Thursday, January 29, 2009

Becher Bay Jan 28 09

Wednesday was a magical day. One of those days with three seasons packed into it, sun wind rain, cold, more wind, more rain, and more sun. Sort of fall, winter, and spring in just a few short hours. I had the pleasure of spending this day with two of my fine friends John L and Dan G.

The only down side was that Heike could not join us. He was tucked in safe at home recovering from a unplanned conjoining of his bike with the front bumper of a car. You were missed Heike.

Our arrival at the marina was perfectly timed with a spring like rain shower. Just enough rain fell to ensure everything got wet. Once launched and out beyond the slips the cold wind hit us and as we slipped across Becher Bay I pulled the pokies out. Our plan was to traverse out along the more interesting east shore of Becher Bay and make our way east to Shelter Island in Whirl Bay. this area is just west of Race Rocks in Juan de Fuca strait.

Even with the rock hoping it was not long until we were passing Large Bedford Island. Unable to cross the tumbo due to the low water we retreated and circumnavigated the island. Out at the mouth of the bay the South west winds coming down Juan de Fuca Strait picked up. We cut between Large and South Bedford to avoid the full exposure tothe swells and wind in Juan de Fuca Strait.

Once in the lee of Large Bedford, John tuned into the weather channel and we rafted up to listen to the weather update. I was concerned and didn't want to round Church Point without a report from Race Rocks. While rafted up and waiting for the report we were making 2.5 knots against the ebbing current. The swell coming in against the ebb backed by the wind was worrisome. Sure enough at Race Rocks the wind was blowing 25 and gusting to 30 knots. We turned back toward Large Bedford that was now well behind us.

Splashing about in the swell and surf I put the camera on auto and fired off some photos as we made our way back to the tumbo for tea. After tea we made our way out to West Bedford and got into some good sized five and six foot waves. Unfortunately I inadvertently shut the camera off and missed photos from the most dramatic part of the trip.

Dan thought John was going to do a 360 spin at one point. I was a little worried for a few moments but once we moved inside things settled down. After a short lunch we headed back to the launch site.

It was a short but intense day with lots of fun. Total distance was only 6.72 knots the moving average was 2.4 and my max speed was 5.5 knots, paddling time was 2 hours and 45 minutes.

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