A joy, these big days. Up early and at it. Asleep before your head hits the pillow. Spent.
Sunrise paddle with a local school principle, his morning routine keeps him sane, being out on the water early. Today he was sharing a story of mishap, and near catastrophe, two fathers with their young sons pass by headed out for a end of day boating trip, a few minutes later he sees flashes on the water and asks his paddling companion if those were flares, and then, the sound of screaming, a boat on fire, out there in the dark, and this principle he goes into search and rescue mode, waiting until later to think about what could have happened, he does the next thing next, a breath considered, and then proceed, one step at a time, and in the end, a safe ride back to shore, with two paddlers who had emerged from the dark, and helped put out the flame. And this morning, the story conveyed. And a tip of my hat, to this understated rescuer, out with for his morning paddle routine.
Back at shore, a quick turnover, and out again, an IT professional and a veterinarian comparing notes on their excursion out to the end of the golf course and back, looping back to meet a dentist who was just back from a conference and opened up with a profound statement.
“Sometimes it’s not about the journey, it’s simply a matter of end product”.
Too which I asked, please explain, to which, he did.
As the technology for dentistry races ahead in this digital age of three dimensional printers, the end product, after all the fancy scanners are done producing digital representations of your enamels, and quantifying the health of your bio film, filing gigabytes of information on oral specifics, the end result, is much the same as the one done with old school moulds, made from a buck twenty five worth of seaweed, and the extra care taken by a trained professional. The journey was different, but the end result the same, except one adds significant cost, making the magic of dentistry inaccessible and the other, we were about to paddle through, in abundance. And we did. Out beyond the shore on a Red Dragon twenty two foot long multiperson paddle board. Out into Chain inlet, to sit and take in the day with the mountains painted on the curved line of the horizon, as if stencilled, etched into the backdrop, glowing a faint purple underscored by a deep blue and a wisp of white, surreal, almost fake.
Paddling back we met our match when the swell of the V2V ferry met the back Eddie of the flooding tide, doubling in size without notice, as if a conspiracy between the ocean floor and the oncoming wake, to combine forces just as we arrived, sending us to our first swim of the day, and it was as if the dentist was being launched, almost sprung, thrown, and then dunked. As I was at the back, while he flew, I stumbled, and almost recovered, only to slip, and fall, and in the end, though the journeys, our cold plunges, were different, the end result was the same, mind you, we did manage to avoid the seaweed.
The trip back was done at a more relaxed pace, with an eye to the wake coming from on coming yachts, and the anticipation of great swells, which never came.
And another quick turnover, back out on the Red Dragon with a friend from back in the day, who now runs a family office investment fund, and paddled well beyond any expectation, meaning were in for an adventure, and trial island was in the cards. We found our footing, our rhythm, on the way out past the golf course, navigating slowly changing seas, picking up now that the wind was blowing, and yet, Trial Island was calling. And on the way out I learned about the life and routines of a financial advisor, a disciplined and focused one, with a formula based on research, to form a deep understanding, as to all of the factors at play. And out on the ocean doing the same, a quick adaptor, agile and nimble on the board, we managed to stay aboard in rough seas as we rounded the point, and were rewarded with flooding tide, and a tail wind home, in what felt like record time, in those conditions, on this specific day. .
And at the end of this specific day, spent out on the water, with good people, of different occupations, with a common love, for the ocean, my head rested.
A hole in the wall
Yesterday we woke up in the back of the truck parked to coincide with the high tide mark at the end of a secret boat ramp near Cedar BC. We made coffee on a camping stove looking across the water to see Secretary island’s silhouette framed red and orange radiant morning light illuminating a mirrored image of the sky painted on the water.
We were headed towards “hole in the wall” which, according to the rather inebriated gentleman who stopped to talk to us the night before, as we sat by the boat ramp enjoying a night cap, watching fishing and jet ski aficionado’s, enthusiastic devotees, load their boat trailers, and complain about the fish.
We were told hole in the wall was worth checking out,... “if it’s actually possible to paddle all that way”, which we did, paddling straight at it, and indeed, it is possible, in fact it’s not all that far, and although it does not appear as a hole in the wall, which one might imagine would be round, ish, with a ceiling, of sorts, is, depending on the tide, more of a crack, in the wall, and at other times I bet it’s more of a wiggle, as the sheer rock walls disappear beneath the surface, and the smooth banks, adorned with roots securing shoreline trees, appears to a boater less of cravass, and more of a cut through, a gap between out stretched limbs, as if a living gesture, in this parting of ways, a severance in the cliffs of Link and De Coucrcy islands, and well worth the trip.
And from there we simply carried on, with no agenda outside of paddling and seeing what we might find, out there on the other side. What we did find was a building current, and the temporary satisfaction of ones wonder, as to what it looks like around the bend, which we slowly, but surely, one stroke at a time, made our way around, and in the end we circumnavigated Mudge island for our first time, and as we rounded the point at the pass, whose name eluded me, we were rewarded, with a fast flowing ebbing tide, and carried onward home, through a series of small standing waves faintly determined to impede our progress, and challenge our skills, which eventually put me in, as I tried to swing back into the rush, for the sake of nothing more then play, and ending up capsizing, quite refreshing, and yet, the turbulence could not put T in, and if it had, the car keys, precariously tettering, at the precipice of the unzipped pocket in the vest bestowed to her back on the far side, a gigantic oversight by her guide, details beware, the keys, would have, or may have, they could have fallen out... and the rest of our day, the “short and sweet” out and about paddle with C back at Oak Bay Marina, as a member of southislandsup, and the “beyond the shore” 2hr ocean tour with J and K, who showed off some bring it on attitude, paddling into rolling side swell and 10knot winds, as rookie paddlers out on the tandem, wouldn’t have happened... had the keys been at the bottom of the sea, and in the end i would never have made it to Bays United over 35’s footie scrimmage, which I did, rounding out an active day, full of outdoor activities, with friends, the energy burned, and keys almost lost, which in the end left this guy, tired, and ready for bed, and onwards to another day.