Today was a classic last minute kayaking decision. My day's appointments cleared up pretty quickly and I found myself moments later bobbing on the water near Oak Bay marina, taking the first stroke into a beautiful November paddle. Usually Rememberance Day in Victoria is celebrated by an annual soaking of the crowd. This year it was t-shirt weather, just a bit of wind out offshore. Birds were out today as well as seals. Chatham was my goal - the high tide and beneficial currents would make for a pretty laid back paddle.


I made nice, even progress through Baynes and Plumper and ended up perfectly on course to the south point of Chatham. The currents and wind had made the ocean all wily and uneven. The North part of Chatham was really wild and would have probably been fun for standing wave seekers. About 500m off the north shore was a strange feature creating 2-3 foot standing waves with a big white cap - it looked like there was a continuous 15knot wind in Haro Strait from the southeast. With all the mayhem off tip of the island, the waters close to the rocks only suffered a tiny swell and I was followed and watched by a number of seals.


The tide was nice and high, so I was able to access the inner part of Chatham Island and have a look at cactus islet. An absolutely huge bald eagle soared out of his perch as I entered and the little channel filled with little black and white ducks behind me. The wind was just touching the water and I ended up leaning back on the deck and just chilling out for a moment. Kayaking can be so relaxing in small, protected areas like this.


I made my way back out of the inlet and the ocean was being chopped up just 200m away. I paddled carefully around all the kelp beds that have moved in for the winter and then headed back into the protection of the island. I ended up leaving through the channel that separates the Chatham islands. I got lined up with Jemmy Jones Island and launched out into a building current in Baynes Channel. With a pretty good speed, I paddled on a tight ferry angle and still got push off course pretty heavily. I did a nice slow and relaxed pace home, taking in the fall colors and sunshine.


Following the paddle, I made my way over to John and Louise's house and we had a little finger food while we watched the video Crossing the Ditch. Gotta say, they got some pretty formidable footage from that boat - it watched a lot like a journal, but some of the conditions they faced (including their own parents) was a really nice touch.

Trip Distance: 16km

YTD: 280km

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