New Year's Day Paddling!

Stories of (interesting, funny, bad, sad, happy, etc.) things that have happened while paddling. Post your links to your blogs as well.

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New Year's Day Paddling!

Post by PJohanson » Mon Jan 02, 2012 12:10 pm

What great weather to start the new year! I looked out at the sky and the bay and realised that today I wanted to paddle in Telegraph Cove, a little cove in our neighbourhood, instead of the big bay we live beside.
My partner Bernie wasn't on for the walk, so I put my little inflatable kayak on a roller and went by myself. The day was mild and calm for January, but as I rolled down the hill into Telegraph Cove there was a bit of a breeze coming out of the east. Rollers were coming in from Haro Strait into the little round cove. Just little rollers, though!

Both coming and going, I had to deal with getting caught in a Cadboro Bay Holiday Traffic Jam. These aren't like traffic jams in other places nearby. On McKenzie Avenue, a traffic jam is bumper-to-bumper car traffic that extends for blocks or miles. Out in the Chain Islands, a traffic jam is a couple of kayakers trying to get out of the way of two dozen bobbing heads of harbour seals.
But in the Cadboro Bay neighbourhood, a Holiday Traffic Jam consists of at least one honkin' big vehicle with kayak racks on top and at least one small sedan with two or more goggling people with swivelling heads. That's about it for cars. The rest of the traffic is people on foot. There's at least one person wrestling a kayak, like me with the roller or the two guys who were unloading from their vehicle's roof racks. There are several people walking their dogs. (Note that the size of the dog is in no way correlated to the size of the person: big dogs may be walking with big or small people, and the same goes for small dogs.) And there are people out for their Holiday Walk, which is clearly the only time all year when they walk any farther than from their front doors to their cars. You can tell by their faces that they know it should be an enjoyable walk, and by their paces that they're really not sure how much farther they want to go -- sure, there are two terrific coffee shops in the Village, but...

So, at the cove I talked with the two guys heading out, and reassured them that I was going to keep my little inflatable inside the cove. A river otter scrambled out of the brush and down the beach, and stared at one guy loading his kayak, then slipped into the water.
An old man walking by stopped to marvel at the Dragonfly (an older AE model of what's now called the Lagoon) and to scold me about not wearing a hat. He picked up my toque and held it out to me until I actually put it on. Then he hung around and pushed me off-shore, and stared out from the beach for a while. I think he was reassured that I was indeed staying inside the little cove.

It was great to be out in the Dragonfly again after using the hard plastic Mini-Tripper so many times lately. I'd never take the Mini-Tripper out in this uneven water. But the inflatable has more rocker, and the bow rises higher, and there's an actual front deck. It's way less tippy, too. I rode the rollers out for a while, and surfed a bit coming back. It was terrific to go out and back several times. There were a couple of harlequin ducks sitting on the rocks, regally observing me as I carefully avoided a couple of boomers near their rocks. This winter does seem to be shaping up to be the Winter Of The Ducks.

With all the rollers, I still wasn't splashed until I came ashore. The last wave soaked me from the elbows down, but that was okay. I was plenty warm packing up and walking back through the Holiday Traffic Jam.

Got back, and played around with the computer for a while, doing some reading for one of the courses I'm taking in the new year. Found my SPOT ok message and put the link here. Now I'm putting together some dinner -- roast chicken glazed with medlar jelly. What a great day! ... 123.28067W

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