I woke up to bad news on our planned Caddy Bay to Discovery trip we had planned for this week. Instead of summer doldrums conditions, I see a wind model with 15-20knot winds coming directly into the bay. It was generally pretty sunny and current conditions were favorable for the crossing, but the constant unknown in Kayaking is wind. I decided I would show up at Willows to see if I could sway opinions for a safer launch, but I found everyone already unloaded and on the beach and getting ready to put into the maelstrom:

As usual, I'm more interested in getting out on the water for 3 or 4 hours, and this kind of conditions would have had me off the water in about 45 minutes. I said goodbye to John and the gang and headed out to somewhere a little less insane to enjoy paddling instead of being wet. The former happened; the latter, not as much. I was intending to go to the calmest place, which was Brentwood Bay, but decided just to see if Dallas road was calm. Lucky for me, the wind was blowing ESE at 5-10knots with moderate swell.


I put in at the usual Ogden Point spot right down next to the breakwater on the exposed side. I watched a couple of divers heading in for a day under the sea and kind of laughed at how calm this side of the island was as I paddled around the breakwater into Victoria. The construction at the Ogden Point docks seems to be going will with one significant structure constructed and some new material being placed. The wind was coming much stronger suddenly and had slipped more South. but inside the breakwater, I was pretty protected.


Paddling toward Victoria's downtown, I noticed a bunch of sailboats heading out to enjoy the winds out in the strait. There were also kayaks, surfskis and fishing boats milling around. With a healthy tailwind, I headed up the Gorge spotting a number of seals lazing around on anything warm. I also got in everyone's way in a big canoe competition up at Go Rowing on Jutland. There was a surprisingly large crowd standing on shore. as the winners passed their finishing line and circled back to the dock.


I got up to the Tillicum Narrows bridge and found almost no current. I passed through and paddled out to the VCKC clubhouse and turned around to head back home. It seemed the further up the Gorge I went, the calmer the winds and water. What signaled me to head back was the flags on the buildings had moved even more South. I took the opposite shore back through the Gorge and went back under the blue bridge into the Inner Harbour. The flags on the empress were now SSE and I was getting a bit worried about my chances of getting back around the breakwater in one piece if the voracity of the wind was anything like this morning.


I waited patiently for a float plane to finish motoring into dock and crossed the harbour at Laurel Point. Coming around the coast guard breakwater, I began to see absolutely huge standing waves on the horizon. The sailboat in the photo above was completely visible on minute and a mast the next. I had real concerns of whether I should try this at all or just pull out at the angler's association, but I thought what the heck, I'll try it. I was not prepared for the troughs on the south side, they were shoulder high waves and I was giving poor people on the break water a heart attack. I kept looking over and saw people pointing out at me :/. Big reflecting waves from the breakwater were making for pretty challenging paddling - luckily I only had about 500m to paddle to shore, so I was just careful to keep the paddle ready to brace. I had one close call, but bracing hard helped push me right out of it and the rest was smooth sailing, though I was completely soaking wet from all the wave action across my bow and stern. I was happy to be off the water, but I had a fantastic paddle in the harbour. I packed up and just headed home for a shower to get all the salt chuck off me.

Trip Distance: 15km

YTD: 110km

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