K2inCanada's Blog

April 23, 2017

TNR+ racing is back

Filed under: Canada, Kayak — K2 in Canada @ 10:47 PM

Well, I probably am going to miss this week’s race but I did the first 3 of 2017. The season opener on Apr 4th was wet, freezing cold and very windy. I was so happy to be in my V10 Sport instead of the Legend. 50 “boats” were on the water despite the more than awful conditions. I am in no racing shape even though we have gotten a few kilometers in already in our surfskis – but all at below average all-day-pace. It worked on the first night since all I had to do was to stay up. Week 2 was nice and sunny, although still cold. Trying to race I just ended up in killing myself off the start and collapsing after 500m. Pretty sad. But the beer and food and good company afterwards makes up for all that. Last week was the Jug Island time trial. Not my most favourite race but I also got to pass many people. You are supposed to seed yourself from slowest to fastest. Took the fast guys a lot longer to catch up to me this time and none of the people starting just behind me managed to get by. Good for my ego :-). Below are some pics from week 1 – it was way worse than it looks!

For results and upcoming races, go here: http://www.deepcovekayak.com/races/

As mentioned above, we did have some kilometers under our belts at least. Apr 1st we started our weekly Indian Arm run past the power station – a 29.3km round trip when hugging the shoreline the whole way. For the first one on Apr 1, we had nice, calm although overcast conditions. We saw river otters twice, once on the way up, once on the way back. It took us 3hrs 25min in our singles (V10 Sport for me, Evo II for Jeff) and the sun came out when we loaded up the boats.

The day after, Apr 2nd, we got some good wave practice in. It was an intense paddle out of Jericho in our double surfski. Took 1hr to get out, less than 20min to get back. We caught some nice waves but some of those nice waves caught us, turning the double into a submarine. I felt like a periscope being up to my chest in the water. Takes a while to drain a fully flooded boat in those conditions but we managed to stay up. Nice sunshine, big ebb tide and 20-25knots wind out of the west against the current. Biggest conditions I can remember. I was sure glad to be in our double. We had to improvise the leashes. Even then, the turning around was pretty nerve wracking. Temperature with windchill was 5.2C! When we got back to the beach, shivering with cold and exhaustion, we ran into paddling friends Mike and Paul but they went kite surfing rather than paddling. Instead of the ice cream we would usually get at the Galley on a sunny day in April on the beach we got hot chocolate to try to get warm! But it took a Guinness and Fisherman’s Pie at the Cheshire Cheese Inn on Dunbar, our old stomping ground, to feel human again. No pictures from during the paddle, I would NOT let go of my paddle, only a few afterwards and a video mostly so you can hear the wind :-).

Apr 9 was another run up Indian Arm in singles. It was a bit breezy and bouncy but it took the same amount of time. Mostly overcast but not too much rain. As we turned to head back we could see black smoke in the distance. First we thought it might be the oil refinery across the inlet the smoke was so dark. But as we got closer we saw a couple houses in flames on the Belcarra side across from Deep Cove. Actually one was already burned to the ground. It must have been a really hot fire, even the trees next to the area caught fire and they had been soaked in heavy rain for days. Tough area to get fire fighters in as well.

On the Easter Friday run up the Arm we had company. Buddy John came with us which was good for Jeff. We had to fight our way up the arm against a strong headwind and I was bagged as we got past Buntzen Bay. Started to take the direct route from there to the turn around point and then B-lined back to Strathcona while the boys continued to hug the shore. Even though I hardly paddled, the wind and waves pushed me along at over 10km/hr. But my balance was shot since I was tired. Not the most fun paddle I have had.

Apr 16 had us take the double out again. The forecast for English Bay was relatively benign but there was some swell and some wind to try to catch some waves on the way back. Hard work though. We crossed from Jericho to the North shore on side chop, paddled up the coast to Eagle Harbour, crossed to Passage Island and circled around it before heading back in what was way less of a straight line than I had expected/hoped for. Unfortunately, we did not get to see the Orcas that had been spotted in Howe Sound on Easter Friday. No rain and barely warm enough but we finally had the after paddle Ice Cream at the Galley.

March 12, 2017

Count Down -5hrs or so.

Filed under: Canada, Home, Kayak — K2 in Canada @ 6:22 PM

After a week of cold yet again, it finally warmed up to above 5C (see previous post below). But we also got the rain back, at times heavy all weekend long. Good thing that I had enough errands to run (= excuses) to not have to do anything active all day yesterday. We are getting visitors from Germany coming in tonight for almost 3 weeks. 3 of them. My nephew Steffen, my niece Anneke and her boyfriend Maxi. We are able to accommodate 1 person, it’ll be tight for two if they can share a double bed but three is going to be a challenge. Oh well, they are young. Jeff went out a few weeks ago and bought one of those luxury inflatable air twin mattresses. It inflates via in-build electrical pump, is pretty high off the ground and wide enough for one person but the length seems to be designed for kids or nationalities that are on average shorter than the average German. Sorry, Steffen, but this will have to do. Yesterday I went on an Ikea shopping trip to stock up on bedding and towels, and all those other things that your walk by when at Ikea, really do need but seem to be a great deal and can’t get anywhere else, like Marabou chocolate :-). Mind you, a new shower curtain in the upstairs bathroom was very much needed and with the “Bathroom Sale” going on, a really good deal. Besides Ikea shopping, I spent the day rearranging our workout equipment in the den so that I can fit the air mattress into it and cleaned the downstairs den, guest room and bathroom. How on earth a toilet we hardly ever use can get that dirty is a mystery to me – yuck. Also found out that our vacuum is mostly non-functional, at least the big brush is broken which means I was on my knees to clean the large area of the floor with a tiny little brush. All is nice and shiny now, relatively spoken, and we are ready for our guests.

I would have made Jeff do the vacuuming since he knew it was the big brush was broken for a while but he was sick like a dog not being able to keep any food in him since Friday. Poor guy! I made some carrot potatoes stew for dinner and that was the first meal he was able to eat in over 24hrs that stayed put.

Today was just as wet as yesterday but temps almost reach the magic 10C. Jeff was feeling better so we went for relaxed paddle out of Deep Cove for almost 2hrs. And yes, it rained the whole time but it was mostly calm and I felt good being out in the fresh air even though I did get tired at the end. All this “rest” yesterday must have tired me out. :-). We also saw a river otter on shore near the powerhouse but he/she scooted off to quick for me to take a picture.

February 19, 2017

A more average winter weekend at home

Filed under: Canada, Kayak, Ski — K2 in Canada @ 6:34 PM

For once, no loppet. Nice to have a break. But off course we still went skiing – to prep for the Payak next weekend. 30km for me, 50km for Jeff. It was a warm, between 0C and 2C, and wet ski yesterday at Callaghan. The snow was quite slushy, the tracks soft. I tried my grip tape, no grip. My wax tech suggested klister, no grip, but I tried hard to make it work. Finally, after 11km of cursing I switched to my crowns. They worked just fine! And I managed to get 32kms of skiing in. The sun tried to come out but by the end it was raining/lightly snowing. I don’t think Jeff and John finished their goal of 50km, or at least I hope not, as they got back to the car before I did :-).

Today was an overcast, 7C day on the coast, light rain on and off. What did we do? Sleep in, watch humming birds and go for a paddle mid day. It was a bit breezy out in Deep Cove but Jeff was feeling much better than last weekend and we pushed a bit harder – well I pushed quite a bit harder. Only 6 weeks left till the first Tuesday Night Race :-).

It’s just nice to get out for a bit after a long short week at work!

February 14, 2017

A Perfect Winter Day at Home

Filed under: Canada, Home, Hummer, Kayak — K2 in Canada @ 6:55 AM

Family Day Holiday and it was a perfect, blue sky, sunny, warm (10C) day in Vancouver. Woke up rested after 9.5hrs of sleep. Called my parents to wish my Dad “Happy Birthday”. Jeff made an awesome breakfast skillet – not that I haven’t eaten enough over the last two days already.

We got the car washed – it was sooo dirty from driving the Coquihalla, it was crusted in sand and salt. Most of it came off but not all. We went flower shopping at the gardening store. We only stopped there to buy potting soil for our indoors plants but in the show room we met a most convincing sales “person”. A female Anna’s Hummingbird was cruising the flowering plants and we ended up buying the ones she spent the most time with. Maybe our hummer’s like those too? 🙂 Back home, while unloading the car, I played with our neighbour’s Sheppard and their 2.5 year old son Nick for a bit in the drive way.

We went for a 90min easy paddle out of Deep Cove – lots of boats were out, power and paddle crafts, but for the most part the ocean was nice and calm. Back home, I did some planting in the afternoon while Jeff washed the windows – first time ever I think, that those were cleaned from the outside. We watched Chatter and Lily, actually there are two Lilies now, as they came by lots of time in the late afternoon. I took a video of Chatter doing the evening clean – so cute – while Lily was resting. Jeff made dinner, I cut up the store bought apple pie for desert. Does it get any better than this? 🙂

November 13, 2016

Should have been skiing

Filed under: Animals, Canada, Kayak — K2 in Canada @ 9:13 PM

The last few years this was our first ski weekend of the season. Remembrance Day long weekend. But it has been so warm in November that whatever snow ever was in the mountain, here or the Okanagan, has been almost rained away. I think we were close to breaking the old record of 18.4C in Vancouver on Nov 8th. It was so warm even early in the morning and at night.

We saw the first hummingbird today at our feeder at the house – yeah!!! I hope he’ll be back many more times :-). Love these guys. No picture yet….the below is Old Fencefull who finally has return to his perch on the fence.

p1210194-medium

Anyhow, no snow meant no traveling this weekend and time to do more paddling. Went out twice, Fri and Sun. The forecast for both those days was wet, wet, wet. Well, Friday turned out to be a pretty dry day. It was overcast all day but we did not get wet on our paddle out in English Bay. Well, not from rain that is. There was a bit of a north wind in the forecast so we headed across from Jericho to Passage Island at the entrance of Howe Sound, hoping to get a nice push back. When we left the beach there were whitecaps out that way and we had a bumpy crossing to the north shore at least for the first bit. Half way across it calmed down quite a bit. No more whitecaps as far as we could see. We stuck to the plan though and the wind picked up a bit again coming out of Howe Sound. Hence we got a bit of a ride but not nearly as much as I needed. Was very tired by the time we got back to the beach 3hrs later. The wavy stuff takes a lot more out of me. But it was a nice paddle and I love my stable boat. I would have been so scared in my Legend.

Saturday was a rest day. A real rest day that is. It was supposed to rain a lot and it did in the morning. All we did was go for a walk along the river – in the rain. The sun came out in the afternoon but I was too lazy to get my butt out again. Haven’t had a day of doing nothing in a long, long time. Mind you, I did clean out my clothes shelves. Just too much stuff in there that I don’t ever wear anymore.

Sunday was another 3hr paddle day heading out of Deep Cove. I woke up stiff and sore from doing nothing the day before :-). Luckily it loosened up as soon as we started the paddle. It did start out with no rain but we did get rained on for most of it. Steady paddle up the Arm. Lots of seals hanging out around twin. But nothing else moved on this wet day except, surprisingly, a lot of big yachts were out cruising up and down Indian Arm. Jeff had the silly idea to do a workout on the way back. So after 2hrs of steady paddling I did a 10 x 1′ on 2′ piece, the most I had in me, while Jeff did 3 or 4 x 10min. Show off :-).

It is getting colder though. Only 10C today compared to 14C on Friday. By next week temperatures are supposed to drop below 10C. Hopefully that means snow in the mountains somewhere, even though I will curse it on my bike.

November 5, 2016

October 2016 – Most Days of Rain

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

Apparently we broke a record in October: Most days of rain, 28 out of 31 days (link). I actually didn’t think it was that bad. I ride my bike to work every day and I for sure did not get wet every day. So I guess they counted any drizzle. But we did have a lot of rainy weekends it seems.

Today was another one of those. So far November is trying to break the new record. But of course that did not stop us to go for a paddle. Buddy John came with us braving the rain, heavy at times, and wind, strong at times. But it was not continuous rain. Jeff spotted a couple river otters in the water along shore between Twin and the Powerhouse. Surprised we don’t see those more often around here. We had a headwind on the way back which seems twice as bad since I was tired after 2hrs in the boats already. Only another hour to go…

p1210127-medium

Last weekend, Oct 29, was also a very soggy paddle. Even more so than today. It rained the whole time until we  hit the beach in Deep Cove and had loaded the boats. By the time we got home the sun even made an appearance and we went for a walk along the river.

The Sunday after was also pretty nice and sunny most of the day. I went for a hike from the Cypress Downhill area up to Hollyburn Mtn and down to the cross country parking lot were I met Jeff with the car who had roller skied up. The way up was much faster than down – due to distance. And I believe it rained in the evening so this one sure counted as a rainy day but who cares.

And the weekend before last was – I had almost forgotten – a sunny day of paddling, Oct 22. We did the Round Croker Island run in the double and beat our personal best by 8min. 2hrs51min for 33km. I was pretty sore after but we still went for a walk to enjoy more of the nice weather.

The Sunday we went fishing in the Valley. Weather was overcast and mostly dry but no fish even though we tried very hard. Water levels are either too low or too high in our favourite spots. So I spent more time taking pictures. It started raining just near the end of it, so again this counts as a rainy day.

Oct 15, 8 and 1 were all wet paddles. The only other sunny paddle was on Oct 10 but that day my head almost killed me. Click on the numbers to read previous posts in Oct.

 

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.

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