Monday, May 14, 2007

Getting There The Hard Way

I just got off the phone with Jeff and Keirron. They are in Oyster River, about 10 miles south of Campbell River (see map). They were in good spirits having taken off the water "early" tonight at 7.30 pm. This is the first night they haven't paddled at night in an attempt to escape the headwinds. Landing after midnight last night was reportedly a bit of an epic. Their SKUK Triton sea kayak demonstrated its durability by remaining intact and afloat after an hour of beating into rocks in an attempt to find a landing in rough conditions and darkness. Tonight they stopped early and even found an official camp ground with a hot shower!

They are both getting along well and report that they have finally clicked as a tandem team. Apparently, the night paddling really helped here. Since they couldn't see what they were doing they had to focus on feeling the timing. They are now moving along more efficiently.

These first long days (and nights) of paddling have resulted in an average of around 35 nautical miles per day. While this is quite an accomplishment, they report that progress has been slower and more tiring than they expected. In part this is due to the head wind, and in part due to a seemingly endless battle against the tide every day. They also reported that they do not have sufficient tidal current information with them, which is a bit daunting given that they are about to enter a region with much stronger tidal currents. Tomorrow, they should pass through Seymour Narrows - a channel known for exceptionally strong currents of up to 15 knots on spring tides!

The weather forecast looks good for the next few days. They are planning to paddle twice a day to take advantage of this and to hit the tidal flows going in their direction. Maybe they will even pick up a tidal current table so they can figure out when/where those are! (Ed: say no more). Hopefully, the remainder of the trip North will be smoother going and they will get a bit of a break before embarking on the west coast and the crux of the trip.

-- Jon


scottcole said...

great update - I am following along closely. Midnight paddling is tough - nobody fell asleep ? Indeed, even harder when you don't know your partner so well :)

thanks for the updates, keep them coming !

Lee Booth said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lee Booth said...

If anyone speaks/text with the guys, let Jeff know that Maya (his dog) is doing great, eating her food and playing well with others. And is not running with scissors.

heron said...

Hey! Strong work y'all. I don't envy you the midnight landings, and I remember the tides there being vicious and unpredictable- and I had a current table. Bon Chance! We're following along at home!