Thursday, April 16, 2015

Wild and wooly


Thursday evening we normally get together in St Philips for rescue and stroke practice but today it was too wild and wooly.  With northerly winds at 30 knots and gusts to 45 added to a temperature of -4C driven down to -13C with the wind chill, it was decided to take a pass this week.

I went anyway, without the kayak to have a look and captured some short video of the conditions.  It took 10 minutes for my bare hands to come, painfully, back to life.

The video really gets degraded on the upload but the conditions are obvious.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Fearless - A book review

Paddle friend Neville let me borrow the book "Fearless" by Joe Glickman; the story of Freya's solo circumnavigation of Australia in 2009.  Freya was in Newfoundland in 2007 for our spring kayakers Retreat.

A most interesting book not only for the journey but for the look into such an enigmatic person that most serious paddlers know of.

The plot was simple: be the first woman to paddle around Australia and do it in record time, that is, beat the time set by Paul Caffyn.  The following words describe the essence of the trip: challenging seas, long exposed coastlines, long open crossing, crocodiles, sharks, loneliness and an all consuming fixation with time.

On the Freya factor, Glickman does a great job of conveying her incredible mental toughness, grit, skill and supreme confidence.  For all the obstacles that stood in her way her answer was "Vasdaproblum".  Humility apparently is not one of her virtues.

I was inspired and I was saddened.  At one point she stated to Glickman "I'm simply not interested in people anyway."  Funny attitude for someone who is such a great inspiration to so many.  Funny too for someone who appears to seek approval by excelling in everything she gets involved in.

A great read for the adventure and also maybe a bit of introspection of one's own place with family, friends and acquaintances.

As a side note, I'd recommend checking out Google Earth while reading the book for photos of the different stops and coastline she paddled to supplement the 8 pages of pictures in the book.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Its Hammer time

Sunday morning was going to be windy.  A good time for a bounce in St. Philips as Neville took delivery of his new ocean playboat, a P & H Hammer.

Well the forecast was wrong.  No wind but a bit of easy action along the shore made perfect conditions to take the Hammer for a test drive.

We stopped to fool around at the G-Spot.  Again nothing very big, just enough to get a feel for the boat.  Also, easy for Clye, Dean and myself in the fibreglass Nordkapps.

At Sailing Point the channel was calm.  Neville had the skeg down for tracking.

Exiting another channel which we have to name yet.

Just before Wester Point at Portugal Cove we got through another tight spot that's accessible only at high water.

There are numerous rocks at Wester Point and with just a bit of swell running in it was again a chance to play.

After a short break on the beach by the ferry terminal we made our way back along the shore.

Clyde and myself getting through a narrow spot.

I was running late not expecting to spend so much time playing around the rocks so I bid adieu to my paddle mates and raced back to St. Philips to take out and get home just in the nick of time - without being berated that is *lol*

Dean has some pics on his blog from the point after I departed.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Two sunsets for the price of one

Thursday evening was going to be our first practice session for the season.  It was cold.  I arrived early, paddled around in the cove for a while waiting for anyone else to show up and decided just before 6:00 that I'd be on my own.

What to do?  I looked at the time, did a quick calculation and decided I had time for the 5 km crossing to Bel Island and back before the sunset.

The closer I got to Bell Island the taller the cliffs got until I paddled myself into a sunset.  I didn't stay long as the evening was getting on.

Heading back I was in sunlight again as the bay opened up between Bell Island, cloaked in shadow, and the cliffs of the mainland bathed in sunshine as they marched north.

I arrived back at St. Philips with the sunset one sun diameter above the horizon.  I decided to wait the 10 minutes and sat watching the sun sink away for the day.

It got frosty quickly after the sun departed with the watery film on the hull turning to ice as I loaded the kayak and drove for home.  Hopefully warmer next week and a few more people will show up.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

A GoPro Mount - Making it stick

So far I've used the GoPro mounted on my helmet.  That was flexible as all I had to do was look at the subject when capturing video.  But, it also had the paddle flashing in and out of the video.

Next, I made up a mount I could reach on the foredeck from the cockpit.  That put a long view of the deck in every video.

I wanted to try a mount further up near the bow.  There the deck doesn't have any flat surface to attach the camera, except the hatch cover.  I put on my thinking cap and came up with a solution.

I made up these two clips by bending and shaping a couple of pieces of sheet metal plus ...

... buying a dual suction cup setup to pull dents out of car body panes and cutting a piece of plexiglass.

The suction cup will accept 3/4 PVC pipe.  The suction cup won't stick to the rubber hatch cover so it is first put on the plexiglass (which I sprayed black).  Put together it looks like ...

... this.  The suction cup, plexiglass base plate and 3/4 PVC mast are secured to the hatch cover by looping a strap through the clips in the first photo and then cinching it down by tightening the strap.

I wasn't sure about the height of the mast so I just used duct tape for the test so I could shorten it later if necessary.

I found it a bit high on the foredeck but fine on the rear deck.  I made up similar arrangement but with a shorter mast for up front an spray painted the works black.

The only problem is the camera can't be manually operated from the cockpit.  I'll either buy a used smartphone with the GoPro app or a remote to solve that issue.

Monday, April 6, 2015

A look along the shore to Topsail

An almost 6 minute edit of the 105 captured of Dean and my paddle on Friday from St. Philips to Topsail Beach.

Seems like some of the width is missing so here's the link to YouTube.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Looking out the back door

After stopping at Topsail Beach I moved the camera mount from the fore hatch cover to the aft hatch cover.  Leaving Topsail Beach I had a look around to see where Dean was.

Ah, there he is.  I was wondering if I'd just be capturing only myself but this looks like we were a threesome out for a paddle and the third in the group got a picture of myself and Dean.

Not quite knowing what video I was capturing, I edged to port thinking I'd get Dean in the shot, and I did.  The world tilted.

More of Tony's back with Dean paddling near the cliffs.  The wind dropped as we made our way back to St. Philips.

Among the rocks the bottom was bright under the sun.  I was amazed reviewing the video how much detail the GoPro captured of the bottom.

Ya never know what goes on behind your back until its videoed.

Taking a bead on a passage between rocks.

And, one last shot of the two of us before the battery died.

I was pleased with the rear mounted camera.  On the way up I found with the taller mount it was disorienting as it swayed back and forth in the I had the camera 40 cms (16 inches).

I have one more idea for a rear mounted camera that I'll try the next surfing opportunity.