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May 10th, I headed out to the old stomping grounds of caddy bay for a paddle with some unexpected company. The tides were due to be insane all weekend, so why not have some fun in Baynes channel. Today, meaning may 9th, I met Paula on the beach and Bernie was out making sure he'd dialed in his boat's seat setup. (ed: sorry for the narrative shift) I left the beach at gyro in light wind and overcast conditions. I was pretty sure the currents would be transitioning about 1 or 2 knots if we left the beach near noon.



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The tide change ended up coming about 30 minutes earlier than expected and it was a steep curve to either side, giving us no real slack period. We paddled up the east side of Cadboro Bay, mostly gabbing and catching up. It's been a while since I got paddling in with the group. The current had already set up eddy lines in Baynes, but I was pretty determined to cross the channel today.



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Paula and I met up with Bernie in Sheep Cove, a small, rocky beach between the properties that border the bay. He was wearing his Chinese supercooler hat!!! We decided to round Flower Island and take some photos of the weasel holes in the shrubs on the east facing side. There was a small current in the channel between Flower and it was definitely flooding. We paddled down to the Cadboro Point light, and found ourselves scooting down current whenever we stopped paddling.



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My friends are still pretty wary of current, so I wasn't going to force the issue too hard. We paddled back to Jemmy Jones Island and Paula went to check out the wildlife on Flower. Bernie and I saw a nice little eddyline doing it's thing about 100m off the island. I stared at it for a bit and thought it couldn't be much over 2 knots at its fiercest. I entered the eddyline and paddled hard all the way out to Chatham. Baynes was fairly serene in the middle of the channel, but the eddies over the shallow parts were pretty quick.



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I got to Vantreight Island and paddled quickly to not lose ground on the safe zone of Chatham. I was being drawn toward a sailboat exiting the channel between Strongtide and Vantreight islets. Luckily he was caught in the grip of currents as well, so i didn't have to yield and burn more energy getting my foothold again. Seeing Bernie had stayed at Jemmy, I meandered south along the current shadow and took a few photos of the sailboat. That's when I saw a really sweet eddy open up.



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I gauged the distance between me and the bigger boat and entered the eddy with a nice high-angle paddle stroke. I made a bearing of the Cadboro Point light and just zoomed down the eddy for a ways. The GPS said I made a peak speed of 14.3km/h and the GPS tool said i sustained 13km/h for about 500m! I think that's a first for my boat. It felt like warp speed. I realized I was probably going to overshoot Cadboro Point, so i began a ferry back to Jemmy Jones - up current. It was worth it though! What a great workout!



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I met up with Bernie somewhere between Jemmy and the point. He said something to the effect of, "Whew, I thought I was going to meed you at Telegraph Bay" Implying that I was going to slide down the current all the way out of Baynes. The current simply wasn't that strong, though I do love appearing insane. We paddled hard back up to Flower island - what a treadmill!



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Safe and sound back in the shadow of Caddy Bay, we paddled back to the beach and admired the lasers out for practice. We saw a pink dot on the beach and it grew into a Paula. She had entertained herself out by Flower Island and had an encounter with and angry animal that makes an orrt! orrt! noise. I could hear that damned sea lion from Chatham! The weather just wasn't breaking up, so we got the boats all squared away and got a much needed coffee.


Trip Distance: 8km



YTD: 152km



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