After yesterday's fun little jaunt around Portland island, I wanted to try out my luck at Trial island while the tides were fairly easy and the wind was down. If I have anything to give thanks for this weekend, it's the water conditions in Haro and Juan De Fuca straits. Nothing but a calm bathtub all weekend! Today I started the trip with John, Louise and Paula.


But I wasn't with them long before I saw we were going out to flower island. I had pretty much settled on visiting Trial island today. So I let them know to meet me out at the chain islands. I was guessing if I paddled my average speed, I'd meet up with them close to the right time. I paddled against a flood tide that was a touch earlier than the prediction which made progress down to Gonzales point fairly slow, especially near Mary Todd and Fiddle reef.


Gonzales point was calm and the golf players up on the green gave me a friendly wave as I passed. Usually there's a bunch of swell out here, but today it was just flat with only eddy lines dirtying up the place. I headed out to the south point just in case the current through enterprise channel was a bit to much. The current was on a pretty swift flood already, it wasn't supposed to happen for about another hour or so.


The east side of trial island is where all the whirlpools live. Lots of swirly, snaking little eddies all around the coast. It was a fairly easy paddle once I got in the lee of the island, the really neat currents are bout 400 meters off shore. The island is really bare, decorated with a few large transmitting antennas and a red and white lighthouse. A couple of folks came down from the lighthouse and wished me a Happy Thanksgiving - I didn't know the place even had visitors!


The south tip of the island, Staines point is covered in birds - crows, seagulls, ducks, cormorants and smaller rock birds. The birds were huddled closely together and almost every square inch of some of the rocks had bird crap on them. There are quite a number of big boats out here, so I kept an eye on the waters to the south. Just as I got around the rocks, a huge wake from something out there met with a fairly large eddy and it just exploded on me. I started giggling uncontrollably thinking about bringing my friends out here. I was soaked.


The eddy line took a few seconds to pass, but I just ran out of steam trying to overpower it even at my full cadence. I'm not sure why the currents were so different from predictions, but there it was. I decided to turn around and head to the chains instead of fighting the current any longer and missing my meet up time with them. The trip back around was pretty quick though. I got away from the island and ended up in some really noisy patch of confused water and whirlpools where the confluence of enterprise channel and and the waters in Juan de Fuca meet over the deep sea bottom.


I just paddled through it as fast as I could and got a great push from the flood all they way back to Great Chain island. The others had just rounded the island as I came in. They had taken some photos of the sea life and had a little visit to Chatham island. We headed toward Mary Todd island and found where all the seals were hiding. The seals had all hauled out on a number of reefs in the area and were fighting for space on the rocks.


Very few boats were on the water in the morning, but when we came back from our trip there were a few boats leaving the bay. We took the scenic route home through the rocks and ended up at the beach just as the wind came up. We went for coffee after packing away the boats and when I came back down to the beach to get the Van, I saw a Triak in real life. It was a cool little contraption, it's a multi-piece trimaran with the overall hull shape of a sea kayak. He put into cadboro bay in nice winds and started to tack back and forth across the bay. When he put up the spinnaker, I nearly lost it. What a great idea for a boat!

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