A Family Adventure


Tyson, Emilie & Isaac

Kayaking Cobscook

July 15, 2011
Emilie Phillips

This past weekend, we went up to Cobscook bay for a rough water kayak class. The water was less rough than I had hoped for, so I learned less than I had hoped, but the kayaking was still fun.

Day 1, Bold Coast

The first day we did a low(ish) key paddle up the bold coast. The water was calm enough to play in among the rocks without fear of damaging boats. A rarity for the region, it was not foggy, so we got to see views. The end of the day was a long paddle up the bay against a slight current. As always up in that area, there was plenty of evidence of the massive tidal swings. We saw eagles and seals. A couple people in the group even saw a whale. I was too busy playing with the rocks, so I missed it.

Photos from day 1

Day 2: Cobscook Reversing Falls

The second day we headed for the reversing falls. The trip in was just a ride on the current. We found an experimental tidal power turbine. The blades were out of the water, so we took a good look at it. We did a little bit of map and compass. The good news is this is getting to be no big deal for me.

Just shy of the rapids, we split up into smaller groups. Our group was the only one that decided to go through the main rapid. We scouted out the rapid, and it looked pretty big, but by the time we got to it, the tide had slackened off enough that some of the bigger looking waves had died down. We played with an eddy and then watched the tide turn while eating lunch. Everyone played in the falls as it kicked up again. I never managed to find a wave that I could get onto and was fun to surf, but I think no one else did either. We took the current back at the end of the day. Unfortunately, we hit a strong afternoon offshore wind and the last few miles of paddle turned into a slog.

Photos from Day 2

Day 3: North to Canda

Mirage

The third day, we went up to Canada. The group split up into two, one going a longer distance to rougher water, and one staying closer and enjoying the wildlife. I was not keen on the long distance, but I wanted the rough water. Again we went with the current, though not as effectively as the previous day. The first thing we saw leaving the harbor was a mirage, probably caused by a temperature inversion, reflecting all the islands.

To give people experience with navigating and leading, the instructors had the participants swap off. I got the impression most of the folks had never led a kayak or other outdoors group before. We made it up to Letete passage as the current was slowing down. Conveniently it was again lunch time. After lunch, we needed to putz around waiting for the tide to turn, so we explored an island with nifty water-carved rock faces.

Once we reached the south side of that island, we found our rough water to play in. The current had picked up, and there were frequent ferries adding waves. The two things I learned from there are that I need more power to catch waves, and I need to learn how to identify the more organized waves that are actually fun to surf. Shortly it was time to head home. We ended up not taking the current back, but rather hiding behind the islands. It was a long, long trip back. I was the slowest person, and I ended up needing a tow from Tyson for the last few miles. The gps put us at 23 miles.

Photos from Day 3