Brilliant start to the trip! The folks at Victoria Recreation Club ("VRC") agreed to let us start/finish the expedition from their base in Deep Water Bay. On Saturday morning they were having their monthly race, so about 50 paddlers joined me for the "kick off" ... sending me on my merry way.
Wind was out the southwest so as soon as i got past Po Toi Island the wind was at my back ... nice clear run for 30km all the way to the Ninepins. As i was approaching the east Ninepins, the sky started to change colour ... from clear blue (nice & sunny) to dark gray. Within 20 min a squally thunderstorm was blowing out of the north. I couldn't move; wind was too strong. I had to 'hide' behind the smallest of the east Ninepins, together with two motorboats (you know if motorboats are hiding ... the wind is strong!). Meanwhile on shore my buddy Syd was trying to send me messages. We lost contact. He didn't know where I was. I didn't know where he was. Bit of a mix-up. So he jumped in a support boat and headed across to Town Island (near Basalt Island) looking for me. After about 45min, once the wind dropped, i started to paddle towards Clearwater Bay ... meanwhile Syd was still looking for me ... eventually getting in a police boat (yes, he was that worried!). We eventually reconnected at 7pm. By that time i was home and he was still out in the police boat.
Day 1 (44km): Victoria Recreation Club (Deep Water Bay) - Po Toi Islands - Ninepins - Clearwater Bay