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I paddled False Creek today. The wind was blowing from the East so it was slow going up but coming down was really fast. I took these pics with my cellphone's camera, so the images are not that good.




Cold, breezy overnighter to Long Island, Willapa Bay, WA, with Becky and another couple; joined on a day trip by Swamp Girl (aka Ann of Maryland, Florida, and California). This is a shot of the west side of the island, which is fronted by a couple square miles of tide flats at low tide.

Lots of steamer clams out on a tiny spit (we ate several dozen for dinner). Good hiking on this island, especially to the ancient cedars grove.
The entire island is part of a wildlife refuge. Good for inital overnighters for sea kayakers. We had the island to ourselves except for half a dozen SOT paddlers up a couple miles.

More photos here: http://tinyurl.com/2kw9n6

Shoulder held up. Whoopee!
Ferguson Lake. I kid you not. The ice has finally melted! It's actually a big pond but it's only 5 minutes away so it makes for easy access.



Mountain Pine Beetle Damage:

Former Inhabitant:

Mick, I want to paddle in some of the places that you paddle -- absolutely gorgeous.

I have to say though, that the mouse on the back porch has to be the biggest that I've ever seen. I'd hate to see how big the cats are around your neighbourhood. 8O

Hi Dan, thanks mate. If you ever get over this way, you are more than welcome to borrow any of my boats for a paddle.

Woodgate is a special place for us. It is our little bolt hole from the cut and thrust of daily life.

The mouse is a beauty isn't he? :D
I got out for a late afternoon paddle today. There was a good flood current happening so I headed towards Trial Island. After playing around in Enterprise Channel for a while I spotted a number of cruise ships coming and going around the harbour entrance, so I figured I'd poke my head around the corner of the harbour. But Enterprise Channel had other plans and I couldn't get through (it was running around 6.5 kts - in a sprint I was almost moving forwards!). So, I stopped on Trial Island for a little breather and played with my new camera, a Canon A710 IS (it will become my 'rough water' camera once the new housing arrives). 8)

A couple of geese head toward the flooding waters of Enterprise Channel.

The Sapphire Princess makes her way out of Victoria Harbour, bound for distant, exotic lands (Vancouver).

An eagle claims his perch atop an old piling on Trial Island.

Hey mom! Look what I found! Can I keep it? Pleeeeeeeze?!?!
Mark_Schilling said:
And, believe it or not, I did keep the buoy. 8O

I would have, too. :)
you would not believe some of the junk i've brought home. i once found a wooden candleabra floating in Indian Arm. amusingly enough, it had two candles in it, a red and a green. i strapped it to the for-deck with the colors properly oriented. 8)
ice-cube tray.
big plastic planter.
lots of tennis balls.
dog toys.
teak cutting board.
crab trap buoys.
styrofoam bead floats.
broken canoe paddle.
half bottle of liquid Tide (in the Broken Group).
on and on. people lose wierd stuff, and it follows me home. some of it finds a use for itself, some of it gets disposed of, and some of it collects dust.
ps; damn this rain!! i'm bored to death! :(
[EDIT: the off-topic camera discussion (which was really interesting) has been moved to a thread in the Gear section called "Canon A710 IS and other things we really need"]
DarenN said:
Mark_Schilling said:
And, believe it or not, I did keep the buoy. 8O

I would have, too. :)
you would not believe some of the junk i've brought home.

Most paddles I bring home some junk, but just so it meets the garbage can rather than a bird's beak.

It took me about 45 minutes to deflate the buoy, by sitting on it with my penknife depressing the tiny little valve. Even deflated it was way too big to fit in a hatch or even the cockpit, so I tied it to the rear deck. Now I'm having a tough time filling it back up again with a bicycle pump and a modified pen. :lol:

damn this rain!! i'm bored to death! :(

Is it really raining there?!?! It's beautiful blue sky over here 8) but VERY windy. :p (I think I'll go for a paddle!)
We went for an afternoon trip to Lake Wolfgang, a warm up paddle for the upcomming trip to Croatia in June :wink:





Willi wrote: a warm up paddle for the upcomming trip to Croatia in June

oh man I am so looking forward to seeing some of those pictures! I was in croatia years ago and when the time is right I will return ( with a kayak this time) as it is the most beautiful place on earth.

Have a great trip! p.s how long are you going for Will ?
I allready have posted some photos of the last trip to Croatia in "where did you paddle in April" we have been on the southern tip of Istria peninsula.

In early June we will go for a long weekend to the island of Cres, on the westcoast is a blue grotto, that needs to be explored.8)

I allready paddled there in April too.

Across the bay of Valun around Point Pernat


Great beaches on the outher coast.



Sea stakes near Lubenice


The old city of Lubenice, a former pirate village some 300 meters above the sea.


Beach near the blue grotto.


I allmost abandoned the quest for the grotto, promised myself to go just arount one more headland: heureka! :D


In the grotto.


A promising tunel in the rear of the grotto, but yours truly forgot to bring a flashlight, so it remained unexplored. :evil:


On the way out


Another seacave on the way back


Last break befor rounding the point and the long haul with superstrong headwind against the 7 kilometer wide bay! i was lucky, the wind kicked in as i was allready halfway across the bay. :?


An exausted paddler at the campground near Cres city.


A well deserved swimm to cool off, was i ever steaming in the wetsuit! The water was as cool as on the westcoast of Vancouver island, that will change on the trip in June! :p


Will post new photos after the trip, we will drive to the ferry terminal after work on Thuesday June 5th, board the first ferry Wednesday morning and come back Sunday nite, June 10th.

Where in Croatia have you been, waverider? Come over, we could go for a trip in the Cornat National Park near Zadar, a kayakers dream in fall!

But first of all, we will go for that long weekend trip to the Gulf islands in June, ok? :wink:


Cole Island

We'd been hoping to get Amy on the water all weekend and finally yesterday we got a nice day. Amy had the pleasure of paddling Minnie (lucky girl!). We (Mark, Andreas, Chris, Amy and I) launched at a little beach in View Royal and paddled with the wind at our backs to Cole Island where we explored and took photos before the paddle back. On the way back the wind had picked up which pushed the bow, so she was paddling almost exclusively on the port side to maintain her course. She was tiring out so Mark offered a spirited tow for the last leg back :D . She's asked for her next paddle to be on water that is like 'glass' :) .
Had an eight day paddle (well, seven really, as we had the seventh day off) with a friend on the west coast of Vancouver Island, a training trip for our planned circumnavigation next year. Wanted to see if we had got our kit, water and food estimates, mileages, etc, worked out realistically.

After a day at the Ladysmith Paddlefest we paddled from Tofino to the north end of Vargas on the Sunday evening, enjoying the phosphoresence after about 10pm, finally reaching Milte's beach at about 11pm. The next day we took a spin around Bartlett Island and other bits of Clayquot Sound before hitting Cow Bay for our next night's camping. There is a fabulous shipwreck on Cow Bay, about 60x40 feet of the side of an old wooden boat that I would guess is 150-200 years old. Huge copper nails, massive timbers. Just lying in the sand, apparently only recently re-exposed according to someone with local knowledge. A quick Google search did not reveal anything. Anyone know about west coast wrecks?

We got up to Hot Springs Cove the following day, did a brief recce of the Cove itself and resolved to return later in the week. We camped on the beach at Half Moon Bay, on Flores just west of the Cove (a good site for those who want to visit the Springs) then the following day went out onto the Outside again and went up to Hesquiat Harbour. Lots of clapotis off the cliffs and the first of a run of challenging days. Almost despaired of finding any camp sites but found one eventually, the entrance into the forest hiden by storm detritus. We were clearly the first to find it this year.

The trip back the next day was certainly memorable. A 2-3 metre sea with the swell from the west and a 10 knot wind quartering off the stern to starboard. Mix in a bit of clapotis (it seems to extend out about a half mile - anyone know the math re clapotis?) and my rapid correcting low brace skills certainly had to improve quickly. It was interesting (not having paddled on the Outside before (just the Broken Group on the west coast, in milder weather) that windspeeds that I would regard as almost boringly light in the Strait of Georgia are much trickier when swell is thrown in.

We rewarded ourselves with a dip in the Hot Springs when we made it back. For anyone who has not been - you must. The pools are not big but are a glorious 40-50 degrees Centigrade, and they start with a 50 degree waterfall! If you are there on a May evening you will have the place to yourself. Work down to the sea from the warmer pools, chill yourself, then clamber up into the hottest pool. Mmmmm.

Another night on Half Moon Bay beach and then off around Flores, paddling anticlockwise until we got to Whitesands Cove on the southern shore. This had been our sixth day in the boats so we were knackered, and sore of back, so took the next day off. We had a great time wandering along the Ahousat (?) Wilderness trail that has been created linking the beaches of south Flores. Found a few bits and pieces to add to the jawbone (wolf or bear, I haven't identified it yet but a most impressive canine tooth within) that I had picked up at lunchtime the previous day.

On our final day we paddled across to Vargas from Flores and were lucky enough to come across the grandfather of sea kayaking, John Dowd, standing up in his tiny zodiac resplendent in his mango coloured dry suit and PFD (all other boaters we saw being without either) casting for fish. He waved us over and we chatted about kayaking, the Outside coast, drogues and so on. A very unassuming chap, typical Kiwi.

Our last little burst was a paddle around Wickanninish Island on the edge of Clayquot Sound. To the swell and the wind and wind waves was now added a healthy dose of a flood tide, which made the Hesquiat run seem almost tame. I am convinced that one of the swells had me looking down about 12 feet at my friend's boat. It may only have been eight or nine feet but he looked to be a long way down. Some intriguingly triangular waves as we neared the point at the southern tip of the Island. Loads of quick low braces again.

Exhilarating stuff and not to be missed. A great week of some testing kayaking and some decent (though not execessive) mileages, building up to 14-16 mile days on each of the last 3 days on the water. For anyone thinking of trying a long trip with someone else, I would definitely recommend a trip of this type first to test out relationships and kayaking preferances as well as kit. We learnt a lot.