K2inCanada's Blog

October 16, 2016

The storms I missed

Filed under: Canada, Fishing, Kayak — K2 in Canada @ 10:02 PM

Forecast for this weekend was just wicked with high winds and tons of rain, remnants of former Super Typhoon Songda!!! Well, it was windy and it rained but nothing close to what the forecast sounded like. Apparently it missed Vancouver due to a 30km diviation from its calculated track. This was the 3rd storm in a row since Thursday with high winds and quite a bit of rain. I missed most of it. Still was able to ride my bike to and from work every day. Just got wet. The winds either hit at night or during the day while I was at work. No power outages at home or at work either. But there was quite a bit of damage during the 2nd storm on Friday all over the lower mainland. In the News

So at the end it was a relatively normal weekend for Jeff and I. We paddled Saturday morning ahead of the big storm. The wind was not supposed to kick in till late afternoon. Mind you it was windy and hard work to paddle up Indian Arm to the powerhouse but less so than a couple weeks ago in the double. Nevertheless, good confidence builder for me in my new surfski. I felt pretty good in bumpy conditions yet again! And we saw a mink along the north side of the arm. It rained pretty hard though at times. Even went for a walk during the “height” of the storm. No big deal.

Sunday was another fishing day. It was wet in the morning but almost stopped mid day, except for a few drizzles here and there. Even got into my first Coho of the season, while Jeff got into 5🙂. All those were caught in the morning. We tried some other places in the afternoon but ended up with more walking again than fishing. Still, it was a great day in the valley. Fresh snow on the mountains, bright red blueberry bushes, yellow birch trees, brilliant green grass, silver rivers and skies! Fall colours at their best!


Stupid Head

Filed under: Canada, Fishing, Kayak — K2 in Canada @ 10:02 PM

Not my best ever Thanksgiving long weekend, Oct 9-10. A bad migraine tried to kill me, or so it seemed. Woke up with a headache on Sunday morning 5AM. This was supposed to be my first time out for Coho fishing this fall and I had really been looking forward to it. Jeff had already been a few times during the week and brought back dinner. Weather was supposed to be much nicer than the day before. And it was! It actually got quite warm and sunny in the afternoon. We hit all the usual places but could not touch anything. Spent a lot more time walking than fishing, or sitting on the bank with my eyes closed – trying to wish the headache away. Mind you, I did fish a bit and my casting was actually pretty decent despite not having done it for almost a year. I tried hard to not let the headache ruin the day. Somewhat successful. It was so nice out. We had an early dinner at the Gillnetter Pub – $10 ribs were good as always. But as the evening went on, the head got worse and I spent all evening curled up on the sofa feeling sorry for myself.

Usually these headaches only last 24hrs so I expected to be in much better shape the holiday Monday. I slept okay but when we got up my head was still groggy. It was another nice day though and I sure did not want to spend all of it indoors. We took the double surfski out into English Bay. The ocean was almost flat but I still felt like I am getting seasick. We did a long paddle, all the way around English Bay: Locarno – Downtown – Stanley Park – Ambleside – Lighthouse Park – Red Bell Can off Point Grey. My head felt horrible and I felt sick most of the time. But I hung in there. As a reward we got to see some porpoises hunting during the crossing from Lighthouse Park to the red bell can. So cool to see them in English Bay. First time for us. They didn’t stick around us for long so I didn’t manage to get a picture. Heading back towards Locarno beach, there was some small westerly swell and Jeff was giving it a push. I was ready to throw up by the time we got back to Locarno beach.

Barely made the drive home. Curled up on the sofa underneath my blanket for the rest of the day avoiding any light. No food was going down my throat other than ultra strength pain killers. Can’t remember ever being this miserable from a migrane. I hate being sick!

It was gone the next morning at last just in time for another work week, sigh!

October 8, 2016

Bring on the waves

Filed under: Canada, Kayak — K2 in Canada @ 10:44 PM

I tried my new boat, the V10 Sport, in waves for the first time and the verdict is – it rocks!!! As in rock solid. Another windy wavy day today in Deep Cove. Not quite as bad as last weekend but enough that it would have scared the hell out of me in my Legend. But today, despite the wind and waves and rain, I felt good. We paddled up the west side of the Arm to Best Point into a stronger and stronger headwind. Quite a bit more power boat traffic than I would have thought possible for a rainy day. So lots of rebounding waves as well.We crossed over to the old powerhouse in a really nice tailwind. We were doing over 12km/hr the whole way without pushing it at all. It was slow along the east side for some reason. The tailwind turned to a headwind in sections. Weird! After Twin we decided to cross straight over into Deep Cove to maximize the wind coming from our back. It was still only 3/4 behind us. The waves weren’t going all that fast but with a bit of work one could connect them together. It was hard work but it also was FUN!! Me having that much fun in a single surfski in waves hasn’t happened in a long time. I almost felt like I am in my sea kayak. It was awesome!!! Why did I not bury my ego earlier and got a stable boat some years ago!

And since it was a rainy day today I spent the rest of the day blogging. At least I am caught up with Sep/Oct. Still missing some important spring entries. Maybe tomorrow…although they promised sun shine.

Fall has started

Filed under: Canada, Hike, Kayak — K2 in Canada @ 10:42 PM

It actually started with some nice sunny days but I spent all of those at work. The first fall day off, Sat Oct 1, started out with rain threatening skies and breezy. We got to Deep Cove and the waves were crashing onto the beach due to a strong outflow coming across Indian Arm. We had brought the double surfski. Jeff had seen a dolphin at the end of the Arm near Croker Island a couple days earlier, and since Croker is a longer paddle we figured it would be the right right boat even though we weren’t going for a fast time that day. And we definitely weren’t going anywhere fast. The wind was pretty strong and the crossing to Jug Island seem to take forever in big cross waves and a strong headwind. I was even wondering if we would ever make it to the end in conditions like that. White caps as far as we could see, waves washing up on me almost to my chest. I was soaked pretty quick. We battled the strong wind and waves all the way to Buntzen Bay, paddling along the shoreline to stay out of the worst of it. And then it miraculously calmed down quite a bit for the second half. Rain mostly held off as well – not that it mattered, we were wet anyways. We made it to the end but it took almost 2hrs. I was tired and off course there was no dolphin either. So we headed back and I was secretly hoping that there would still be a tail wind on the way back. The tide had changed to flood and that sometimes brings on the inflow winds. Not today though. As we passed Best Point the wind picked up again and it was a tail wind. No longer white caps and the waves were moving slower than us but we got a good push and made it back in 1hr20min.

Sunday Oct 2 was a much nicer day and we did the Jeff rollerski, me hike thing this time at Seymour Mountain. First off I saw the “Bear in Area” sign at the end of the parking lot – never saw the bear though, sigh. I hiked up the main trail a bit and then turned to take the trail via Mystic Lake back down. The fall colours were wonderful up there and I very much enjoyed the easy hike. I got back down earlier than I expected and did another loop down to Goldie Lake and back. That too longer than expected and I was way late returning to the car. But it was such a beautiful day and Jeff didn’t mind. He was sitting in the sun reading his book. We went to the Gold Course for lunch sitting outside on the Patio enjoying the sunshine some more before driving back home.

As I get older …

Filed under: Canada, Humor — K2 in Canada @ 10:41 PM


September EPIC Paddling!

Filed under: Canada, Kayak — K2 in Canada @ 10:41 PM

One might think we had enough of paddling after 9 days in our sea kayaks. Wrong, at least for me. I was back in a boat the Monday after we came back from the trip. Paddled Burnaby Lake with Krista. But instead of taking my tippy K1 I took it easy using the club’s Super Lancer, for all our paddles since then. It just allows me to enjoy paddling more. That Monday evening was an awesome paddle into the sunset.

That same week I took the Alpha engineering team dragon boating on Burnaby Lake. We almost filled the two boats and it was a lot of fun. I was in front of one shouting instructions and Jeff was steering the 2nd one. We raced the two boats a couple times, swapped crews and did it all over again. The 2nd boat felt a whole lot slower and my boss, who was sitting next to me that time, and I both felt we were pulling the boat all by ourselves🙂. A much nicer way to spent a working afternoon on a sunny day!!

But neither of the above were anywhere close to epic paddles. That came on my birthday! I had been humming and hawing all summer long about getting a more stable surfski to be able to enjoy rougher water paddles again. Just haven’t been that comfortable in my Think Legend for a couple years now and no matter how hard I try, it does not seem to get better. The question was, which would be the right boat. Something like Jeff’s Evo II – still a fast boat but a bit more stable – or all the way to a real stable boat like the Easy or V8Pro. Earlier in the summer I had tried them all. Think Easy, Epic V8Pro as the real stable ones and Evo II and V10 Sport as the in between ones. All felt much more stable than my Legend but it was also a flat calm day!!! The one though that felt the most comfortable was the V10 Sport. Years ago when Epic first came out with the V10 Sport I could not fit my hip into it. The new version fit like a glove. Even better than the EVO II which I though would have been the boat to get if I wanted medium stability. The V8Pro was a really nice boat too but it didn’t feel quite as comfortable. The Easy was a no go from the start – not good for my sensitive butt/hamstrings at all. But I could not decide if I should go for the V10 Sport or if I really needed the stability of a V8Pro for rough water. And did I really want to own an EPIC? I have been a Think person for so long and really love my Legend and wish I could still paddle it. Also, we are good friends with the owner of Think Kayaks and it felt wrong not to buy a Think boat. Hence, I didn’t get a new boat until, well, Jeff made the decision for me. H bought me a V10 Sport for my birthday! I love him for making the decision for me🙂. The funny part, the boat had been in our garage for 3 days before my birthday and I didn’t see it. Not because it was hidden or I don’t go into the garage. I actually get my bike out of it every morning and put it back every night walking right by the boat. But the white boat blended in perfectly with the wall. Mind you it has a pretty obvious red tip on the stern which should have jumped at me every morning and evening. But it didn’t. Jeff didn’t have to get up early those 3 mornings to distract me. I was blind to the unexpected in the garage. Even on my birthday, when we decided we would go for a paddle despite the torrential rain outside I didn’t see it at first. I suggested to take the double as it looked a bit windy outside and I wasn’t sure I could handle my Legend that day. Finally Jeff pointed to the white wall and asked: “Why not take that one!!!!” I finally saw it – no idea how I could have missed it the 3 days before🙂. It was an EPIC paddle! But it was still a pretty calm day. We saw a couple Native Indian canoes past the powerhouse and chased them down which added a couple kilometers to our usual Indian Arm Powerhouse loop.

Took the new boat out again on the Tuesday evening the same week walking it down to the Fraser River from our place. The tug boat traffic had scared the living hell out of me recently in my Legend so I wanted to put the V10 Sport to the test. There was quite abit of tug boat traffic even in our little side channel but no huge waves. I felt good. The last tug though produced a big whirlpool in the middle of the river and we both decided it would be much wiser to wait that one out🙂. The Fraser paddles are usually not the most scenic, although we have seen beavers, seals and bold eagle before, but that evening the setting sun was lighting up some spectacular cloud formations.

The last weekend paddle in September was again in the double – see previous post here.

September Hiking = Bear Watching

Filed under: Animals, Bears, Canada, Hike — K2 in Canada @ 10:40 PM

As the days are getting shorter so do my hikes and I stay in the local mountains. I hike the top while Jeff roller skis up the road. But that does not mean I am on my own. There are quite a few more people around obviously but I was also lucky to see bears on 2 out of my 3 hikes on Cypress last month. They come out of the bush to fatten up on the nice grass growing on the ski slopes.

First encounter was on Sep 12. A beautiful sunny day and I hiked up Mount Strachan, a much less busy trail compared to the Howe Sound Crest Trail, coming down the ski run to Eagle Chair lift. Two girls coming up warned me about the 2 bears they saw hiking up. One just around the corner. So I slowly continued on hoping it was still there. And I was lucky. A young bear judging by the size. Not sure why he had picked that spot. There seemed to be more rock than grass on that slope but he was happily munching away. I watched him till he reach the other side of the slope when he finally saw me. Didn’t seem to scared as he slowly wandered off into the bush. Unfortunately I did not see bear number 2 when I continued hiking down even though I payed extra attention. By the way, the views from Mt Strachan are really nice and it’s only an hour up, if that.

Second encounter happened on Sep 18 which was even more special to me. I hardly got the hike started, walking up the ski run this time when I spotted the bear right at the bottom of the bunny hill. Close to where all the people walk by – not many spotting the bear. This bear was bigger and I think a female. She looked very healthy. Ready for a winter of sleeping and giving birth to another generation of Cypress bears. I was wondering if she could have been the mom of the two cubs I saw on Cypress last year. Anyhow, she did not seem concern about the people and I was happy to see that everyone who spotted her stayed on the trail rather than trying to get closer. She was just beautiful. I almost did not do my hike but eventually I decided to leave her alone and get a bit of exercise. Only had time for a”quick” up and down the ski run as Jeff would be up meeting me at the car in an hour. Well I did take a detour going up towards Hollyburn for a bit. On the way down I ran into paddling buddy Sean and his wife and we walked down together. I didn’t expect the bear to still be there but she was. Sean and his wife were a bit more anxious about it and stayed behind me while watching  for a bit. Sean knows I ran slower than him🙂. Now the sun was out in full force as well and I could not take my eyes off her. Needless to say Jeff had been waiting for a while. But when I told him there was a bear right at the bottom, we both went back and watch her for some more time. A very special day!!!

The last hike in September, Sep 24, we didn’t see a bear. Maybe because Jeff was actually hiking with me. We took the Baden Powell trail east until it joined the Hollyburn Mtn trail and followed it to the top. It was a overcast cloudy day and no views from the top. We crossed the top and were lucky to find the trail that connected with Mount Strachan and the ski runs. It was pretty steep down but in pretty good conditions. Bushy in sections which meant we were soak from wet bushes rubbing against our pants. Could be a nice round trip on a sunny day. Coming down the ski run being wet and no bear sightings made it a bit less fun🙂.

And if you still don’t have enough of looking at bear pictures, here is a video of the two encounters above as well as one I took in the spring of Blondie (one of many posts I still have to do on our spring fishing adventures this year):


October 2, 2016


Filed under: Animals, Canada — K2 in Canada @ 7:09 PM

The below is a short video I took during our encounter with the dolphins in Wells Passage. If you missed the full trip report (warning – it is long) click here:

October 1, 2016

Bears, movies and flowers – 2nd half of Aug

Filed under: Animals, Canada, Hike, Kayak — K2 in Canada @ 8:12 PM

Catching up on things to blog about from before the kayak touring trip earlier this month.

Aug 21, the day after the river kayak trip we tried for Coliseum Mtn again. First riding the bikes up to Mt Seymour Demonstration Forest and then hike to the top. It started out as a nice sunny hike and the first part was awesome and steep. We saw a bear that was just above us on the trail. Two hikers coming down told us about him. He was so cute. Looking for berries and somewhat annoyed about all the human traffic in his kitchen. So he wandered off all too soon. It was a small bear, maybe his first year on it’s own.

We skipped the lookout this time and continued on first down then up again to Coliseum. By now the weather had changed and clouds started moving in. We could see hardly anything. It was a nice trail but we did not get the reward of the views from the top this time. There are a couple small lakes near the top which would make this a great hike for a hot day. We were surprised to see quite a few people near the top that had hiked in from Lynn Valley – a MUCH longer hike.

The next weekend, we were getting ready for our kayak trip so a bit less time for outdoor activities. Saturday, Aug 27, we went for a paddle on our surfskis in Indian Arm. It was a nice mostly sunny day but that also meant a lot of motor boat traffic. There also was some wind and I felt horrible in my boat. Tense the whole time. I was glad we made it back without me falling in. I tried Jeff’s boat for a while and it felt so much better. Maybe I should finally suck up my pride and get a more stable boat???

That same evening we went to see a movie. But not your regular movie theater movie but a backyard movie at the Nosella’s. Good friends from back in the days when we were more active at the Burnaby Canoe and Kayak Club. They had a big inflatable screen set up. It was awesome to watch Indiana Jones on it! There were lots of snacks and popcorn too! And we were lucky that it did not rain on us. Thanks Vickie and Dave for hosting this.

Sunday, Aug 28, was a cloudy, misty, wet-ish day. And while Jeff rollerskied up Cypress I went for a short hike up the Howe Sound Crest trail returning via the Bowen Lookout. There were still a few blueberries to be had and I was surprised about all the flowers along the trail back. Stayed mostly dry though during the hike. It poured all afternoon while I put our dinner menu together for the kayak trip.

Whitewater Kayaking – Aug 20th

Filed under: Canada, Kayak — K2 in Canada @ 8:11 PM

Jeff had a nice surprise for me when I got home the Friday night from work – he had signed us up for whitewater kayaking on the Chilliwack River. Well, we would be using inflatable kayak and not real whitewater boats which sounded much safer to me. He even signed us up for the afternoon session and not the morning run so I can sleep in. It was a beautiful sunny day – the hottest day of all summer I think and we left with what we thought would be plenty of time to get to Chilliwack, usually and hour and a half drive from home. But traffic sucked. Getting onto the highway from our place was already crawling and we did quite a detour to get onto HWY #1. Once on the highway we thought we’d be fine but we were very wrong. It was VERY busy. And then, two accident, near Langley and Abbortsford. Rats! Lucky for us we were able to get off the highway before we came to a complete stop. Usually I like driving the country roads to the south since it is a much more scenic drive than the highway. And of course it is a bit slower and we saw the time ticking away. There was no way we would make it to Chilliwack on time. My only hope was that we could not be the only customers that were stuck in traffic and hopefully they would wait a bit. Jeff was cursing about living in the city and too many f… people on the roads the whole time.

We arrived 20min or so late and we were by far not the latest ones. Plenty of time to grab some lunch that was included and hang out and relax. They have a nice setup with tables and a big campfire area and a campground at the site. There were a LOT of people in the afternoon session. Some did rafting but many were in kayaks. All kayakers got outfitted with wet suits, helmets and PFDs (I had brought my own since it has a nice pocket for my camera). There were 43 of us plus about 7 or 8 guides. Oh boy I thought, that might get busy on the river. The Chilliwack River is really not that big🙂. While everyone got dressed I checked out the boats and paddles. With horror I realized that all the paddles had a right twist. I am a left twist, have been a left twist for 15year!!!! And it is really hard to switch. One of the guides promised me before we left that there are some straight paddles and he would find me one. I never saw that particular guide again – so guess what I had to use a right twist paddle. Okay, the twist was less than usual but still. I got a bit nervous – unknown fast moving water with rapids and eddies and holes and trees and rocks and a RIGHT twist paddle! At least the inflatable kayaks looked really stable.

They bus’d us to the launch site where we had a quick briefing along the road before we carried the boats through the bush to the water. There was not much room – with 43 people all trying to get on the water at the same time a bit of a chaos. I did some circles to get “used” to the right twist. It felt so weird but I managed, as long as I could concentrate just on getting the paddle into the water correctly. Who knows what would happen in the first rapid. We practiced falling out and getting back in. On flat water the falling out by flipping the boat was really hard to do actually, the boats were that stable. We hit the first rapid. The rapid itself was fine but all those 43 boats were the danger. Lots of pile ups on rocks! The water level was really low. That meant no holes to suck you in – although I think I found at least one – but that also meant lots of rocks out of the water or just below the surface. Chonk, dead stop by a rock, current swings you around, crash backwards into another boat, get free again,  turn around next rock, pile up of boats on that rock, pushed free… and all that with the wrong twist paddle!!!  But I managed and it was a LOT of fun despite all the people. There were only two section were the guides were a bit nervous and reminded us we had to take the correct line. One was a tree pile up, the other one a rock to stay away from. I managed to get too close to both – darn paddle twist did not allow me to put power down to maneuver so I was at the mercy of where the current took me. But I never fell in once. Jeff fell in a few times. We even went through the Tamihi Rapids – that’s were the real white water kayakers train. That was intense. It ended all too soon but we must have gone through 7-8 rapids ranging from class 2 to 3+. Took about 2.5hrs. Definitely got to do that again. Maybe when there are less people🙂.

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