Andrew and I headed out in Ben's Mark 2 double surf ski for the first time this spring/summer. It was still chilly out and the water not warm but Andrew being more of the risk taker persuaded me it was time to step it up a notch. Not wanting to feel like a wimp and deep down inside wanting to get out on the surfski I smiled and said yes. I was quickly regretting my decision as rain and dark clouds greeted us in Deep Cove. As the race began and we all sprinted off the hail began to fall... at first it was fun, then the drops got bigger, harder and faster and fun turned into pain...but, as the rainbow shined over the mountains and the sun created a beautiful white mist over the ocean and the adventure became a little ridiculous fun returned and I loved it. The noise as the hail hit our carbon paddles was a little surreal and the plopping sounds of it as millions of drops pounced on the ocean was pretty cool! If a video turns up i will post it up.... until then use your imagination....
Figrolls racing came together in Comox for another fun filled weekend of mtn biking and the annual snow to surf relay race. This year Andrew and I were the last leg of the race... the ocean canoe!
First thoug,h Saturday a crew of us went out on some of the local CUmberland xcountry mtn bike trails for a little rip around...after a couple of minor mishaps (leaving a helmet behind etc) and our usual guides being busy we had an eventful little ride. We were left to our memories and a map but some recent logging left us confused and a little lost.... we did manage to hit some of the usual trails and a couple of new ones even if they weren't the ones we intended to ride and it was still good times with awesome trails!
After the ride, Andrew and I hit the water on the canoe for a last minute paddle on the course for Sunday.. it was calm and a beautiful evening for a paddle.... race day would prove to be very different....
Our usual potluck dinner and drinks finished off the fun filled day in Comox....
Sunday was the big Snow to Surf RACE DAY. It is a brilliant locally run event but can be a swarm of confusion for those of us with a lack of organizational skills. Luckily Andrew and I just had to head to the beginning of the canoe leg, simple!..... The race begins with the alpine ski, then nordic ski, two runners, mtn bike, kayak, road bike and finished with the canoe.
(photographer Paul Palfreyman)
Andrew and I had been in the canoe twice beforehand but felt fairly confident in the sturdy boat. The canoe leg began with a 1km run down the bike path where the canoe partner would be waiting with the boat at the edge of the water. I scored the run as I luckily brought running shoes (lucky? I don't know?!?)... I forgot how much sprinting hurts! Jacek came in 12/13th from the road bike and I was off trying to hold off another competitor just behind me. Andrew was ready with the canoe I jumped in and we were off. The water was nothing like the evening before, it was choppy, wavy and pretty much all over the place. One canoe took off ahead of us and we tried to keep it in our sight and managed to sneak by another. 3/4 of the way through the course a canoe that overtook us capsized in front of us which allowed us to regain our spot. Andrew did a fabulous job steering while I tried to keep us moving forward. I have to say we were a great team. Paddling into the finish was grand and I got to jump out of the canoe and ring the finish line bell! woohoo. We managed to come in 12th overall and 1st in the Open mixed category! the rest of the crew did awesome!
we enjoyed the beer garden but had to sadly head back to mainland... until next year
Andrew and I have just returned from a picture perfect kayaking trip in the Baja California Sur Mexico where we spent 6 days out on the beautiful sea of Cortez, then a day at the El Chorro hot springs and finished off our little trip (thanks to Captain Kirk) with SUP'in from la playa in La Ventana.
It was hot, it was sunny, and it was post card picture perfect. We snorkeled with balloon fish amongst other sea creatures, we got 5 nights with private beaches (no one else happen to be there), we hiked up and through canyons and among various cactus plants, we experienced the markets of mexico, and some of the great local delicacies such as fish tacos and clams. We enjoyed our share of cervezas and vino. We read books, slacklined and simply enjoyed life in the desert.
Mar y Aventuras provided us with kayaks and the right kayaking gear for our 6 day trip out of Telecote and around the Isla Espiritu Santo and Partido. The islands are part of the national park and no fresh water can be found on these islands. We therefore stuffed 48 litres of water in our kayaks along with food and gear for 6 days. We decided to try and maximize our Mexican experience with bringing lots of tortillas, beans, avocados and cheese. Something, that is very different in Baja than in BC is that it is HOT and fresh food is harder to keep than in BC where cooler waters and temperatures help preserve these fine foods.
Our kayak route is shown on the map. We enjoyed fairly light winds on our trip. Apparently April is one of the best months for kayaking in this part of the world. Wind is normally the "worry" while kayaking on the Sea of Cortez off the coast of Baja. Having only the forecast of winds and waves before we left we took the opportunity of light winds on our first two days and covered much distance on our kayaks (3/4 of the route...maybe I was treating it a little like an adventure race and forgot that we could rest and not keep moving as fast we could and be heroes...oops! hehe). Having completed most of our route on the first two days we took the opportunity to hike, snorkel and enjoy 'rest' on the final four days of our kayak adventure while bay hoping on the inside passage of the island. We rarely saw anyone else and enjoyed 5 nights of private beach camping!!!
Andrew also has a blog and wrote something up about the trip as well. Our pics are the same but our thoughts and take on the adventure are different... enjoy!
This trip was grand and it had been awhile since I went away on an adventure that wasn't a race.
I do miss racing and I will be back on the adventure race scene sometime in the near future. I am excited to train and see what opportunities arise for me. For now I am going to train hard on the mtn bike and race in Pemberton's new 50km race in May as well as give my first xterra race a try in Squamish this June....
for now its back to applications, training, and life in Vancouver (which I LOVE) until the next adventure...