Sunday, January 22, 2017

Solo, yet so high

Friday night through Saturday we had a blizzard dumping 30 cms snow whipped around by wind gusts at 100 kms/hr.  Today, Sunday, it was supposed to still be windy so there didn't look to be an opportunity to paddle this weekend.  Wrong!!!  After clearing away the snow I made note of the fact there was imperceptible wind.  Ummm.... will I or won't I.  The choice was clear.

I was by myself so I decided on something close to home not only for that but time was scarce after a morning spent shoveling snow.  I left St. Philips where the effects of the blizzard were obvious.

I left with the temperature -5C with a windchill of -12C.  I think they lied because without the wind it did not feel cold, though tell that to the icicles.

Inside the cove it was calm but as I made my way towards Portugal Cove the remnant swell from the weekend storm began to assert itself and where it met the immovable rocks it ...

... went skywards.

As I got close to Portugal Cove it got very interesting at Dreadnaught Rock (OK, I'm christening it!) as the two meter swell swept over the top.  I stayed offshore a bit as I didn't want to get caught there by myself and I also wanted to stay clear of the one meter clapotis that was rebounding off the cliffs.

I turned the corner and paddled into Portugal Cove where I ...

... got out for a bit.  Not that I needed it but paddling into this little beach added three kilometers to a shortish paddle making it more worthwhile.

After a short stay I got back in the kayak knowing I'd have the swell behind me on the way back to St. Philips.  I overdressed a bit and started to overheat so I took my time going back, which turned out to be a good thing.  To port the swell continued to cannon off the cliffs, I felt comfortable and going slow extended my time on the water.  I felt in control even though some of the clapotis was close to a meter and when they were they washed across the foredeck and sprayskirt.

Back at St. Philips I paddled up the river running into the harbour because, well, it was a river ;);) (Cathy if you're reading).  A river with fresh water ;);) to wash the salty brine off of my gear.

Paddling solo is not encouraged though I have no hesitation on calm water.  Today it was far from that but I felt qualified.  It was a bit of risk - reward.  It was a super paddle.

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