Sunday, July 19, 2009

Testing the Waters

Sunday morning we started scoping out paddle locations.
The campground owners told us about a put in adjacent to the campground that provided access to the Aspy River and Middle Harbor. The put in was a little rough and the road access was questionable. If we had a real 4x4 truck we could easily manage. With the Forester and the Box we'd be asking for a tow.
Our second stop was Eagle North Kayaking. Jen, the propriatress, gave us a few charts and enough information about the area to get in trouble. Eagle North also has a nice put in along South Harbor.
We decided that paddling out of Eagle North, through South Harbor, and along the coast heading north was a good first day outing. The probability of trouble was low. The entire trip is along sandy, surf-free beaches and ends at a waterfall. The only tricky part of the paddle was getting from the harbor to the ocean. The barrier beach is cut by a narrow, constantly shifting channel that is often choked with sand.
South Harbor was flat and uninteresting. We found the outlet without much trouble. There was a little surf, but nothing to worry about.
We paddled north along the beach at a slow pace and checked out the shore. There was a long beach that was split by a good sized cliff. After South Harbor was Middle Harbor, and then Dingwall Harbor.
Along the way we spotted a storm cloud of gannets flow out from the cliffs. They started circling about a half mile off shore. Suddenly a number of the birds fell out of the sky like darts. From our vantage it looked like a rain storm of gannets. The view was made even more spectacular by the a angle of the sun. It hit the diving birds such that their wings shimmered as they fell into the water.
We decided to lunch in Dingwall, so we slipped into the harbor through the stone breach way. We found a nice sandy beach and set up camp. H was starting to get a headache so she wanted to rest a bit. CC and BH hopped the causeway to look for sea glass. I started to get antsy.
Eventually, I roused H and convinced her to explore Dingwall with me. There is not much to see in Dingwall. It is a small fishing harbor lined with rundown buildings.
After out brief tour of Dingwall, we regrouped and headed home. Getting back into South Harbor was a little more tricky than getting out. The surf was still small, but it was pushy. CC found the narrow path through the surf. H got caught by a wave and was pushed into the beach. She did a great job riding the wave in and just carried over the beach.
Once back in South Harbor we were back on flat water. The paddle back to the put in was uneventful.
Back at Eagle North we talked to the Jen's husband, Mike, about doing a day tour around Cape North-the roughest portion of the coast. He was game to do it later in the week.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Eric, Nice blog account. One correction though - this "lady" joined the "gentlemen" going straight out through the surf.