Listening in from the Okanagan.....

Discussion in 'General Paddling Discussions' started by Kasey, Sep 5, 2005.

  1. Kasey

    Kasey Paddler

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    Hi everybody! I found your site a little while ago and have been enjoying it so much and thought I should say hi and introduce myself. I have been paddling for 2 years now on lakes in the Okanagan and have really like it but didn't fully get the "bug" until early in the summer when I got out on the coast off Denman and Quadra Islands twice. I am now totally addicted and have joined the Kelowna Canoe and Kayak Club and gone out with them a few times and met a few more paddlers. I hope to get out to the coast more since my sister got the "bug" at the same time and is working on buying a kayak. I'm finding it is very important to find people that you can learn from. I took a lesson on wet exits/rescues and then bought two Current Designs kayaks and spent the first year just paddling with friends that had never been out before. Especially after being to the coast I realized I wanted more....addiction = needing more? :wink: The more I can learn then from the club here and from forums like this the better.....so hope you guys (and gals) don't mind if I hang around and learn what I can from you?
     
  2. andreas

    andreas Paddler

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    welcome to the club :D

    you are right, kayaking is addictive 8O this weekend i went out 4 times......... man that was good!


    cheers
    andreas
     
  3. Komatiq

    Komatiq Paddler

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    Kasey Hi there !

    If you run into Phil Soichuk up that way tell him "Jamer" said to say Hi and that I still use the Greenland blades I got from him a couple of years back........ :wink:

    Word of caution on the new addiction.......... IT GETS WORSE !!! :lol: :lol: :lol:


    Cheers,
     
  4. jurgenk

    jurgenk Paddler

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    Hey Kasey, I have only been here a short time, but have found it populated by like-minded, considerate, and extremely helpful individuals whose only passion in life is to bring others into the same state of financial disrepair.

    Kayaking is addictive and you are talking to a bunch of addicts and dealers my friend, so sit back, keep your credit card close, and enjoy the ride... :wink:
     
  5. Dave_Barrie

    Dave_Barrie Paddler

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    Hi Kasey, and welcome. Both Denman and Quadra are great areas. I spent every summer for about 8 years up in the Comox and Desolation Sound areas. There are lots of neat things to see and do up there. There is a very interesting book called Evergreen Islands (I think) that tells a lot of the history of the area. It's not a paddling guide, but it's full of great stories and tidbits that make great campfire reading.

    You'll get the bug quite quickly......lake paddling can be very enjoyable, but nothing beats getting out on the ocean, exploring the coastline and the wildlife. If you ever make it to the coast again there are lots of people in the Vancouver area and over on the Island who love to get out and introduce people to our area.

    Hmmm......maybe there should be an annual WestcoastPaddler event where we can all get together, share stories and get out for a paddle - now that would be fun :p
     
  6. Kasey

    Kasey Paddler

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    Thanks for the welcome! I had a great laugh!

    "you are right, kayaking is addictive" Hi Andreas - yeah, I know what you mean - I spent a whole day building hanging things in the garage to hang my kayaks but each time they make it there it's only for like a day and half and off they come again. If it wasn't for the hot sun here and the fact that my kayaks are plastic I should just leave them on the car. I guess my post did read like a 12-step admission speech too, didn't it? Well, what a great addiction to have - I quit smoking like 10 years ago so it's about time I started a new habit!

    "If you run into Phil Soichuk up that way" Hi Komatiq - yeah, I see he is a member of the club here....and I think I met him on one of the paddles I attended - him and his wife. I'll definitely say hi for you! And I know what you mean, the addiction getting worse - I am already thinking I need a fiberglass or kevlar boat.... :roll:

    "individuals whose only passion in life is to bring others into the same state of financial disrepair" Yes, Jurgenk.....the fiberglass or kevlar.....and now listening to you guys, I guess I need a wet/dry suit, a GPS, radio, what else if I'm to get out on the coast much - never thought of that. I just thought get the heck out of the water fast - this water is much colder than the Okanagan! LOL Oh, and by the way, how long have you been there? My family lived a year in Rupert in 65/66 and then moved to Stewart where I grew up...and I'm also a nurse!

    Well, I'm off to find a little lake called Hidden Lake east of Enderby today and see if I can't get some pictures and then meeting some friends at Lorenzo's in Enderby and listen to Kelley Hunt - great blues! Thanks for everything and happy paddling!
     
  7. Kasey

    Kasey Paddler

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    Oh, Hi Dave,
    Yeah, I wasn't REALLY addicted until I went out there on the coast and I'm hoping my sister in Courtenay does get a kayak and maybe join a club out there and then I can see I would spend lots of time driving back and forth! The book sounds very interesting, I'll have to take a look at it - last time I was out there on my way home I bought every kayaking book there was on the ferry :oops: ! A group paddle would be absolutely wonderful - one thing I can see is that kayaking on the coast should be done with people who know what they are doing out there. When I read that the average speed of a kayak is something like 4-5 km/hr (or was it knots) and some currents are 10 or 15 km/hr (or knots), maybe more.....I thought, oh, yes, that could be a problem....LOL Take care!
     
  8. Dave_Barrie

    Dave_Barrie Paddler

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    Yeah you don't have to worry about tides and currents too much on the lakes :p but it's something that you need to understand out on the ocean. There are some areas that you just don't go and others that you can only paddle near slack tide. But there are plenty of places to paddle where tide and current isn't a concern. It's very easy to learn and most of the paddling guides are good and pointing out the areas you need to be aware of. More than anything, a few minutes of preparation goes a long way.

    We're always up for a group paddle....in fact it looks like we'll be doing one in Victoria in a few weeks.
     
  9. Kasey

    Kasey Paddler

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    Awww. now don't get me started ok? I'm trying to get out the door to a "little lake" and you are talking "ocean"
     
  10. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Kasey wrote: and now listening to you guys, I guess I need a wet/dry suit, a GPS, radio, what else if I'm to get out on the coast much - never thought of that. I just thought get the heck out of the water fast - this water is much colder than the Okanagan!

    Ahhh, don't let that stuff be a barrier. If you have a farmer john wet suit and are proficient in your self-rescue skills, you'll be OK. The VHF is a good thing, for sure, and I'd rank it way ahead of a GPS. If you really get in the stink, the VHF will most likely bring help pretty quick, most areas on the coast.

    If some of this west coast stuff intimidates, try the Broken Group in Barkley Sound: minimal current worries, very good access, and plenty of support around (Warden, CCG, other paddlers, the folks from Sechart Lodge, etc.). Main down side is the $9.00/night/person tariff. Budget a week or so for best use of your time. This will really give your salt water skills a jump start with minimal risk.

    One link for access and info: http://www.ladyrosemarine.com/

    (No affiliation.)

    Like you, I do a lot of paddling on fresh water -- the Columbia River has an enormous estuary, most of it fresh except very near the mouth at high tide, and because of the river current (which reverses because of tidal effects, where I am) you can get some feel for what dealing with current and current-opposing wind situations are like, pretty safely. A good training ground for the big time on the coast of BC, but no substitute for what you'll find there.

    The main aspect of fresh water which has spoiled me is: no cleanup!

    Have to hit the Okanagan some time here.

    Pass on some of your recommended paddles, if you are willing to share.

    Here are some tales from the Columbia (mixed in with other stuff): http://www.kayakplace.com/essay/dkn/dkn.htm
     
  11. jurgenk

    jurgenk Paddler

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    Hey Kasey, your little lake in the Okanagan could qualify as an inland sea in some locales so you have a lot to explore. Been in Rupert since last fall but in the NW all my life except for forays in Edmonton (Army) and Victoria (University). Been "Hyderized" several times so I know Stewart relatively well. Started nursing last year as well and I am really enjoying the career change (I was logging for fifteen years) and it is always nice to meet a fellow male nurse. :)

    I would echo what Dave has said as well, the safety gear that is most important is your common sense and that comes free (although due to that there is no warranty)...
     
  12. Mark_Schilling

    Mark_Schilling Paddler

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    Dan and I spent the long weekend paddling around Lake Cowichan, a 30km-long lake here on Vancouver Island. It was a real treat paddling in really warm water, no salt, and having the boat the same distance from the water as you left it last! The weather was cool, but the water was amazingly warm - so for we folk who usually paddle on the ocean, a lake can be a nice change too!

    Dave raises some good points about paddling in the ocean. You do have to pay special attention to currents and tides, depending on where you're going. Most day-paddles out of the Victoria area into the islands off the Saanich Peninsula and the Gulf Islands are fairly easy if you have some basic paddling and self-rescue skills, and if you've made sure the weather forecast suits your paddling style and level of comfort. In the southern Gulf Islands, there really isn't anywhere you can't paddle, as long as you're prepared, have a reliable source of tide and current information, and are willing to wait for slack currents. As long as you have the appropriate level of experience for paddling in currents, a bit of wind and some wind waves, there's nowhere you can't go.

    Islands farther up the east side of Vancouver Island are much closer together and more abundant, which means that the water has less area to funnel through. As a result, there are some very dangerous currents in some areas - faster and more dangerous as you get farther north is the general rule. But again, with enough experience and good information, what is a dangerous paddle for some can be an exhilerating and exciting adventure for others.
     
  13. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    Welcome to the site, Kasey. As Mark mentioned, we spent the last several days on Lake Cowichan on the Island and had a terrific time. I have also paddled nearly all the lakes in the Vancouver area (you can read about many of them in the Location Gallery). My son and I paddled 100 km over six days on the Shuswap this summer from Sicamous to the top of Anstey Arm and had a great time. Kayaks are not just for salt water! I do miss the abundance of life near the waters edge on lakes, but there are many other positive attributes with fresh water paddling (like not having to carry drinking water).

    With regard to equipment -- you can never have enough. Gear is good and is almost a hobby unto itself. :D

    BTW: you might learn from the folks around here, but I suspect that we'll be learning from you as well. I hope you enjoy the site.

    *****
     
  14. Kasey

    Kasey Paddler

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    Thanks for the encouragement! I was looking at the farmer john wetsuits - not that bad on price either, radio....yeah, I can handle that. It's going to happen anyway, I can tell! Really good reading on your site there too AstoriaDave - I'll spend some time slowly reading all those! I found, like you Dan, that Shuswap Lake was great.....I just had a couple hours paddle on there this summer and can see you can go forever on that lake. My sister from Van Island was in my Storm, me in my Squamish and my other sister, her husband and her 5 yearold were in their CD Libra and we spent an idlyllic 3/4 hours just floating together in the middle of the lake having snacks - kayaking definitely makes you enjoy the journey and not just the destination, eh? We've spent time this summer and last on Green Lake up by 70 Mile House - nice clear tropical-looking water from the calcium in it I think. Went for the second time to the head of Christina Lake just a week ago or something - neat area at the head of the lake where in about 1 acre we found no less than 10 different species of trees including some very big yews and cedars.....and the kokanee were spawning in the creek - very nice up there too. But you're right - there isn't as much wildlife on the lakes...and there's just something about the ocean, isn't there? The Broken Islands may be a good place to get in one more good coastal paddle before winter - do you guys paddle all winter? I just found a friend here that wants to go all winter - should I suppose have that wetsuit for that I guess. Oh, and Jurgenk, sorry, I am just your regular old female nurse - now I notice though, are you all guys? Will have to get up to Stewart sometime and paddle there - we spent a lot of time boating around there as a family and seeing it all again after 20 years from a kayak would be great! Phil Soichuk, Komatiq, I see by the club newsletter has just finished a cross-Canada bike ride with his wife!! Said at the end of his tale that he was now trying to find where he put his kayak, so I guess hasn't been out! Well, you guys are very encouraging and it's a very interesting and inspiring site - I'll stick around and maybe even catch up to you sometime out there! Thanks!
     
  15. Mark_Schilling

    Mark_Schilling Paddler

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    I know lots of people put the kayak away for the winter... but not me! I've found that paddling in the winter is a completely different experience. The water is much clearer, and often there's no wind at all and it feels quite warm in the winter sun when you're on the water.

    Of course, you do have to be prepared for any eventuality, as the weather can pick up and you have to be prepared to get 'stuck' on an island for a while if that's what it comes to. I wear a wetsuit all the time in the winter - not only for safety reasons (there are also a lot less boats out on the water in winter, so if you ran into trouble, help might take longer to arrive), but I find it's nice to have a completely dry, warm set of clothes to change into once you reach camp.

    Camping in winter obviously requires yet more gear 8) but it really is very different from summer outings. I don't plan on getting out as much in the winter as in summer months, as you have to pay special attention to the weather forecasts, but I'll be building a new boat (Pygmy Arctic Tern 14) in the winter so that'll give me something to do when the weather is lousy.

    Already the weather is turning, but I've only been camping for 39 nights so far this year :D so if I want to reach my goal of 52 (once per week on average, for the entire year) then camping and paddling in the winter is inevitable! :wink: