Monday, January 10, 2011

A journey of "epic proportion" - Part 2: The part discretion plays in valour.

Launch time: Maple Bay and sun about to rise behind Saltspring Island

The plan seemed simple enough, and it seemed like a bit of an adventure. We would combine our two favourite self-propelled activities, kayaking and running - the former, in the early morning and the latter in the late evening. Since we were going to visit our son on the "Continent", we would have the opportunity to engage in these activities in two different "worlds". The only real challenge would be "wind chill". So hey, how tough would that be?

So...launching at Maple Bay at sunrise was simply magnificent. Our little "biathlon" was off to good start. It was another rare, sunny (winter) day off Vancouver Island's east coast. The temperature, as we carried the boats onto the beach, was just below zero but as the sun rose over Saltspring Island, the air warmed significantly.

Heading for Arbutus Point on Sansum Narrows
As we paddled towards the "narrows", seals bobbed around us, their curious, liquid eyes, watching our every move. As soon as you got the camera pointed their way, however, they would slip back into the depths. "Big" birds were sunning in the trees everywhere, eagles and then the massive raptor in the next image. I think it's a hawk, but not sure what type - anyone know? (Thanks Beth for tip, it's an immature bald eagle. We should have known that after all these years!)

These guys were everywhere!
Paddling close to the shore, and under overhanging trees, we spotted another one of these magnificent creatures looking down at us. But not for long...

"Lift off"!
He clearly had places to go, things to do.

Eagles, as common as sparrows, in the early morning sun

Eagles were everywhere, enjoying the warm and unseasonable sunshine. They "chatted" from the branches of the massive trees on Maple Mountain. You could feel their energy. It was as if we were all celebrating together the most picture perfect of January days. Ahhh, what an extraordinary morning. And now we would look forward to ending the day, some hours and many kilometres later, with a refreshing evening run. Sure it was a little "wintry" where we were going, but we would complete this challenge, undeterred by a little "wind chill" - of minus 27 degrees C.

Later that day, on the "Continent"...

D: "Joan, are you thinking what I'm thinking?" J: "You mean about running tonight?" D: "Yeah, do you think we would be wimping out if we didn't run?" J: "Yup - but I'm completely OK with that."

How come it's only us tourists out here driving around?!
D: "But this was to be a journey of epic proportion - paddling and running, in two different worlds. " J:  "Your point?" D: "Well, it's kind of a matter of honour." J: You know that your own son thinks you're nuts." D: "Uh huh."

No rest for these flags!

So with the snow flying, the roads closing, and every flag in town completely horizontal, we elected to forgo the run and check out our favourite cafe, "The Good Earth Cafe". That was, in fact, a very good plan.
Cranberry trail scone...and the soy latte

Discretion is, almost always, the better part of valour! And hey, our son thinks his "old man" may just have a little common sense after all! :-)

Watch out for the wind chill,



  1. Glad you used your common sense and went for the coffee. Sure looks cold out there....and according to the forecast it looks like you will be bringing all that snow back with you. BBRRRR

  2. Looking at the pictures just shows how amazing this country is. To go from beautiful calm sunny weather to cold blowing snow storms with just a few hours of travelling is absolutely amazing.

  3. But it's a "dry" wind chill so it shouldn't really feel that cold - and if you believe that! Cool pics.

  4. I believe that is an immature bald eagle and not a hawk. Perhaps you would like to check out my 'bird of the day' blog at (although I haven't managed to get an eagle yet).

  5. Thanks, L, yeah, occasionally I use some common sense - honest. (But not always - haha)

    Hi Anon, yes, it's a marvellous country of diversity of every kind. That what makes us "Canada". Glad you enjoyed the pictures.

    Hey Christopher, you know what? I'm taking back everything I said about "dry" cold. It's COLD! :-)

    Thanks again for the ID, Beth, you've got a great site - keep up the good work...and enjoy!

  6. love yr photos today, duncan...really wonderful.

  7. Thx Jill, much appreciated, and with a "point and shoot" camera, the photographer can't even take any credit!