Thursday, June 23, 2016

Flying home

After a weekend of high winds and a Sunday commitment that kept me off the water I was happy for Wednesday evening to arrive.  It was windy also but that was a good thing.  The wind was blowing at 15 - 20 knots generating small wind waves.

We paddled along the shore where there was just enough ...

... action for novice Ryan to get a taste.  Sadly, again, the pictures don't do the conditions justice.

We paddled between the rocks.

Behind the "Rock of Ages" it was calm as the SW wind generated waves were prevented from entering.

At "Harald Bluetooth" we turned, paddled somewhat out into the bay until the SW wind waves were at our backs and lined up with the cove at St. Philips.

That's when the fun began as we surfed back to the cove.  I regretted I didn't have my GPS with me for I knew I literally flew at times and I wondered what kinds of speed I was reaching.  Other times I only had to put the paddle in the water occasionally to keep the kayak moving.

I find the Nordkapp a wonderful boat to surf.  Without trying I arrived back at the cove well ahead of the other guys so I went up the river to wash up by myself.  Just as I arrived it began to rain heavily as the raindrop danced on the fresh water.

It was a fun few hours and a mid-week treat.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Rikki is here

I don't know the date Cathy ordered her new kayak but it was some time ago.  Its been a difficult birthing process.  One kayak was selected and some time later there were issues with it.  She had to pick another.  There were three colours to pick from.  She picked the lime one.  Surprisingly looks great!

So, yesterday evening I was sitting doing a little guitar practice and I see an email come in.  "RIKKI IS HERE!!! :-) :-) :-)" it read.

Then another quickly on the heels of the first: "It's Rikki time!!!!!!!
I am going out for a dip in the cove :-) :-) :-) :-) :-)"

I replied "Getting ready to join you."

I arrived before her and waited patiently.  She arrived bubbling over with joy.

She loaded her Rikki and we put her in ...

... the water of the harbour boat basin.  Content with stability we entered the ...

... flat waters of the cove.


Wondering how Rikki felt to roll, Cathy immediately did a couple.  At this point Cathy was over the moon!

We knew Neville, Ron, Shane and Terry were on the water but we didn't know which direction they went.  We set off towards Topsail in search.  When we got so far where we could look down the coast and we didn't see them we turned to look for them towards Portugal Cove.

We went as far as Beachy Cove.  It was getting late and if they had gone that way we should have connected with them by that time.  We didn't see them so again we turned to go back to St. Philips.

As we approached St Philips we saw them playing among the rocks.  They had gone towards Topsail after all.

The guys immediately surrounded Rikki welcoming the newcomer.

I've been at the sea trials of Dean's Nordkapp "North Cape Jenny" and his Karma RG.  I've also been present at the launch of Sean's "Black Pearl" and Terry's "Chatham" (I think I have that right).  I remember when I took delivery of my "Stardust" and every time a new boat arrives I remember the joy.

I was happy to share in another.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Cape Broyle in the heat - Part 2

After stopping fr lunch at Lance Cove we got back on the water to paddle to check out ...

... Cathedral Cave.  There the red sandstone beds have been tilted to near 90 degrees and the sea has found a zone of weakness to carve out a ...

... deep, massive cave.  Its called "Cathedral Cave" for good reason.  Oddly, only Cathy and Dean joined me in the cave while the rest paddle on.

After we had our fill of Cathedral Cave we followed the gang east and out to North Point.  As we neared the Point we could feel the swell running from the northeast.

Under clouds billowing in an otherwise blue sky we bobbed about for a bit having a sight of the coast north and south as far as the eye could see.

On our way back to the take-out we stopped at Freshwater Cove for a break.  Some of us cooled off in the waterfall in the cove.  This was something we would not have been able to do in March when we last paddled here because ...

... the waterfall was frozen solid.  Reminds me of some song called Turn, turn, turn".

Monday, June 13, 2016

Cape Broyle in the heat - Part 1

Three months ago, on March 13th, some of us paddled Cape Broyle in cold and snow.  On Sunday, it was much warmer as we arrived there in brilliant sunshine.

Our first stop was to catch a ride in the current flowing out of this micro hydroelectric facility in Brians Cove.  There are a number of these along the Southern Shore fed by freshwater ponds from higher ground.  This one is fed by Horse Chops Pond but not ...

... all the water goes there.  Here the Horse Chops River runs into the sea.

At Sheeps Head we crossed The Narrows to the south side of the harbour where the cliffs were ...

... more dramatic.

There's access here to the underworld that is hard to see.  The dark patch opens up to ...

... a tunnel of light.  Not great for picture taking as looking out to the light from the dark overwhelms the camera but its dramatic to paddle through.  From this point on it was mostly Cathy and me as the rest carried on while we ...

... investigated every cave and ...

... waterfall.  While it was warm in he sun, the extended showering did send a chill through the bones.

Back in sunshine we checked out this cave and ...

... waterfall though this one was out of reach from the seat of our kayaks.  We would enjoy its refreshing waters on our return though.

At last we reached Lance Cove where we stopped ...

... for lunch.  We occupied the west side of the beach as some hikers on the East Coast Trail were camping on the other side.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Wild and wolly Wednesday- The Video

On June 1st we "cancelled" the Wednesday evening practice for general consumption because of high winds and seas that were taking aim at the harbour entrance.  Cathy, Neville, Terry and I went anyway.

I recorded some video which I've uploaded to YouTube.  There's no point in posting the video here because Blogger just massacres it.  YouTube also downgraded it on upload but not so bad so I'll just redirect with a link.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Bagging my first iceberg of 2016

We arrived after our crossing of Bay Bulls at Baboul Rocks were we encountered our first iceberg of the year.  The swell out of the north had pushed us swiftly across.  At Baboul Rocks it piled into the headland causing this berg to rise and fall in the swell.

These weren't big bergs and weren't grounded but were held captive ...

... among the rocks.

There were various bits and chunks of ice floating in the water that made loud banging noises whenever we ran into them.  I looked around for a piece that was just the right size.  Clyde came along side and held me steady while I managed to get the slippery customer into my cockpit.

Back in Bay Bulls harbour Andrew and I checked out this cave under the west dipping rocks.

Continuing along the south shore we came upon another small floater.  Its one piece joined under water where the water is turned indigo blue.

We paddled around it a bit scoping it out before making our way to ...

... the big berg we passed earlier in the day.

This one, while not massive, was big enough to be grounded.  Again, we paddled around it and just marveled at the colours.  Icebergs from afar look white but up close the air bubbles trapped in the ice cause it to emit various hues of blue.

This shot of Hazen summarizes the day.  In the distance near the far shore floats the semi-submersible drill rig West Hercules which we visited almost four hours earlier.

We eventually began to make our way back to the take out.  There we met two young kayakers who were out for a near shore paddle.  After introductions, Justin and Ashley, joined our group of seven (Andrew, Cathy, Clyde, Dave, Gary, Hazen and myself) at a nearby coffee shop for a bite to eat and hot drinks.

Meanwhile ...

... later that evening pieces of the bergy bit I picked up ended up floating in a drop of rum.

It took 10,000 years for me to get the ice, oh I don't know, 5 years for Fidel to age the rum, a few hours for friend Lou to fly it up from Cuba and minutes for me to savour capping off a fantastic day on the water.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Hercules comes to town

Since April 1st I've been keeping an eye on the iceberg maps provided by Environment Canada.  I've been anxious to see how many bergs we'll get in our area this year.  It wasn't looking good for our immediate area so earlier last week when Shane reported on an iceberg in Bay Bulls AND the presence of semi-submersible drill rig I knew I'd have to hit Bay Bulls this weekend.

Seven of us met at Bay Bulls and after putting in we headed out the harbour on the non-descriptive north side.

The iceberg was anchored off to our right which we bypassed for a visit later in the day.  As we came around one last point the iron island which was West Hercules floated on the horizon.

She was moored out in the middle of the harbour so we left the shoreline and made a beeline for her.  In January of 2013 I did a paddle in Conception Bay out to the drill rig West Aquarius.  Now I was going to meet her sibling, though it was her fraternal twin West Hercules.

Back in 2013 as I approached West Aquarius I was warned off when I got too close.  This time we must not have looked to pose a threat in our posse of seven compared to my lone wolf stalking.  I wondered after what they would have done had I kept on coming.  Ram me? *lol*

We hung around for a while until I had enough and made my way back to shore.  Interesting features were waiting exploration like ...

.. this spot which led behind the rock in front of my bow and out the other side.  I looked around and the rest of the gang were further up the coast and missed this treat.  I paddled in behind and ...

... caught West Hercules between this rock and hard place.

I emerged to find Cathy coming my way and together we explored this second collection of passages.

We continued out along the north side until we reached the open ocean and the lighthouse at North Head.  She was rocking and rolling for our short paddle north to ...

... enter Freshwater Cove.  There was some huge swell running and in close by the shore the clapotis was making it interesting.  To starboard I watched the rest of the gang rise then disappear behind the swell.  I waited in the cove as they began to arrive.

Some of us answered the call of nature before leaving to paddle to across Bay Bulls harbour where ...

... West Hercules floated in the distance.

We got a nice push from the swell speeding our arrival at Baboul Rocks and the first iceberg we've seen for the season.  This is just a taster; you'll have to come back for the iceberg pix.