Sunday, January 08, 2012

Eat porridge, check marine weather, load gear and boats...launch.

Octopus Point and low clouds over Saltspring Island.
Earlier in the week, we sat down to breakfast - a bowl of hot, steaming, porridge. We start just about every day with this very sturdy item. Joan makes a particularly hearty blend that includes Scottish oatmeal (from Bob's Red Mill), fresh ground flax, hemp hearts, chia and maca (keeps energy levels up), blueberries, and blackberries. A bowl of this can sustain you all the way to lunch! Also means you don't have to bother keeping any reading material in the bathroom.

Anyway, following breakfast on this particular day, we loaded up the paddling gear, strapped the kayaks to the top of the High Mobility Kayak Transport Vehicle ("civilian" eyes could be forgiven for mistaking the HMKTV for a for a silver Subaru - everyone does), got into our dry suits...and THEN...checked the weather.

(OK folks, so this wasn't the first time we've paddled - it just sounds like it. The usual (and recommended) order of items on the checklist, prior to a launch, BEGINS with checking the weather. Sure, have the porridge first, but everything else normally follows.)

We were good to go. Unfortunately, however, we learned that so were the 80 kph winds that were forecast to blow into our area around or before the noon hour. Environment Canada was issuing warnings for "potentially damaging winds" and heavy rainfall.

OK. Now what?

Well, if we launch right away we could get two or three hours on the water - so long as the incoming weather doesn't arrive early. Hmm. The plan was to cross over to Saltspring and paddle up to Vesuvius, have lunch on the beach there and then cross back in the afternoon. That meant there was, of course, the potential for getting caught by the incoming winds and being "marooned" on Saltspring Island? That didn't actually sound so bad except that the marine pub at Vesuvius has been closed for years now! And besides,  I had a work-related commitment in the evening. Sure, we could always hitch a ride on the ferry and get back to Crofton on Vancouver Island - but then one of us would have to thumb a ride back to the launch spot to get the HMKTV. People would talk.

After reviewing a number of scenarios, we elected not to go. Disappointed? Yes. But there would be another time.

Entering Sansum Narrows - the mist made it even more magical.
And today there was an opportunity. A small window, opened early this morning and we spent a couple of very therapeutic hours on the water. The skies were grey, the ocean was grey - but sea kayaks have a way of creating their own "sunshine". Every time.

Heading back into Maple Bay, and home.
So there you have it: eat porridge, check marine weather, load gear and boats...launch. That's the right order. :)



Additional note, Jan 08: Acting on a tip from Paula, just to the south of us at Kayak Yak, we added a little cinnamon and some walnuts to this morning's porridge - nice! We'll add some raisons tomorrow. Any other tips for a "paddlin' porridge" recipe?


  1. Glad you made it out on the water if only for a few is always great to escape even if just for a short time.
    As for your breakfast...keep enjoying it..I'll just stick to my honey nut cheerios ...

  2. Hey L, well you could at least add some flax, keeps you...oh, you know what I mean. Haha. Thanks for stopping by. D.

  3. Perfect! Glad to know we have the right order of things to do. I was wondering if I was becoming yak nerd! LOL


  4. I think, given all the fine technical details of paddling, that would be just fine! :) Thanks Mark.

  5. Porridge Eh! Scottish Oatmeal? Where do you buy it and can it be found in most grocery stores? Most of the other ingredients I know about. Must check them out.
    Amazing how one finds out things.

  6. Nice to hear from you, J. Most ingredients readily available, others at a health food store. Maybe a bit more difficult to find where you are though. "Steel cut" oats are certainly the most "authentic" - take 20 minutes to cook but worth taking the time and it's like breakfast (as I imagine it) in a remote Highland croft house - 200 years ago. Mmm - the solitude. Enjoy it...mindfully. D.

  7. Thanks Duncan, always good to follow your blogs. FYI, Oatmeal is Acidic and a good Alkaline substitute is either Spelt Flakes or Kamut Flakes, both bought at the Garage or Health Food stores, and cooked the same as Oatmeal - mind you, they aren't Steel Cut, not sure about Scottish :>). Sheila

  8. I appreciate that, Sheila. We'll try the spelt or kamut for sure. But will we feel like we're living in the stone croft house in the Highlands 200 years ago? :) Duncan.

  9. I can hear the next sermon already.....Spelt and Kamut Flakes.
    What next. LOL

  10. Awesome idea, L! Gosh, do you think folks will miss hearing about barefoot running, flax, and chia when they come to church? Haha! D.