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 Justine's Journal

CackleTV Productions


From Orcas to Victoria
Saturday, August 18, 2007

It's nearly time for me to go home to Wales so i've been busy making the most of being in the Pacific Northwest. On Tuesday I joined Shawna & Leon on an overnight trip to Sucia island with 5 clients on a 5-day course. I arrived just as the sun set on a beautiful calm evening with a stunning sunset, just in time to help them eat dinner & chat over a fire! The next morning I left early to paddle to Victoria on Vancouver island to catch up with Alex Mathews and his wife Rochelle ( and I better not forget their cat Simon !) It was a gorgeous paddle in calm seas with a huge push from the ebb tide. I covered the first 13 nautical miles in less than 2 hours which was very exciting - i was flying along at an average speed of over 6 knots! Once I started to head south i had less tide and found myself saying 'oh damn, I'm ONLY travelling at 5.5 knots" Of course I had to pinch myself and remember that 5.5 knots is still pretty good in a seakayak! Finally after 30 nautical miles in 5 hours 15mins I pulled in at Gordon Head - i'd been feeling really strong and fit the whole way across but as I got out of the flow and into an eddy, I began to feel tired. Typically, the coastline here consists of steep cliffs with lovely houses perched on top - each one with a thin steep set of steps leading up from the beach. There was no way I could carry my kayak up those and I paddled south for another mile or 2. Finally I came across a beach with loads of people on it. A very kind man helped me carry the kayak up the steep narrow steps and Alex came to pick me up.

I met Alex & Rochelle briefly at the West Coast seakayaking symposium a few years ago and Alex foolishly said 'If you're ever in Victoria, come and visit'! He writes lots of magazine articles, especially for Wavelength and Adventure Kayak magazines. He's also recently written a book called 'Rough water seakayaking' ( publised by Heliconia press), so I was interested to chat to him. We had a lovely evening, ( which involved lots of nice food and taking Simon the cat for a walk along the seafront!). The next morning Alex and I went paddling to Baynes channel - a tidal race very near to Victoria. It was lots of fun with some good rides. Alex and I paddled around nearby Chatham and Discovery islands, then he paddled back home and I carried on back to Orcas island. I didn't have quite so much tide with me on the way back, and I wasn't feeling quite so mighty so it took me a bit longer - 24.5 miles in 4hours 45 minutes - still an average of almost 5 knots though and another beautiful day. coming through Cattle Pass at over 10knots was a highlight! I landed in Deer Harbour and Leon came and picked me up.

Tomorrow ( Saturday ) I'm giving a talk at Eco-Marine in Vancouver, then I fly home on Sunday. There will just be time tomorrow morning to squeeze in a final paddle at Deception Pass with Matt & Djuna from Body Boat Blade, and Michael Callahan from EcoMarine!


Blogger Michael said...

Almost sad to see you leaving! I've enjoyed reading about your west coast adventures! Safe journey home.

3:03 am  
Blogger DarrenM said...

I hope you had a pleasant flight home. Your seminar was very inspiring!
Let me know what you think of my DVD :)

7:33 pm  

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