Archive for July, 2016


  1. GPO are the largest member of the cephalopod family with the largest weighing 156 lbs.
  2. GPO have eight arms with two rows of suckers on each arm for adhering to rocks and to prey.
  3. GPO have two glands – one with saliva that can be sprayed to help open prey and one with toxins or “ink” to help ward off predators. They can also spray for jet propulsion.
  4. GPO mostly use their arms as legs to crawl slowly along the ocean floor. The “spray” can produce a burst of speed but only for a short distance.
  5. An octopus can compress it’s entire body to fit into a space as small as it’s beak which is the only hard part of their anatomy.
  6. A GPO can alter it’s colour and the texture of it’s skin to create amazing camouflage.
  7. GPO are cool blooded , have three hearts and have blue blood!
  8. Seals, sea otters and some whales will eat octopus. The octopus eats fish, muscles, barnacles, crab and clams.
  9. GPO live from 3-5 years in the wild. The female can lay up to 400,000 eggs. Not all of these survive of course but the female looks after the eggs blowing water over them to keep things from growing on them.
  10. Octopus are known to be very intelligent. They can complete simple puzzles, unlock simple cage mechanisms and recognize humans they come into frequent contact with.
This photo of a Giant Pacific Octopus was taken off of the pier at Ogden Point in Victoria BC. 

This photo of a Giant Pacific Octopus was taken off of the pier at Ogden Point in Victoria BC.

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Kayaking and Wind

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One of  the first considerations when you are planning your kayaking outing is wind speed. It can determine a pleasant outing or conversely a strong workout. Being familiar with the prevailing wind patterns in the area you are kayaking is of primary importance to the safety of any kayak outing. The Victoria area has prevailing winds from the SW that tend to build in the afternoon and evening. If the wind is blowing from a different direction that may mean the barometric pressure is changing and could bring a weather system through. Be sure to have accurate weather sites that can give you marine wind forecasts for the area you are paddling. We like to use bigwavedave.ca. It is primarily a surfing site but the information is quite accurate. It also gives you tidal and current information for many sites around Vancouver Island.

   Wind measurements come in different forms. It can be in knots per hour, km per hour (or miles per hour south of the border). One knot per hour is equal to 1.852 km per hour so if the wind is blowing 10 knts it would be roughly 18 km. It will be important to become familiar with the water conditions for each speed either in knts or km so you know what kind of paddling you will be doing while you are out. Boaters of all kinds refer to the Beaufort Wind Scale to help with that skill. The following chart shows the scale using knots: (Click photo to enlarge)

Beaufort Wind Scale (2)

The wind has specific implications for kayakers. Each kayak is designed to move into a “head to wind” position – bow forward. This may result in corrective paddling to keep your kayak on course. This is where a rudder is really helpful. It can prevent injury over long distance paddling trips, as it helps you keep even, cadenced paddling strokes while your feet steer for you. Having good bracing techniques, both high and low, will keep you balanced and upright in heavy wind and wave conditions. When the wind is opposing the tide the waves will be steeper. Checking tides and wind and determining all protected areas – or the “lea” side, and using the wind and tidal direction to help you paddle, is the homework all paddlers do before they ever leave the house to go kayaking.

We wish you calm seas and maybe a little wind for fun every now and then!!