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Keep cool and you command everybody. - Louis de Saint-Just

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Author Topic: Bay Campus Paddle, 9 November 2008  (Read 2465 times)

Rich Coupland

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Bay Campus Paddle, 9 November 2008
« on: November 14, 2008, 05:52:41 PM »

Its November now. The air temperature is falling, the water temperature is falling, and the weather can be more dyanamic than on a typical summer day. Still, it was a beautiful day for a paddle.

We had 8 boats out on Sunday, six sea kayaks and two sit-on-tops. "TM", in his mightly Tsunami composite sit-on-top, is more capable than most of us. "C" was new to the group, though he had paddled with a few RICKA members separately.  "C" is a heck of a nice guy. And anyway, its hard to tell a guy that's 6' 9" and 250 pounds that he's not up to a paddle, even when he shows up in a 15 foot sit-on-top. [Why? "I haven't found a Sea Kayak that I can fit in yet!"] So, with some fall-back planning agreed to, we were off.

The plan was to head down to Whale Rock, then over to Beavertail, then around the east side of Beavertail to Hull Cove for lunch. From there we would go around to Mackeral Cove, and portage over to Dutch Harbor for the trip back to the Bay Campus.

The trip down to Beavertail was largely flat, though the rollers coming in off of the ocean built a bit as we went south. The winds were from the west, and were building as we cleared the cover of the western shoreline. It looked like it could be a bit dicey as we reached open water.

I was paddling CR's Boeal Designs kayak, and she was in my Nordkapp. JS noted that we were feeling rather cavalier for a November paddle. I thought about that as I shifted around in this unfamiliar boat, which was admittedly a bit large for me. It was just about a year earlier that JS had fished me out of the drink off of Newport on a day of very similar weather.

BH and a few others were drawn to the rocks as we passes Bonnet Shores and over into Bonnet Cove. CR and I stayed away, avoiding any possible trouble. Then the group headed down to Whale Rock for a rough but uneventful rounding.

The trip down to Beavertail included rollers from the southwest mixing with 1-2 foot rolling chop from the west. There was some good surfing if you timed it right, but the boats tended to kick sideways and off the waves. "C" did fine, but he was working harder than the rest of us.

Lunch was well protected from the wind. CR and I decided we liked our own boats best, and swapped back. Then, on the way into Mackeral Cove, CC called out that she'd seen a seal. And there he was, just looking at us like WE had gotten off the wrong bus. This was more his world than ours, after all.

After the portage we found ourselves working into 20 knot headwinds and, at first, 1+ foot waves. C found it hard going. TM stayed close by, and we waited for them at the lighthouse. The tide line south of the light house was particularly steep. By the time C was 200 yards west of that point, it was time to give him some help. JS, roped on for a bit, then (other) JS and BH roped on as well and they proceeded across the bay in that manner, four in line.

At the take-out some rolls were practiced, boats were emptied, and C tried-out the mighty Tsunami. [Its a lot faster!]. We hope he'll find his perfect boat and join us many times next year.

It's getting colder out there, and I'm not a winter paddler. If I don't make it out one more time this month, I look forward to seeing many of you at the rolling clinic, at the winter party, and we'll have at it again next spring!

All the best, Rich C.

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