Well that was fun. My face now tastes like salt and my hair's standing on end. Good thing I bought a new paddling jacket recently or I would have been pretty wet and cold. I got off work a little later today, and I was watching all the trees and flags flapping like crazy downtown. I thought it might be good practice to start somewhere protected and paddle out to it for my after work paddle this week. Sorry for the lack of photos, I was making sure I kept both hands on the paddle today (no rudder this time).

I drove down the scenic route from Clover point, around Trial island and eventually ended up at Caddy bay. I stood on the beach looking at the water and it seemed pretty gentle in the bay, just a pretty big wind from the southwest. Off in the distance, sailboats were heeled over nicely. I popped the boat off the van and put in.

I got out to the edge of the bay and I realized that Baynes and plumper passage were full of whitecaps. I put my nose out just little south of cattle point and really had to work to read the wave action. lots of reflections and noise and a pretty steady flood current. I took my time and just pushed, thinking I could hop over to Mary Todd island and declare victory, but the swell started to really pick up.

The wind was howling through everything that dared to stand over 20 feet. I played in it as long as I could and decided just to head back in. it's kind of fun being thrown between waves, this loud splach noise as you fly off a bit of swell with some wind behind it. I'm glad the current was going the way it was, or I would have had some epic surf to deal with. Not sure how strong the wind was, but boy, I don't think I've seen oak bay quite this choppy.

I ended up following a flotilla of sailboats back into the bay and racked up another 5km and got to really practice my stern rudder, adjusting the paddle angle to deal with wind and a little more balance than usual. I even got to brace a couple times and I'm feeling pretty good about low braces in swirly, mid sized waves. Next paddle stroke I want to pick up will be a bow rudder.