Saturday, November 26, 2016

Magic Light on Otter Channel

One of my favorite things about paddling the BC coastline is the way light is accentuated, diffused, bent, filtered and muted to create impossible colors and a million shades of grey.  It’s true that the precipitation that created the world’s largest temperate rainforest can provide greyness in seemingly endless quantities but in smaller doses it interacts with light and makes magic.  Paddling in fog or overcast you may experience a visual transformation of dark monotones changing to silvers that suddenly erupt into violent explosions of color.  Longer angles of sunlight passing through moisture suspended in the air bathes us in unworldly colors that have no names.

There is a particular magic light that occurs when the sky has a low overcast or a thin fog layer and the sun tries hard to work its way though. Everything is in shades of silver and grey. The water is in motion and reflects light like mercury.  The cloud cover thins in places and beams of sunlight break through, explode then disappear.

Careless Cove

Martin Ryer's account of having his boat and paddle taken by the evening tide while camped on Spring Island serves as a cautionary tale for all paddlers.  It's easy to say "That won't happen to me", which is what I thought until it did.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Blackney Beach 2 Grief Bay

70 degrees, Clear, NW @ 10 - 20 knots, W swell 2 meter with 2 - 3 foot wind waves

I left Blackney Beach while the NW wind was at 10 knots with the knowledge that it would build.  The forecast called for moderate seas with NW winds at 15 – 20 knots, a westerly swell to 2 meter with wind waves to 3 feet.  I wanted to make as many miles as possible before it gained in strength. The bad news was that it built more quickly than I anticipated. The good news was that it was mostly at my back.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Wolf Beach 2 Blackney Beach

Wolf Beach Campsite 

70 degrees, Clear, NW @ 15 - 20, W swell 2 meter with wind waves to 3 feet Seas Moderate 

Glenn Lewis had warned me about confusion that occurs when the ebb tries to turn south out of Hakai Passage at Surf Islets so I was choosing to launch on a rising tide.  That made for a pretty long to get the boat and four loads of gear down to the water's edge.

Morning at Wolf Beach 

The swell was immediately present but the predicted 15-20 knot wind was still in the 10 knot range. The sea state was a bit messy but made for enjoyable paddling. The shoreline disappeared into thickening fog so I was afforded occasional glimpses of Calvert's many lovely northern beaches only when I tucked into a bay.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Kwakshua Channel 2 13.8 Beach

Hakai Morning

65 degrees. Overcast in the morning, clearing in the afternoon.
Winds calm to SW at 15 
Seas rippled to 2-foot chop

Silver Morning on Kwakshua Channel

Rounding Wedgborough Point we turned south out of Kwakshua Channel down Fitz Hugh Sound. It was 9:00 AM and the flood was reaching maximum flow. While the current didn’t amount to a lot it was definitely against us and it was teamed up with a 15 knot headwind.  We didn’t have much going in our favor as we eddied, dodged, scratched, cursed and crept for 2 NM along Calvert’s steep eastern shoreline to the spot that Dave had marked as our crossing point to Addenbroke Lighthouse. Fitz Hugh Sound was capping and just starting to streak.  It looked a bit awkward but not difficult. We estimated that it would be a 45-minute cross wind/current ferry glide to Addenbroke so we took a few moments, clung to a kelp bed and fueled on energy bars before starting across.