Monday, July 15, 2013

A missed tide, but an opportunity gained...another good lesson from the kayak cockpit.

Blissfully forgetting that we were late by a full hour!
A pleasant chat with neighbours and another with folks on the beach put us a little behind schedule...and the tide change. The plan was to launch at Degnen Bay on Gabriola Island, paddle through Gabriola Passage, and then spend some time around the scenic Flat Top Islands. There's a strong current between here and Valdez Island, however, so it's important to keep a careful eye on the time. With the water running far faster than a kayak can be propelled "upstream", the opportunity to get to the Flat Tops, on this particular day, was lost.

Not really apparent in the pic, 
but the Gabriola Passage current can be like a rushing river!
A little disappointed in ourselves, we took solace in the fact that there was an interesting geocache hidden in a small islet, very close to where we were. We even had the GPS (with the coordinates) with us. We don't do a lot of geocaching but the ones that list the terrain as "difficult" are particularly inviting. Having said that, the actual hide has to be relatively easy because we get a bit impatient with such things! :)

Landing on the sandstone shore of the tiny island,  the geocache was indicated to be just 40 metres away.

The kayaks patiently wait...while we search.
I'm sure mariners passing by must have wondered why two people, wearing dry suits, were crawling up and down the rocks - especially since the kayaks were out of sight on the other side of the island!

Speaking of dry suits, it was a warm day, with the temperature in the low twenties. We didn't feel overdressed, however, especially when a brisk north-westerly came up later, on the way home. The sea temperature is still pretty chilly and we'd planned to practice some wet exits and self-rescues while on the water - an activity that's always refreshing!

It didn't take too long to discover the geocache and, really, it was an interesting opportunity that we would have missed had we stuck to Plan A. Sure, we all miss opportunities - but the thing is, there are always others waiting.

The "cache" was a little tricky...great hide!
With the Gabriola Passage option temporarily closed due to the strong current, there were many other options, including Valdes, Link, DeCourcy, Ruxton, and Pylades Islands and the lovely marine parks at  Pirate's Cove and Whaleboat Island. Yes, pretty much a "candy store" of possibilities around here.

We thought the sandstone beach between Mudge and Link Islands would make a nice place for lunch and so set of in that direction.

Heading to DeCourcy and Link Islands.
It was, indeed, a very special spot to peel down the suits, have a little lunch, and take in the beauty that was evident in every direction.

On the beach.
Mudge Island (l), and Gabriola, across the water.
Just a short distance away, the "hole in the wall", a small opening in-between Link and DeCourcy Islands, invites exploration.

"Hole in the wall" between Link and DeCourcy Islands.
The water, flowing through the opening, was crystal clear with tiny fish swimming and a variety of marine life scurrying over the sea floor.

Clear Pacific waters.
The view, looking over at the mountains of Vancouver Island, was simply stunning.

Vancouver Island from the "Hole in the Wall"
Every time we're on the water, there are lessons learned. - and some don't even require getting wet! Today, it was a reminder that even though opportunities in life are sometimes missed, there are choices in the way we respond. We can grumble and moan. (I've done that on occasion!) Or, we can move forward and happily discover that there are countless other opportunities that hold both interest and challenge...all around us.

We didn't get to the Flat Tops but we found an interesting "treasure" on a tiny islet and had a good day on the water...albeit in a completely different direction from what we had planned.

Being open to all the possibilities and opportunities in life rarely disappoints.



  1. But did you practice your wet exits and self-rescues?

  2. We most certainly did, Andy. And for the second time in two weeks! Admittedly, it had been awhile before that - a long while. Hope you're doing the same. :) Duncan.

  3. What a beautiful area that looks Duncan!

    Kind regards

  4. Thanks for that, Ian. It's true and sometimes we take what's close at hand for granted. The grass is "green" on both sides of the ocean. Warm wishes. Duncan.

  5. "Grumble and moan"? I've NEVER done that! :>) Really nice pictures Duncan. Gen.

  6. And I could never imagine that, Gen. :)) Nice to hear from you, thanks for coming by. Duncan.

  7. Christopher T18 July, 2013 03:42

    So true, there are so many possibilities - all around. We just need to keep the "eyes of disappointment" So good to read the positive words on this blog.Thanks for that. Chris.

  8. I like that thought, Chris, thanks so much. Good to hear from you again. Best wishes. Duncan.