Paddle Canada Level 2

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The crowd this morning at the Cook Street coffee shop is louder than normal. I am straining to hear what our instructor, Taver R. is saying. Today is our introduction to tides and currents. My biggest source of apprehension while in a kayak is being explained, dissected and soon, we will be introduced to current near Baynes Channel for the practical lesson. My coffee is now cold; the talk on tides and currents had my full attention and I forgot to take a sip.

With the theory complete for the day, it is time to get in the boats and get wet.

The lines of the diagram drawn earlier with a dry-erase marker came to life. On the water in front of me was a discernible eddy line. We are in our kayaks near Baynes Channel at Cadboro Point. Taver paddles ahead, demonstrating how to cross the eddy. A sweep stroke, his kayak up on its edge, Taver uses a low brace turn to enter the current. It is my turn but before I paddle through the exercise, I take a moment to breathe.

This current stuff is really a lot of fun though I gaze at water just off the point. Maybe 100 metres from where our lesson is taking place, the main tidal rip at Baynes Channel is flowing. Not far away, it looks a lot more menacing than the waters that I am just figuring out this afternoon. I am grateful for today's introduction, but the sea is telling me my kayaking hobby is only just beginning.

Photo credit: Ted Shumaker