Paddling North: Wind, Thunder, and Lightning Oh My!

It’s been a week full of “split shifts” due to wind and thunderstorms. Our last full paddling day was our 105 km day. Before that and after that, we’ve been “beached”, somewhat like being benched by a coach in sport, forced to sit out when you desperately want to play. The picture above shows yesterday’s hideout. We were driven off the water by a sudden increase of wind then hurt rumbles and saw a huge swath of “evil greyness” headed straight for us, belching thunder and lightning as it neared us. We put up the tarp in record speed, hunkered down in our rain gear under the tarp, and waited for weather armageddon. Fortunately, it veered east and we were only left with a rising wind.

We paddled late in the afternoon fighting a headwind but proud of the bold paddling we did. We stopped for dinner and then decided to make camp given the colour and make up of the cloud layers. The wind relented and we wished, this morning, that we’d paddled some before calling it a night.

We woke this morning to pounding rain and some wind. Rather than start the day soaked, we slept a bit more and emerged from the tent once another dark grey mass of clouds had passed over. The wind appeared to be rising again but we knew Police Island would likely yield easy take offs if needed. And as we rounded the island and came into the full teeth of a 25 knot west wind and some wonky wind of current waves attenuated by a point, we pulled off again. We hiked around the island some and having rounded it, could find a little coverage from Tulita and got updated weather.

So we are benched again until evening, likely with some more thunderheads moving in, so time to go put up the tarp a.k.a safe haven and be ready to hunker down. We are obviously not in charge around here and must yield our plans, schedules, and frustration to the wind, waves, and clouds. It’s a good exercise in groundlessness and I’m reminded of one on my favourite Lojong slogans, “Whichever of the two occurs, be patient.” So, patience it is, whether we #paddlenorth or not

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