Adventures on the Blue

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This will be a brief entry because I kind of goofed the timing of it. I sort of lost all connection with a computer on my trip to Coachella. Didn't get any kayaking done stateside, but this weekend is the WCP camp out on Pender! I'm so stoked and the weather is too. A couple of weeks back I took some friends oout kayaking in the Gorge. As always it's the perfect place to paddle.



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I took the group up the gorge toward the bridge, and as usual it was running a bit fast for kayaking. So we turned around and just enjoyed the t-shirt weather and lazy ebb current. It was a sublime trip back out to the Inner Harbour with the evening sun softening all the shadows and a light wind keeping a perfect shimmer off the water. My friends and I managed to paddle about 8km, which isn't too bad a pace for their short boats. I had a great time and we celebrated with some Red Robin grease afterwards.


Trip Distance: 8km



YTD: 114km




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Wednesday, April 22, 2009 Leave a Comment 0 comments

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So last Sunday was interesting, we had our first little boat frustration and that was losing the Halyard up the mast. More on that later. Aaron and I were fortunate to get some nice sunny weather for our last day with Red Current for the season. I'm probably going to make a sailboat my next big purchase, but I've been hunting since October only to find myself in the Seinfeld dilemma over and over. What's the deal with crappy used boats. Today was a great example of teamwork and a satisfying day of catching the wind.



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We rigged up Red Current and took her out of dock with ease. The wind was blowing quite nicely, so we put up the sails right next to the breakwater. The problem was, the mainsail's halyard had been put away improperly. Whoever had the boat before us had somehow got the main halyard on the other side of the shroud. I unclipped the shackle and tried to see if it was just attached on the wrong side, but no, it was clearly routed wrong.



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That's when I had the _stupid_ idea to pull the halyard up the mast to see if I could untangle it, but suddenly it was far out of reach to bring it back down. Knowing there was very little we could do about this on the water, We turned around and headed back to dock to get the problem sorted out. Once at dock, we set to making a contraption to grab the halyard and pull it down. Using the jib halyard for a bit of friction, we were able to finally pull the halyard back down the mast and then get it on the right side of the shroud using a messenger line. What a pain in the ass. The boat I end up buying is going to have a downhaul attached to the halyards - I can't even imagine if that happened on a trip.



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After the halyard was fixed, we zipped right back out to the breakwater and set sail immediately. We tried to stay in what was left of the windy morning and headed down to Harling point to take advantage of an afternoon flood. However, all our monkeying with the running rigging put us about an hour behind and the flood had already arrived. We tried to get through enterprise all by sail, but the wind just wasn't in our favor, so we motored to Harling point from Mcneil Bay and found ourselves drifting backwards. If it was going to be like that, we headed back with the current through enterprise.



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Some fairly good sized standing waves had set up in the eastern entrance of Enterprise Channel, so we had a fun little surf to the other side. A couple of motorboats transited the channel making for even bigger waves. It was the fist time I've seen our little boat do a full on plow. We left the channel and just cruised around the south of the chain islands on a reach trying to get everything we could from the wind.



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I saw a couple of whales off of our bow and we got to watch orcas just off the east point of Discovery Island for a few minutes until they swam out of sight. The current was with us down plumper passage and we actually made good way through the channel. We were able to ride the wind to fiddle reef and then the current ovewhelmed the wind speed. We got the motor running and headed into oak bay using the Harris island approach we tried the last time.



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I took us back into dock nice and clean like and we put red current away for the last time this season. I'm looking at a few boats, but I'll have to find some way to get over my massive tire kicking schtick and just settle on one. It's been tough finding just the right boat, but soon I should be sailing my own boat around the area we've been sailing the last little while. A massive thanks to Oak Bay Sailing School for facilitating getting out on the water the last few months.


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Saturday, April 4, 2009 Leave a Comment 0 comments

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Surprise! Rainy season is upon us up in Victoria, BC. I was getting so antsy on Saturday that I basically had to get out of my house whatever the weather was. It wasn't a great day to paddle anywhere but along the shore thanks to generous current. I left at about 3:00 and saw almost no wind anywhere, but the rain was steady and the day was just grey. I got down to Cadboro Bay - an endearing spot for me at the moment, and got a brief visit from Paula while unloading my boat. She was deep in writings and deadlines, so she declined to go out on the water.



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Just as I launched, I saw a guy in a drysuit and a standup paddle board heading for shore. Wonder how far he got out there. It was very quiet on the water - saw some animals I haven't seen for a while - looked like little otters out on flower island. They popped their heads out of the water and clammered over all the rocks. I was dressed for rain and tried to keep the camera dry to catch some shots of how different the water looks when the rain comes down. Mix the rain hitting the boat and ocean and mix it with a little wood fireplace smell from the shore and It's really quite peaceful and relaxing. A couple in one of the giant glass houses along the shore near cadboro point shot me a thumbs up as I paddled by.



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I found a neat little set of rocks that I hadn't explored at such low tides. The rocks look like the glacial errata - huge rocks just dropped on shore by the glacial activity around the island. Right between the reef and the island is a sweet little river like channel that you can surf down as the current picks up. I had a few goes at the little race and braced out of it on the other side. Fun!



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The current was getting a little too strong near Baynes and I had to paddle quickly back towards Jemmy Jones to stay off the treadmill. We were at one of those cycles where the stronger floods are coming through and it was just the right conditions to lure me out into the speedier stream. Even paddling hard I was only making about 3km/h forward. I got around Jemmy jones and the rain picked up a little more fierce - it was hitting the boat and making a satisfying clicking noise. I was a bit more preoccupied with finding willows and it's bathroom though :)



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I got on willows and ran for it. When I got back outside, the rain squall was gone and that's when my camera got wet. So the rest of the photos all have a fun drop of water in them. I thought I'd go putter around the marina now I'm back in boat looking mode. The marina was dead calm at 5:30 - not a soul to be seen. I noticed a few boats in the mooring field had been refloated or were in the process of being fixed after that fun winter storm that blew through. It was just as a I left the marina that the sun decided to come out.



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I paddled under a nicely lit sky back along cattle point and into the bay. There were otters and heron everywhere on this side of the bay. I guess these critters like the end of the day. It was a great little paddle and my boat had nearly dried by the time I got to the beach. I threw the boat on the Van and headed to Louise's place to watch Eastern Horizons


Trip Distance: 12km



YTD: 106km



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Wednesday, April 1, 2009 Leave a Comment 1 comment
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