The Calm Before the Storm

Monday, November 8, 12021 HE

I am grateful that my wife, Annie, allowed me to have a paddle this morning. We are in the season of giving thanks, so I just wanted to overtly make that acknowledgement. Annie works long and hard, and despite this, she’s willing to allow me to have my recreation time.

I paddled out to Slhx̱í7lsh (Standing Man Rock) on the morning of Halloween in an attempt to see the aurora borealis. That didn’t happen, but it did inspire this paddle. I would re-create a similar route, this time in daylight.

I launched from Teatotaler Beach and paddled across to English Bay toward English Bay Beach. I then paddled up the shoreline heading toward Slhx̱í7lsh (Standing Man Rock). There was a lot more to see than in the dead of the night. Imagine that. No constellations or stars to view, but the view on the water was stunning. The calm before the storm was better than I had anticipated.

Two days earlier, a water spout was spotted in the waters of the Strait of GeorgiaHere is a link to some of the footage that was captured. At the time a tornado warning was issued by Environment Canada, but seemingly didn’t manifest. However, two days later, Environment Canada confirmed that it was, in fact, a tornado that occurred in the Vancouver area.

So, with another wind warning for Monday night into Tuesday, I was pleasantly surprised to launch in the weather below.

The view across English Bay to the West End from Teatotaler Beach.

There was a consistent easterly wind. But it was light as the wind fetch from the shoreline was short. Further out in Səl̓ilw̓ət (Burrard Inlet) I suspected the wind would be stronger.

Some cat paw waves on the water.

Looking back toward the city gave the impression that the weather was fine.

The sun trying to shine on down.

And out toward the Strait of Georgia, things looked pretty good too. It was a fine fall day.

A fine fall day looking west over the water.

As I approached Slhx̱í7lsh (Standing Man Rock), I could see that the North Shore Mountains in the background had received a recent dusting of snow. A sign of the approaching ski season.

Slhx̱í7lsh (Standing Man).

I was struck by the Sprite advertisement on the side of the World War I and II artillery battery and searchlight post that overlooks Slhx̱í7lsh (Standing Man Rock). I don’t recall it being there from past times that I have visited Slhx̱í7lsh (Slhx̱í7lsh (Standing Man) Rock 1.0Slhx̱í7lsh (Standing Man) Rock 2.0Camping Paddle Recon). The Sprite banner also stood out in my mind since I recently erroneously recalled Sprite as the soda that was laced with lithium in the early part of the 20th century. It is in fact 7Up that had lithium citrate in it as a mood-stabilizing agent in its 1929 debut. A fun fact about the wild west days of soda. Lithium does this since in its salt form, it can act similar to sodium in the body. Lithium and sodium share similar chemical properties, both being alkali metals. Here is an excellent story from Radiolab on Lithium if you want to hear more.

And the image below is “standing man” (Slhx̱í7lsh) on its own. For some of the geology and history behind the rock, check out this past post.

Standing man on guard.

With the weather holding up and next to no boat traffic in the bay, I decided to paddle past Slhx̱í7lsh (Standing Man Rock). I wanted to get a glimpse of the Lions Gate Bridge from this side of the bay. In the past, I have been reluctant to go further as you will enter the restricted seaway leading to the Port of Vancouver. I was informed of this last summer when I errantly paddled in the area.

I paddled far enough around the point to get a glimpse of the bridge. I was sure to keep an eye out for marine traffic while staying close to the shore to remain out of the seaway.

Lions Gate Bridge from near Pros

Below is the route that I took recorded with Geo Tracker.

Screenshot of my paddle route from Geo Tracker.

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