Feels like it's been near a week since I last kayaked :). This time I headed down to the ol' upper gorge just outside Victoria for a little after work meetup in the warm sunshine with my pals. The winds were low, so the heat was wonderful, rolling into the kayak club's parking lot, the wild grasses were shifting ever so slightly - a perfect foreground for golden hour and a photographic dream. Mmmm ... I love summer.


I set up on the beach and saw John and Lou walking their boats down to the shore. They both live right near the gorge now. Paula wasn't quite there yet, so I did a little hot lap under the bridge in a slight flood current. I couldn't get John of Louise under it.. hmm.. one day. After lap 1, Paula's bus arrived and she walked down to the beach looking all badass with her inflatable expedition kayak.


We gave her some time to get ready and headed back out for another go under the bridge. The sunset was near imminent, so all lenses were faced upstream toward the trees and colors ahead. It's one of those bits of eyecandy I don't think you get in many other sports. John got pics of ducks, Louise got pics of john taking pics of ducks and I figured out where Emily Carr got the inspiration for the clouds in Logger's Culls.


Suddenly we had a Paula and where there wee three there were now four. The group started to head north to Portage inlet and the bliss levels were spiking at near comatose levels. Distant forest fires have made the sky turn all kinds of previously unknown shades of red and purple. Combine this visual experience into a pill and sell it for $50 and I'll still be taking my kayak down to the Gorge instead of buying it.


The sunset started to blend into dusk and we were entering the mouth of the inlet under a large, near full moon. Lots of birds were out on the water eating eelgrass and leading their bird babies around. The Chaeto algae and sea grass is blooming like crazy at the moment and it covered with tiny shelled creatures and other algaes. Portage inlet is a bit lumpy and soupy with all the plant life and paddling along tends to snag either one type of plant or the other.


I planned to circle the inlet tonight, so I paddled around to the far bank under the barely conscious gaze of a couple of half-asleep herons. When I met back up with the group, we found another tiny adult heron workking on fishing in the last few hours of light. He had his head right down to the waterline watching closely for a late dinner.


The wind shifted a little and began to pick up speed. The weather pattern broke up over the last hour of paddling. One moment you'd have warm, moist air and the next you'd have normal,cold Victoria air. We worked our way down to the southwest side of the inlet as the moonlight took over from the day. The houses along the shoreline had small patio lights lit up, perfectly illuminating the coastline. Geese were about the only thing still rustling out in the night.


The trip back to the take out was more or less smooth, which is more than I can say for my bumbling around and locking my keys in the car. I even carry a spare so I won't lose it. I was feeling pretty glad that John lives so close to the gorge. I was able to get the tools to get into my car (I'll be using other methods of anti theft after this point). I gave Paula a ride back to her place and haded straight home to bed. Mission: successful.

Trip Distance: 11km

YTD: 173km

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