Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The second part - paddle from hell

Going for a look see

We left Bay Bulls harbour to go have a look at Red Rock Cove. There's a big rock in the cove that Gerard said would be interesting with the swell rolling in.

Still no problem

The wind was forecast to pick up but from the NW to 25kms so we were going to cross over to the north side of Bay Bulls. There we would have some protection.

Instead, as we entered the harbour to cross, the winds stayed westerly and steadily picked up to 40 kms generating wind waves of close to 1 meter. As we crossed it increased some more until there were whitecaps everywhere, occasionally breaking over the deck. Still manageable as my GPS was telling me we were maintaining 6 kms/hr.

The track back

The dasterdly wind stayed westerly and picked up some more to 50 kms with sustained gusts to 60. Whitecaps started to blow off of the waves. It was getting ugly and we had 5 kms to paddle straight into the wind back to the take-out. There was no hiding from the wind as we each retreated into our own world to slog it out.

A couple of points of land offered a chance to catch our breath momentarily before continuing the trek into the harbour. I felt I was barely making progress. Almost 100 minutes later we were relieved to be back. Looking down the harbour, the 5 kms we came from looked a long way off.

When I got home I downloaded the data from my GPS. It was interesting. In Useless Bay and up to Bread and Cheese Point we were making 4 kms dropping to 3 at times. Between Bread and Cheese Poing and Flat Point it dropped to 3 and sometimes 2 in the gusts.

Overall the average was just over 3 kms/hr.

What started out as a leisurely day at 10:00 turned into a gut busting paddle at 12:00. It was a tale of two paddles.

But, all's well that ends well and we went off for coffee to rehash the day.

1 comment:

  1. That bay tends to do that on that wind. Alex had warned me last time about the downdraft coming off those cliffs. Turns a "milder" wind into something crazy on the N shore.