Sunday, April 20, 2014

Post script Cape Broyle

Six of us paddled in Cape Broyle on Best Friday.  The morning's paddle saw us stopped for lunch at 12:00 at Lance Cove.  The distance from the put-in to Lance Cove was only 9.5 kms so we decided to continue on east out of the harbour and check out Cathedral Cave.

East of Lance Cove we had some rock gardens to explore.

Dean scoots over the surge while Ron waits for him to clear.  Timing is everything to catch the surging water versus the water sucking out.

Just past Church Cove we entered Cathedral Cave, a huge vaulting cave descriptive of its name.

Its a deep cave with daylight at the end.  The sea is busy trying to wear its way through but still has some work to do before the opening is passable.

Unable to pass through, we turned to exit.  I caught the gang barely silhoutetted in the bright light at the cave entrance.  The scale is immense.

The camera struggles to capture detail of the cliffs on the outside of this tunnel.  We passed through here on the outward leg of our trip when the water was higher.  On the return the water had dropped but we were still able to get by the rocks guarding its entrance.

We took our time retracing our paddle strokes now with the light wind and gentle swell at our backs.  It warmed up noticeable with the wind behind us.

We found the gatekeeper when we arrived back at the slipway.  He wanted a $3.00 launch fee for each kayak.  Not an unreasonable sum but unexpected.  We paid up and went for coffee before driving home after a super day in our kayaks.

I checked my calendar at home to discover it was two years and one day since I was in Cape Broyle.  I should make it an annual paddle because its a great paddle destination that is best timed for high tide.

Thanks to Brian, Clyde, Dean, Ron and Sue for sharing the day.  All the more enjoyed the following day looking out at the freezing rain.

Friday, April 18, 2014

A day in Cape Broyle

Today was the Best Friday holiday.  I joined Brian, Clyde, Dean, Ron and Sue for a day paddle in Cape Broyle.  Lets face it, every Friday is a good Friday but when its a statutory holiday, its "Best Friday".

The first attraction after leaving the slipway is this waterfall where Horse Chops River tumbles down to meet the sea.  Spring runoff was in fine form today.

Paddling up to Sheeps Head where we usually cross over to the south side where ...

... the cliffs became more imposing.  Here Clyde marvels at the wonder of the rocks bent in an anticline.  Not sure if he knew he was looking at an anticline but he does now.  Still a bit of ice around.

Ron squeezing through a narrow gap and ...

... Brian navigating surging water amongst the rocks.  There was just enough swell running in from the northeast to make rock hopping interesting.

Clyde checks out this cave-in-the making which right now is just an overhang.

A relaxing paddle under massive cliffs ...

 ... where, in places, the sea has created tunnels for us to explore.  Clyde switches to his Euro blade after cracking off his Greenland paddle.  When that happens we have firewood *lol*

As I said, spring runoff was in full swing.  This waterfall runs even in summer though and is a refreshing shower on a hot day.  On a day with the temperature near zero and lower with the wind chill factored in, it was chilly.  Nevertheless, I could not resist taking a quick run through the falling water but paid for it as it took some time to warm up again.

The Freshwater River, a more potent waterfall, tumbling over the cliffs in bright sunshine.

It was almost 12:00 and my lunch was calling me.  Good thing too that we were in Lance Cove where we intended to take out for something to eat.  Lance Cove is guarded by this impressive seastack.

We landed in Lance Cove on this sandy beach for lunch.  A little breeze blew out of the northeast which kept things chilly even in the sunshine.  Some of us donned oversized coats to keep warm.

The day was still young and there was more to see, in particular Cathedral Cave.  To be continued ...

Monday, April 14, 2014

Cruising into Colliers

Finished lunch, we put in again and checked out this waterfall in a small cove next to where we had lunch.  A few of us took turns to duck into the shallow cave behind the cascading water.

The colour of the rocks behind the falls looked psychadelic.

Inside, looking out through a curtain of water.

Sue was wondering what the "white stuff" was.  A seaweed of some sort but I hadn't see anything like it before.

We hugged the western shoreline and exiting Curtain Cove we were looking down Colliers Bay.

A few walls of ice were clinging on to the last vestiges of winter.

Looks can be deceiving.  This looks like a cobble beach and that would be right if we had been here some 542 million years ago.  Now, its a conglomerate from the Cambrian period that is exposed in James Cove.

Entering Burkes Cove we were greeted by erratics resting on the rocky shore  Erratics are rocks that were picked up and transported miles by glaciers and left to rest where they were when the glaciers melted on the Avalon about 12,000 years ago.

In Dock Cove I checked out this rust bucket with the name "Hamilton Banker" registered in St. John's but unlikely to ever see that port agin.

Looking back from where we came Sue is between Ryans Head on the right and Marysvale Ridge on the left.  We were almost in Colliers where we had left the cars five hours earlier.

All that was left to do after a wonderful day on the water was to change clothing and load the kayaks. But, before we went home the seven of us stopped for a coffee and a chat.  Thanks everyone for sharing the day.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Looking for the Cambrian explosion

Saturday I joined Brian, Dean, Derrick, Hazen, Neville and Sue for a paddle around the Colliers Peninsula.  The first order of business was to shuttle the cars a short distance from Conception Harbour to Colliers.  Hazen and Sue stayed to keep an eye on the gear.

When we got back to Conception Harbour we got ready to get on the water.  Everyone noted Hazen was on the water first because it was unusual.

With all hands on the water we made our way north and out of Gasters Bay.

The mouth of the bay opened up the further north we paddled.

Paddling under cliffs of red siltstone.

Further along the shoreline the land came down to meet the water.

Dean checking out a small run of water in this little nook.

At Bacon Cove we stopped to stretch our legs and we had a ...

... geology lesson on unconformities.  Here we're standing on mid-Proterozoic Conception siltstones.  The siltstones date anywhere between 1 billion and 1.5 bilion years old.  Precise dating is not possible as sedimentary rocks are generally dated with reference to fossils and these rocks were deposited prior to multi-cellular life.

The Conception rocks were uplifted and eroded over a long period of time before the sea held sway again in the Cambrian period to deposit a basal layer of conglomerate.  The students *lol* point to the contact.  The Cambrian period began 542 million years ago at a time when lifeforms exploded and diversified.

We continued on paddling between steeply dipping rocks to our left and ...

... over kelp beds.

At Colliers Point we paddled into this little cove where we ...

... took out and stopped for lunch.  The forecast was for rain and while we did have the occasional sprinkle, it was warm without wind.  It was shaping up to be a large day.

To be continued ...

Friday, April 11, 2014

Weeeee're back

Last evening we had our first Thursday evening practice/get-together at St. Philips for the year.

It was windy so we spent the evening catching some surf rides.  A bit of a slog into the wind, turn, drop skeg, paddle furiously to get on the face of a wave.

The waves weren't organized so patience was required to catch the biggest and best waves.  If you read the literature the recommended practice is to start paddling hard once you feel the stern get picked up.  I find I catch more waves if I start paddling as soon as the first wave passes under the bow.  Such a joy when effort is rewarded with the bow purling as the kayak hurtles along and the skeg hums.

Derrick in a close up of his newly painted kayak.  Its a strip built and this past winter he decided to paint the hull white.  Looked pretty sharp.

So, the first of our regular Thursday evenings is in the books.  I look forward to them because regardless of weather, they go anyway.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Klingons along the coast

After a short stay at Brocks Pond falls Clyde, Dean and I turned south for the return leg of our paddle.  The light but cool northerly wind in our faces on the way up were now behind us.

It was April 5th and two weeks into spring but no sign of it yet.  There are still numerous masses of ice clinging on to the cliffs and ...

... winter is clinging on too.

A short stop to stretch our legs after almost three hours in the kayaks and we were on our way again.  Here, Dean explains the details of my Christmas Eve swim in this channel.  Such fond memories!

A recurring theme on the day.

Approaching St. Philips and the completion of our 20 km paddle.

I've enjoyed my winter paddles but I'm ready for some warmer weather.  Winter drags on, though more like clinging on and no end in sight yet.