Saturday, October 25, 2008


Some of the more senior members of SISKA, that's senior in regards to experience and if truth be told age as well, headed out to pay a visit to old grumpy pants on Race Rocks; the sea lions not the keeper.

Members met at Pedder Bay just west of Victoria BC and after making our contributions to the Oak Bay Groups profit line (eight bucks per boat or $112 for the lot) our leader for the day, Dennis called us all together for the pre paddle pep talk.

"Argh, Don't be drown er I'll kills ya." Dennis is great at coming to the point. Somewhere in his discourse he conveyed the current speeds, time of the turn, wind and a brief weather report. "It's gona blow like el, ya swabs." And we were off into flat blue water with lots of bright morning light reflecting off the surface.

Dennis deployed captains fore and aft, port and starboard to make sure none of us strayed to far afield. With 14 paddlers that's easy to do.

Eventually we made our way out to the south end of Bentinck Island. This was the first critical point. With the current only an hour from it's max (3.9) we had to set up a careful ferry glide in order to hit the western tip of Race Rocks. The more prudent set up a range off the Olympic Mountains and with our bows heading almost south started the easterly ferry glide.

I've learned to be a lazy paddler. If I can get the water to do the work for me I will. It was nice to see lots of others doing the same thing. Still there was some who opted for a different tack.

After a low speed drift past the south side of the rocks we worked the back eddies up along the north side to the western end of the rocks then set up a long return ferry glide to Bentinck Island where we disembarked for lunch.

After lunch Dennis had a little rescue session planned for us. We got to have a real good look at the almost scratch less bottom of Dennis very fine Pygmy Arctic Tern. I even took a turn at rescuing one of the members who it turned out was homeless. All his possessions where stored in his cockpit. Imagine my surprise when I started pulling out all this gear. I dug down as far as a Czechoslovakian two stroke Tremblant but was afraid to go any further.

The rest of the trip was uneventful, the winds never came up, no one drowned and Dennis's inner pirate didn't kill anyone. We just quietly pulled back down the long gut into Pedder Bay and the marina. Afterward it was off for post paddle prater at the My Chosin Cafe watering hole were the accounts of storms and amazing near misses got bigger and bigger until there was a virtual gale blown inside the bar. Some one could have drown.

All of the above information has been fact checked by the S. Pallin Truth In Campaigning Corporation of Gnome Alaska.