Saturday, March 23, 2013

Bronco busting in Bay Bulls

The theme for the day was big swell running in from the east, clapotis from all directions and wind waves driven in front of a west wind.  When we were in it, it was like riding a bucking bronco trying to throw us off its back.

Dean, Hazen and I met in Bay Bulls, put-in and paddled past the industrial complex. 

As we paddled across the lower reaches of the harbour it was apparent it was going to be rough at the harbour entrance.  A gentle swell at the bottom of the harbour roared ashore ...

... and went vertical.

The further out we paddled the more we were affected by the swell, clapotis and wind.

Out at the south headland it got interesting.  Huge volumes of water were transported towards shore on the swell.  Holding on to the paddle while turning on the camera with its miniscule power button and trying to get a steady shot was gingerly done to avoid going into the upside down world.

At the south headland we decided to paddle across the open mouth of the harbour to the north side where we hoped to get some protection from the north westerly winds.  Even on the north side the water was confused and tried to climb up onto the land.

Hazen digging in.

Dean was decided to paddle in close, dwarfed by the waves.

The cliffs did give us some protection from the wind but after rounding this point it was all hands on deck as we beat into 25 knot wind gusts for the final 2 kms.  It reminded me of a similar paddle we had a couple of years ago in the same harbour, but then we had a 5 km slog.

Behind Fairload the waters were calm.  We used its shelter.  It had come all the way from Rotterdam just for that purpose!

All in all, it was a super paddle that tested boat and paddler.  I think we passed the exam.


  1. Wish I had known you guys were heading out today. I was actually home today thinking of a paddle!!

  2. Sean, I'm so sorry. Somehow you were missed in the back and forth mail. I'll see it doesn't happen again.


  3. it's more my fault than yours, Tony, that Sean didn't get on the initial e-mail... Sorry Sean..

  4. Looks like everyone missed it. Hope we're all paddling again next weekend.

    Tony ;-)

  5. No big deal. Instead I pulled my Point Bennett out of the basement and finally got around to fitting the hip pads. Then I re-attached a skeg cable clip that came loose. I'm good to go next time!!

  6. Even when you're not on the water there are kayak things to do!

    Tony :-)