I read the weather and tide reports this morning and wiped the sweat off my brow. I'm still pretty new to kayaking, and, if the reports were correct, things were adding up to interesting water. Brentwood Bay is pretty much protected in one way or another from every direction other than north, and the the water was on the way out of the bay during a transition from high to low tide this morning. All warnings were up for strong to gale force Northerly winds this morning intensifying through the day and meeting with generally opposing current. What's a little challenge now and then, eh?


Driving into Brentwood Bay, we had a little looksee at the water and sure enough, little white peaks and bobbing boats in the marina. This was going to be (I hope) fun . We launched off a small, rocky beach right next to the ferry. I'm guessing it's a lot easier on the hulls at lower tides, but we had a successful launch, and out into a the water we went. As we got out of the lee of the ferry terminal, the whistling winds were already giving us some fun chop. I decided to use a rudder for the first time today and I really liked it - let me concentrate more on ferry angles and staying head onto waves than the rudder and corrective strokes.


Bernie was catching a bit of bow air on our way out, and I sort of put down the camera on the way back in as the waves had really increased in size. We were playing in probably 2-3foot waves and choppy water, but it really didn't feel too scary, just took a bit of concentration staying nose to the waves and still ferrying slightly to our little protective island. We paddled along with the waves into Tod Inlet, where the wind died off almost immediately and the water became flat - despite all the noise outside, it was calm here. It was a really beautiful place, with immense stands of trees crowding the hill all the way to the waterside. And when they ran out of soil, they grew out of the rock face. Bernie pointed out a mess of feathers on the water and guessed eagles had found a duck for supper. (mmm... duck). The water was sedate and the place was well worth exploring, but conditions back by the cars was rapidly worsening, so we turned around and headed back.


Things got a little bigger back in but the kayak never really felt all that unstable. It ended up just being good exercise. We were looking for and audibly identifying pull outs if the weather really got berserk, but luckily it stayed rough, but not frightening enough to emergency pull-out. I learned a couple of great lessons: First, if you have a nice wind protection area, set up for a nice way to attack the waves head on rather than entering the chop broadside and Secondly stay in a nice big clump so everyone's safe if the water does end up gobbling one of the boats. We got back to our launch point safe and sound, covered in spray and ready for lunch. I also brought my cold war era GPS today in a nice electronics dry bag by seal-line and both items performed admirably.

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