Kayaking Technique Forum

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Re: Georgian Bay and chop and Tstorms

: David,

: We paddle Georgian Bay a lot and I can relate to your adventure. BTW where
: did you launch from? We're up around Christian Island a lot, its quite
: open but the shoreline is relatively hospitable.

: This summer has been the windiest and stormiest I can remember. Normally the
: winds don't set in until September, but its howled just about every
: weekend it seems since June. I have a new boat ( Boreal Ellesmere ) and
: I've gotten used to paddling in swells and chop very quickly. I've found a
: shorter kayak or one with some rocker to the hull is much easier to handle
: in chop than a long, straight hull.

: How does the Bay compare to BC paddling? We've been interested in a trip to
: the Sunshine Coast / Lund and I'd appreciate some perspective on what to
: expect compared to the open Great Lakes.

: Thanks,

: Ray


Our weather radio got damaged in transit/or in rain, couldn't stay on top of it. Local kayakers mentioned that all summer small craft and T-storms were out, but paddlign was often fair despite this. Changable climate. So we took a chance, and was a bad call. Where do you paddle? I have cancelled our trip to the Bustards, no open water on that lake for me right now. May go, long range is okay for M-Th next week, although T is storm watch....tricky, the updates change all the time.

We launched from Bayfield Inlet, did Alexander P., camped on W. end. Didn't like the waves on N and S reefs, chop and hull catching rock for at least ).5 mile out. Went in and paddled N then S., saw skies changing, headed to camp. Bunkered in, closest trees 50 yd. away, lowest object, on land mass with thousands of tall trees for primary L-strike. Still got hit hard. Watch the reefs off of A. passage, confused paddling, paddling is okay, but you can run quickly aground with 1 m. swells around you. Capsize in rock garden not an option, and we fought to get ourselves free of several unexpected rocks below surface.

BC/Lund is great. From Lund you hit Desolation Sound., going N. . Protected and beautiful, highly recommend, but boat traffic is bad, go mid-week, pref. end of season. Do you know how to use tide tables? In BC at Lund and N., one tide to think about. On E. store of Van. Island, have 2 tides, incoming from both N and S., creates bad tide races, especially near Victoria (S. end of Island), where tidal currents from Str. of Juan de Fuca and Str. of Georgia converge. Tides can carry you way off course, review David Burch briefly before departure. Get Nautical maps of area, they show tide races and current speed in knots. get tide tables (this may be old hat, but just mentioning).

Fog paddling more freuqent. give each member a compass to compare readings when nav'ing in fog. Windbound, sometimes for a few days, esp North (Cape Scott is bad), bring lots of extra food an water. In protected paddles like Broken Islands (great), Desolation Sound, not too much to worry about. West Coast of Island N of Lund is tough, definitely at my limits. Open shoreline, restricted landings, big storms.

Rinse gear whenever possible to get rid of salt. Carry lots of water or plan carefully to refill. Wear fisherman-type gum-boots, to haul kayak out of water onto barnacles, sharp rock, neoprene socks/Tivas only for shore (foot cutting leg munching landings often).

Other than that, rock and roll. You will never come back here. I sometimes kayak in the early morning and telemark ski at night, just because I can.

Anyhow, hope this helps. I can email you somenames and contacts if you want for local area info. Let me know your best loved paddles in Ontario if you have time.