Jump to content

      














Photo

Gorge Swim Fest - Gorge Waterway Action Society


  • Please log in to reply
56 replies to this topic

#1 Mike K.

Mike K.
  • Administrator
  • 53,972 posts

Posted 30 July 2012 - 07:14 AM

The Gorge Waterway Action Society is hosting an event on August 12th to promote the Gorge as a swimming destination after many decades of health concerns over the water's poor quality.

It was not always like this, of course, where at the turn of the last century the movers and shakers of Victoria took advantage of the Gorge's clean waterway by settling along its shores. During the middle of the 20th century contamination in the water put a stop to what was once a treasured summer activity in waters that virtually everywhere else in the CRD are far too cold to swim in.

Recent tests show that the fecal coliform count in the water is below that of regional lakes and other indicators suggest that we can once again return to the water.

So last night with my girlfriend's father and a thermometer in hand we jumped in off the dock across from The Railyards in Vic West into water that 19.5C at about 8:00PM!

This was the first time I swam in the Gorge and going by the wonderful experience of actually swimming in ocean waters in our region -- for a lengthy amount of time, I might add -- it will not be the last.

Know it all.
Citified.ca is Victoria's most comprehensive research resource for new-build homes and commercial spaces.


#2 Sparky

Sparky

    GET OFF MY LAWN

  • Moderator
  • 10,816 posts

Posted 30 July 2012 - 07:27 AM

^ Mike, having lived on the Gorge waterfront for 15 years, I can speak to the misconception.

In fairness, this waterway is cleaner than the stuff you wash your dishes with.

It gets changed twice a day (read tide) with nice fresh salt water from the Salish Sea...and yes that is the same sea where the outfall pipe delivers it's goodies.

Clean, fresh, and delightful.

You can also use it to take your boat to town in order to get to the bar. :)

#3 Mike K.

Mike K.
  • Administrator
  • 53,972 posts

Posted 30 July 2012 - 08:13 AM

My swim last night was absolutely delightful.

With 19.5C water surface temperature around the shaded dock there was no way I could not do it despite having some reservations about the cleanliness of the water (can't help it, it's been drilled into us since childhood that the Gorge is a cesspool that should be avoided). But with news of the upcoming community swim spreading and word that the water is cleaner than in our lakes I was at least reassured that I wouldn't wake up the next morning with a bacterial infection of some sort :)

Know it all.
Citified.ca is Victoria's most comprehensive research resource for new-build homes and commercial spaces.


#4 VicHockeyFan

VicHockeyFan
  • Suspended User
  • 52,121 posts

Posted 30 July 2012 - 08:27 AM

So last night with my girlfriend's father and a thermometer in hand we jumped in off the dock across from The Railyards in Vic West into water that 19.5C at about 8:00PM!



You can also use it to take your boat to town in order to get to the bar. :)


... that I wouldn't wake up the next morning with a bacterial infection of some sort :)


My concern here is after the swim, and the bar you might wake up next to your girlfriend's father the next morning.


Seriously though, how deep is the Gorge, down the middle? (I know, it's shallow at the shore, right...) I hate touching bottom of lakes/ocean. Well, I hate touching bottom of lakes I guess. Touching bottom off a sandy beach is no big deal.
<p><span style="font-size:12px;"><em><span style="color:rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;">"I don’t need a middle person in my pizza slice transaction" <strong>- zoomer, April 17, 2018</strong></span></em></span>

#5 Mike K.

Mike K.
  • Administrator
  • 53,972 posts

Posted 30 July 2012 - 09:30 AM

It's deep enough to dive straight off the dock at The Railyards.

Know it all.
Citified.ca is Victoria's most comprehensive research resource for new-build homes and commercial spaces.


#6 JohnN

JohnN
  • Member
  • 1,970 posts

Posted 30 July 2012 - 10:05 AM

My swim last night was absolutely delightful.

With 19.5C water surface temperature around the shaded dock there was no way I could not do it despite having some reservations about the cleanliness of the water (can't help it, it's been drilled into us since childhood that the Gorge is a cesspool that should be avoided). But with news of the upcoming community swim spreading and word that the water is cleaner than in our lakes I was at least reassured that I wouldn't wake up the next morning with a bacterial infection of some sort :)


VIHA Beach Report states that Esquimalt Gorge and Kosapsom beaches are sampled once every two weeks, I think only for fecal coliforms but not sure.

While it appears that there are only two beaches sampled regularly in the Gorge (I think VIHA might have sampled more only for the special Gorge Waterway event), many of the storm drains discharging into the Gorge waterway have been labled by the CRD as discharges requiring action because they have either environmental or health concerns. I think the action lables might be related to high fecal coliforms and possibly other contaminants that Victoria's public health director might deem to be of concern.
:)

#7 Sparky

Sparky

    GET OFF MY LAWN

  • Moderator
  • 10,816 posts

Posted 30 July 2012 - 10:56 AM

Ok...I guess it's time for "Gorge" school.

First of all this is a fantastic piece of Victoria's history. The waterway from the Johnson street bridge to the tressel is known as the "Upper Harbour." The stretch between the tressel and Tillicum bridge is known as the "Victoria Arm"

The "Gorge" is actually the little narrow piece underneath the Tillicum bridge...which at one time was known as the world's only "two way" waterfall. That was until some sanctimoneous neer do well's put some dynamite under one of the rocks and blew it up.

The piece that runs from Tillicum to Craigflower is commonly refered to as the "Gorge Waterway" but marine charts do not reflect that. Beyond that is Portage Inlet which derived the name from first nations experience because there was a "portage" route by the Four Mile Inn that was used to carry canoes to the ocean.

The storm drains that run into the gorge are no different than any other storm drain in the CRD whereby the runoff usually is prevelent durring the rainy months when swimmers don't swim anyway.

The area around Gorge park was initially called BC Electric park when shortly after the turn of the last century they established the Japanese Gardens. That kind of dried up when the second world war broke out.

Depth wise the shallow part is past the Tillicum bridge. At low tide you can walk across it.

As far as Mike and his new boyfriend is concerned....they should be able to swim to Glo for a beer. :)

#8 JohnN

JohnN
  • Member
  • 1,970 posts

Posted 30 July 2012 - 11:18 AM


The storm drains that run into the gorge are no different than any other storm drain in the CRD whereby the runoff usually is prevelent durring the rainy months when swimmers don't swim anyway.


CRD's note on the map that these are storm water discharges requiring action for public health and environment concerns. Whether or not you believe this to be an accurate warning, or just something from a bureaucratic due-diligence perspective is up to you.
:)

#9 Mike K.

Mike K.
  • Administrator
  • 53,972 posts

Posted 30 July 2012 - 11:22 AM

As far as Mike and his new boyfriend is concerned....they should be able to swim to Glo for a beer. :)


Hey now!

But for what it's worth, swimming in salt water is so much easier than swimming in freshwater. I just never thought I'd have the opportunity to splash about the salt water around these parts without freezing two minutes in :)

Btw, Sparky, thanks for the history lesson. That was very informative.

Know it all.
Citified.ca is Victoria's most comprehensive research resource for new-build homes and commercial spaces.


#10 Bernard

Bernard
  • Member
  • 4,867 posts
  • LocationVictoria BC

Posted 07 August 2012 - 03:29 PM

The water further up tends to be warmer. For the last week 26-28 is what I have seen.

The dock under the Tillicum bridge is a great spot to go, it is nice and deep there. Kasposum park has a beach but it is shallow, not great if you do not want to touch the bottom.

As far as I understand it, the outfalls of concern on the Gorge and Portage Inlet have all been dealt with. There is no newer report than the one from 2007.

The 2007 report also indicates that there was a single point of concern in the summer months, the marina in the inner habour.

The sediment in the Gorge has had few instances of contaminants in 2007 of concern.

With five more years since then of flushing and most of the problem outfalls dealt with, the Gorge is going well.

#11 JohnN

JohnN
  • Member
  • 1,970 posts

Posted 07 August 2012 - 04:00 PM

The water further up tends to be warmer. For the last week 26-28 is what I have seen.

The dock under the Tillicum bridge is a great spot to go, it is nice and deep there. Kasposum park has a beach but it is shallow, not great if you do not want to touch the bottom.

As far as I understand it, the outfalls of concern on the Gorge and Portage Inlet have all been dealt with. There is no newer report than the one from 2007.

The 2007 report also indicates that there was a single point of concern in the summer months, the marina in the inner habour.

The sediment in the Gorge has had few instances of contaminants in 2007 of concern.

With five more years since then of flushing and most of the problem outfalls dealt with, the Gorge is going well.


One wonders why no later storm sewage outfall problem map than 2007? Would be great to have that improvement in writing from CRD's Environmental Services Dept, signed-off also by VIHA. As I recall, VIHA tests for fecal coliforms, whereas scope of CRD testing includes a wider range of contaminants, including heavy metals, PCBs, etc.

Could Stormwater Be The Real Culprit?
http://www.bowkercre...dayMagazine.pdf
:)

#12 martini

martini
  • Member
  • 2,493 posts

Posted 08 August 2012 - 09:53 PM

This is fantastic!

My son went in at Curtis Point the other evening. We ran into a few other swimmers just leaving.

The perfect spot for us would be the dock at Glo. Not sure if that's ok though.

#13 Sparky

Sparky

    GET OFF MY LAWN

  • Moderator
  • 10,816 posts

Posted 08 August 2012 - 10:39 PM

The perfect spot for us would be the dock at Glo. Not sure if that's ok though.


Excellent spot for a swim. Very nice fresh ocean water there.

Just watch out for Mike and the old guy wearing a speedo. :)

http://www.gorgewate....ca/history.htm

#14 Mike K.

Mike K.
  • Administrator
  • 53,972 posts

Posted 09 August 2012 - 04:40 AM

You'll recognize me with the giant thermometer in my hand. :)

Know it all.
Citified.ca is Victoria's most comprehensive research resource for new-build homes and commercial spaces.


#15 martini

martini
  • Member
  • 2,493 posts

Posted 12 August 2012 - 08:26 PM

Any input from today? Anyone here go swimming?

My son was there all day. I spent about 2 hours after work at Curtis Point.

Just beautiful weather and water. I felt like I was on vacation! Heading back tomorrow for sure.

#16 Bernard

Bernard
  • Member
  • 4,867 posts
  • LocationVictoria BC

Posted 13 August 2012 - 01:10 PM

Any input from today? Anyone here go swimming?

My son was there all day. I spent about 2 hours after work at Curtis Point.

Just beautiful weather and water. I felt like I was on vacation! Heading back tomorrow for sure.


I was at Curtis Point from 11:30 to 4:30 other than a short jaunt to Banfield Park to check out that location.

There were about 30-40 people in the water at Curtis Point from 1 pm to about 4 pm.

The tide was coming so the water was cooling all day and Banfield was several degrees colder than Curtis Point.

I will be posting some pics online shortly

#17 martini

martini
  • Member
  • 2,493 posts

Posted 13 August 2012 - 11:35 PM

I was at Curtis Point from 11:30 to 4:30 other than a short jaunt to Banfield Park to check out that location.

There were about 30-40 people in the water at Curtis Point from 1 pm to about 4 pm.

The tide was coming so the water was cooling all day and Banfield was several degrees colder than Curtis Point.

I will be posting some pics online shortly


Do you find a difference with tide? If so...what is your source?
What's the latest you've been swimming?

#18 Holden West

Holden West

    Va va voom!

  • Member
  • 9,058 posts

Posted 14 August 2012 - 06:37 AM

Where exactly is Curtis Point? What's the current temperture? Cowichan lake was in the mid-seventies last week, great for swimming.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#19 Mike K.

Mike K.
  • Administrator
  • 53,972 posts

Posted 14 August 2012 - 07:42 AM

Cowichan lake was in the mid-seventies last week, great for swimming.


That's great for cooking vegetables, not so much for swimming.

Know it all.
Citified.ca is Victoria's most comprehensive research resource for new-build homes and commercial spaces.


#20 G-Man

G-Man

    Senior Case Officer

  • Moderator
  • 13,053 posts

Posted 14 August 2012 - 12:13 PM

Holden is still writing to Trudeau to get metric repealed :)

Visit my blog at: https://www.sidewalkingvictoria.com 

 

It has a whole new look!

 


You're not quite at the end of this discussion topic!

Use the page links at the lower-left to go to the next page to read additional posts.
 



0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users