Tuesday, January 04, 2011

January sea kayaking, Vancouver Island...a "cool" mix of sun and icicles!

Paddy's Mile Stone and Mount Maxwell on Saltspring Island
Today was a "stat" holiday and the weather was perfect to be on the water. The temperature was a nice even "zero" degrees C when we launched but the sun was delightfully warm. We left Maple Bay and headed out for Paddy's Mile Stone - exactly 1 nautical mile from the beach. It's hard to imagine how that "stone", got "tossed" to where it is!

It reminds me of a miniature Ailsa Craig, an island in the outer Firth of Clyde in Scotland. Although I was born in Scotland, I've only ever seen Ailsa Craig from the air, so fellow bloggers and family across the "pond" will please forgive me if, in fact, they see no similarities at all!

Mt. "Max" and the "stone"
Following the rocky shores, we turned towards Octopus Point and, en route, are reminded that, indeed, it is winter - even here! In the shade and without the warmth of the low January sun, the cooler air is invigorating.

A small reminder, it IS winter...icicles!
It's amazing how productive the active body is when it comes to producing heat. The layers of clothing capture it - we're really quite as comfortable in our boats, as if it were a summer day.

Back in the sunshine, we reach Octopus Point. Apparently some of the largest octopus, anywhere, are swimming beneath our kayaks. I can tell you, we won't be checking that out, anytime soon!

It's a bird...it's a plane...yes, it's a plane!
You know how cyclists and cars need to learn to "share the road"? Well, here, kayakers and float planes have to occasionally share the "narrows". Yup, that's why paddlers (should) wear highly visible colours!

Landing at shaded and frosty Burgoyne Bay for a warm lunch
Faithful "hot pot"
There is something rather special about Burgoyne Bay on Saltspring Island. Perhaps what we "feel" is related to the significant number of documented sites of spiritual and cultural significance to our local First Nations people. We are privileged to be here and deeply respect the thousands of years of human activity that existed on these islands so very, very long before us.

It is also a great place to stop for a late afternoon lunch, and if there's energy to spare, to take a hike...right to the top of Mount Maxwell. Today, there was neither time nor energy to spare - nor daylight hours!

Seaside dining - "window seats" always available this time of the year!
Following a quickly prepared lunch of veggie lasagna and a short exploration of the beach, we repacked the kayaks and headed for the nearest sunshine, where our fingers warmed up considerably.

Back in the sunshine
Crossing back over Sansum Narrows brought us back into Maple Bay, just as the sun was dropping behind Mount Tzouhalem. An excellent early-January paddle...and yet another reminder of the breath-taking beauty of this fragile, island-planet and how such connections with the natural world can bring such peace, deep within.

Cheers all.


  1. Looks like it was a beautiful day out on the water... glad you were able to get out and enjoy it!

  2. Thanks Anon, it was a very different day from today - overcast and snowflurries!

  3. Happy New Paddle to you and Joan! REally like the photos on this one. I bet you didn't sit down to have your veggie lasagne, though. Looks pretty chilly on that thar beach!

  4. Ahh, Jill, we've missed you and nice to hear from you. Yeah, we "resisted" sitting down on the frosty beach. Besides, we'd been "sitting" the whole way there. :-) Pretty sedentary sport, eh?!