After a dark and stormy night, we prevaricated about getting out on the water in the face of an uncertain forecast. However, the lazy kayaker doesn’t get the first wave, or something like that, so three of us scrambled and were on the water by 10:16. Skies were overcast but the rain stayed away, the winds were calm, and the sun even peeped out occasionally. We meandered around Hyacinthe Bay, admiring both the variety of architecture, and the extensive pillow-lava formations. The incoming tide even allowed us to go around Heriot Island, where we were astonished to see large outcrops of sand dollars in the shallow, warmer waters. From there we enjoyed a calm crossing over to the Bretons and Hoskyn Channel. A few seals greeted us, but two were more interested in their squabbling than us. In the Breton Islets, oystercatchers, scoters, and dunlins were busy exploring the intertidal. We noted the number of boats still plying the waters around the Islands, we could see a kayaker launching from one large yacht that was hanging around Open Bay.
Our game plan was to land in the small beach beside the van Veen’s house, but a surprising amount of southerly swell generating wave action on the rocky beach made us decide to land on the sand/gravel of Big Beach and walk over to our house for our break. After lunch in the sun on our deck we were back on the water by 2 pm. An elegant two-masted schooner that has been anchored in Open Bay captured our interest, an internet search later revealed that it is for sale. We then had the pleasure of meeting the kayaker from the large motor yacht, a delightful American lady who travels the west coast in her yacht every summer. She was accompanied by her two dogs lounging on the deck of her kayak, resplendent in their doggie PFDs. She said she usually has her cat with her as well on her daily paddle. We were off the water by 3 pm. after a very pleasant, easy-going paddle. 13.7 km or 7.4 NM; 3½ hours, without the lunch break.
Valerie van Veen
(click on photos to view larger)