestropohbia" -- a fear of confined clothing.
Our plan today was to paddle around the lake, then play in the water a bit so that Louise could get an idea of what a dry-suit is like.
We were about to hit the water when we suddenly realized that in our concern over getting the dry-suit ready for Louise, we'd forgotten out PFDs! Whoops!
What to do? If we were launching into the ocean without out PFDs, well, we wouldn't. But this being a lake we decided that sticking close to the shore should be safe enough. Thetis Lake is actually a deceptively deep lake; many a poor swimmer has encountered serious, in some cases fatal, trouble by walking out into the water from shore not realizing that the bottom drops off sharply and unexpectedly.
So, carefully, off we went.
Soon we found some trash floating near the main beach.
I'm not sure what it is -- a floating drink tray? Summer is starting early in the park! We put it ashore near a garbage can.
We continued on.
Among the trees and bushes along the shore I thought I saw a giant turtle. All I saw was a round shiny back, so my first thought was turtle, since we know there are turtles in the park. Then I saw it again, and it was definitely not a turtle. Too fast for one thing. Moving between the trees, it waddled along. Otter, maybe? We have seen those here, too.
But then I noticed the tree it walked by.
I'm pretty sure that otters don't eat trees.
So, a beaver then? Maybe, especially because Louise pointed out the large beaver mound behind the tree.
We moved into an arm of the lake that we know has turtles in it...
...and sure enough, there were two.
Soon it was time to head back. Louise has promised to report on her dry-suit experience.
Trip length: 6.04 km
YTD: 18.75 km
More pictures are here.