Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Urban Paddling - May 29/2011

One of the many good things about living in Vancouver is the proximity to the outdoors.  False Creek is just a few minutes cycling from my office.  I have paddled here several times before, and so far I still have not gotten tired of the different city views available from the water.  A real urban paddling treat to enjoy from a kayak.

Taking advantage of the nice spring weather, on a sunny Friday afternoon I left the office early, way early. With my Safari in tow I cycled to Vanier Park.  There are boat ramps, parking, the Coast Guard station and... water taps to wash your kayak after paddling.  Unfortunately there was still a problem with the water supply, so no washing this time.  But I found a water hose at the nearby False Creek Community Centre (another convenient put-in place).

First I pointed my bow offshore toward English Bay.  Of course pictures of waves look a lot smaller than they really were.  The breeze was about 12kn with about a 2' chop and a few whitecaps.  Waves were often breaking over the Safari's deck. Trust me... my Safari was bouncing around like a little rubber duckling.  But I felt quite safe with little chance of capsizing and the kayak's self-bailing bottom kept me floating high.  Once I reached the red mark defining False Creek's entrance I decided to turn around to take advantage of a following sea.  It was really fun being pushed by the waves.  My GPS showed a max. speed of 8.5km/hr.!

Now paddling toward the Burrard Bridge to False Creek's protected waters.
Vanier Park is on the right.  On the left and not visible, is Vancouver's WestEnd.

False Creek is home of a boathouse community.  It would be nice...

Quite a few of these boathouses have a boat docked just outside their door.

These innocent looking stone steps lead to Feathercraft.  The world renowned folding kayak manufacturer.
My Java was born in that building behind.

Another convenient put-in place. 
The False Creek Community Centre floating dock c/w a H2O hose.

The FCCC is home of an active paddling racing club.

Continuing... spring is definitely in the air...

Urban paddling offers so many interesting views.
This building, the Erickson, is becoming a Vancouver icon. 
This condo tower was built in honour of the famous architect Arthur Erickson.

We are approaching now the infamous Olympic Village with it's luxury condos subsidised by city taxpayers.
We are all in the hole for that.  But that's another story.

I like the way these guys are hanging out.  If I was a seagull I would be there too.

Of course humans know how to hang out sometimes too.  Like this your couple on the rocks for instance.
Maybe I'll stick to humanity for now.

One of my favourite pictures.  Parked in front of the Creekside Community Centre (another potential put-in place) with Science World in the background.
Urban paddling at its best!

These cormorants also know how to hang out in style.

Now paddling back towards Vanier Park.
I'm just under the Granville Bridge with the Burrard Bridge in the background.

Like it or not, this one of Vancouver most iconic symbols.
The Burrard Bridge was built in the 1930's in an Art Deco style.
Note the wind has died down completely.  Now it would have been the right time to paddle out English Bay, it's getting close to dinner time.  I'll save it for another time.