We have been blessed with, so far, three days with glorious sunshine so we have done the trifecta: Hike, Bike and today we Paddled. It has been almost a month since we were in our boats so today was the perfect day to re-acquaint ourselves with them and enjoy the sunshine. We also wanted to see if using a Greenland paddle is as wonderful as our wise paddling friends claim. We tried one briefly on one of our group paddles, and we both loved how natural and easy it was to use. Bill did a lot of research and found a very kind craftsman in Nanaimo that was willing to loan us a couple paddles to try. So he met us at the put-in this morning and loaned us two – one a bit longer than the other. Verdict: They are awesome, and we like the shorter one better.
Looking at the shape of these paddles you may think “they are so skinny, how do they move any water”? But the surface area in the water is the same or larger than the more modern designs. The nice thing about them is that they take less effort to paddle and the stroke seems to be a much more natural movement. We didn’t need as high an angle stroke as we usually do (saves shoulders!) and we seemed to go at about the same speed as with our current paddles. The water conditions were very calm so we hope to try them as well in higher wind/wave conditions before we make a decision. It was a great experience. They are perfect for touring and we are starting to understand why so many paddlers here use them.
Paddle experimentation aside, we had a great day on the water. We left Ladysmith under sunshine and blue skies and were a bit concerned when we hit a localized fog bank on the outskirts of Nanaimo. But localized it was, and we were soon through it and back in sunshine. At the put-in there was some fog on the water and we had fog in and out all day. Close to the shore, where we paddled, we did not have much but further out in the strait there were fog banks that moved in and out and the mainland was cloaked in a dense, quite dark, bank that obscured the mountains we were hoping to see. But the movement created some beautiful scenes and moods, so we didn’t mind.
There were a lot of sea lions about, sunning themselves in the water, playing with each other and barking at us to remind us to stay away, which we tried to do! They added some fun entertainment to the day.
We toodled down the coastline from Departure Bay to the far side of Neck Point Park, enjoying the wildlife, sunshine, fog patterns and being on the water.
On our return to Departure Bay we noticed a very fascinating cloud bank hanging out over Newcastle Island, and the the ferry emerged from the fog. We had heard the ferry blowing its horn for the past 45 minutes or so so we knew there was a lot of fog out in the strait; it was good to see it arrived safely!
So three days in a row of perfect weather that have allowed us to get outside and enjoy the activities we love, as well as store up some sunshine reserves for when the rain returns (which I’m sure it will). Life is good.