Night Paddle

Tuesday, 28 November 2006

As promised, I wanted to write about the night paddle on Sunday night. Sorry it took so long for a report. Working 18 hour days leaves very little for much else.

Sean and I met up to do some paddling. Just as we were heading out we met up with two other good friends who were coming back in. It didn’t take much work to convince Jaq and Liz to head back out with us.

The game plan was to work on some night navigation. We wanted to practice following bearings and dead reckoning to find the half way point between two unlit buoys.

Like any other major city, the Toronto shoreline is quite bright; you might as well be out in the daylight. We decided to circle around the Toronto islands counter-clockwise.

On the south side of the islands it was finally starting to get dark. The buoys we were looking for were about 1.5-2 km offshore.

I brought along a GPS that we programmed in the half way point to see how accurate we really were. We set off on our bearing towards the other buoy which was just less than 3 km away. It was dark enough that we couldn’t see it. Very long story short, when we figured we were sitting right over the half way point, we were only off by 100 meters off the north. We were quite pleased with that.

With hardly any wind it made it a little easier then we wanted but we were all talking and zigging and zagging so we figured it was our artificial wind to knock us off course...
David Johnston

David Johnston

David Johnston has been introducing people to the sport of sea kayaking for the past 15 years. He is a senior instructor trainer with Paddle Canada and teaches for several paddling schools in Ontario, Canada. Full Bio.

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