Paddling the kayak. Finally

I have an Ocean Kayak Drifter, which I bought when I was still in L.A. Great boat for warm Southern California oceans, but a bit chilly for the Salish Sea. Still, I’ve paddled it quite a bit up here. Except for the last three years or so. Too many other things going on, and I just haven’t had the time. I finally took it out yesterday.

I started off from Cottonwood Beach and went out to Point Whitehorn and back. Cottonwood Beach is in the upper-right, and Point Whitehorn is in the lower-left – the point of land beyond Grandview Blvd. I don’t know how far it is, but I’m guessing over four miles each way. Here’s the rock where I turned around. It may have been a bit ambitious for a first trip after so long, but what the heck. My left shoulder was pretty sore when I got back, but it’s fine today. Conditions were glassy.

A bit over halfway to Point Whitehorn I spotted a harbour seal. It submerged, and popped its head up about 30 feet or so at my 3:00 position. Really cute! I call them ‘sea puppies’. :slight_smile:

On the way back I sighted three harbour porpoises; just their backs and fins, of course, since they are a bit shy.

When I got back to shallow water I saw a dungeness crab scuttling along the bottom. I saw one live jellyfish, about 2" in diameter, and when I was walking through the too-shallow-to-paddle water I saw several dead ones.

It was a nice workout. I must have paddled 2-1/2 hours continuously, except for the occasional 5-10 second respite, and to wipe splashed seawater from my eyes.

Now if only I had another 'yak so I could convince the SO to go paddling with me!

“Paddling the kayak” eh? That’s one I hadn’t heard yet.

I miss PacNW–especially the San Juans. Every timeI visit I can’t get over what a jungle it is there. Next time you do a post like this I please link to actual photos. Googlemaps and wiki-pics are just cruel taunts. In fact, I command you to go crabbing and post a pic of your crab pot as it is being pulled up.

I’ve got a Cayuga 160 that I use to tool around Shediac Bay and some rivers in the area. Weather and car issues have kept me off the water recently though (gods thing the car back today!)
I need to find a kayak buddy willing to go exploring the Fundy coast with me. The guided tours are just too damned expensive for my blood.

Yeah, that’s what the kids are calling it nowadays.

I’m thinking of getting a crabbing license. I sold my boat, so I’ll have to fish off the pier; but I did get a couple dungees last time I did that (as well as a couple belligerent red rock crabs).

Nice 'yak, Cyros. I’d like to get a sit-inside one. I have to stop doing all of these vehicle repairs though, and pay down the credit cards before I get one though.


If you’re getting all into kayaking, especially up and down the west coast, check out this kayaker’s blog. Looks like the guy’s done all that, plus international kayaking, and if you scroll down his front page, there’s a compendium of links to other on-line sites of kayaker interest, like on-line marine weather reports, tide data, stuff like that.

I started paddling in 2001 or 2002.

I’ve just been preoccupied the last couple/few years.

Sea kayaks are big fun in 2-4 foot waves. Instead of being perpendicular to the wave front (as you’d expect), you ride parallel to the wave front. High brace on the wave and lean into the wave. The high brace on the wave is like putting the paddle on a rock.

… that is, until the wave fades and slips under you. Then, unless you anticipate and rebalance, you get a nice chance to practice your eskimo roll.

I’ll never forget the first time I took a kayak in waves. I misspent much of my youth on the shores of Lake Huron in Michigan and was very familiar with being in waves, and what a pain it can be to work outward as they crash inward. I marvelled at how the kayak cleanly pierced the tubular wave as it crested, paddling strongly …

… until the wave whacked SMACK into my chest, sending me and the kayak screaming backwards towards shore. :smack: Next try I made a point to duck and point my head into the wave!