1 hour ago
Saturday, May 18, 2013
A familiar place with a familiar paddling friend. I'm beginning to become acutely aware that some of my pictures are starting to look the same. Different places but the same composition. So, today on a short paddle with Dean I tried for some variations on the kayak theme.
Still the same kayaker but interesting reflections in the water. Here, the rocks on the sea bottom were white but due to an overcast sky, there wasn't enough light penetration to highlight them. Nevertheless, the little ripples in the water gave a nice effect to the reflected Dean, trees and rocks.
Further along, I noticed the sea urchins populating the rocks, some of which had a pinkish tint with various sea weeds and mosses growing on them. I plunged the camera int the water and hoped.
In the shallower water, as we neared Topsail Beach, seaweed grew up from the bottom and in the low tide, was able to break the surface. Again I plunged the camera int the water not knowing how the shot would turn out. The reflection on the underside of the sea's surface was an interesting effect.
And, again here. This part of our sea kayaking environment could make for even more interesting pictures if they were manipulated with imaging software.
At Topsail Beach the sun tried to shine through. The subdued light emphasized the seaweed as it floated on the surface but ...
... could be embellished with the addition of my paddling friend Dean. A sea kayak blog should, after all, include some shots of a kayak.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Jim Kakuk is a co-founder of the Tsunami Rangers and this years Kayak Newfoundland and Labrador Retreat guest. The Tsunami Rangers are a team of extreme sea kayakers and have spawned, or more accurately, inspired, a number of similarly motivated kayakers such as Neptunes Rangers, the Hurricane Riders and The Ocean Dragons.
He flew in last night from California and staying at our home for a couple of days before the Retreat.
Its a long haul to Newfoundland from California so today was an easy day taking in a tour of The Rooms, the provincial museum, a walk downtown St John's and a look at Signal Hill ...
... to see if Cape Spear could be seen. Unfortunately, it was hidden in the fog. It was windy and cold. We didn't stay long on the hill but did get a good view of ...
... the harbour and city scape of St. John's.
I think he enjoyed the day. I know I did spending a day with one of the pioneers on extreme sea kayaking. Will he inspire any kayakers in Newfoundland to push the boundaries? I think he already has, a least a few of us as we begin to build the necessary skills incrementally.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Finished our lunch in LaManche the six of us began our paddle back to Tors Cove handrailing along the coast in LaManche Bay.
Dean and I paddled a bit closer to shore where the water was more active.
On the way to LaManche we had paddled outside of the islands on the horizon. On the return we paddled between the islands and the coast. The wind and swell behind us made short and easy work of our paddle and before long we passed Ship Island.
Dean with Ship Island in the background.
Pete taking the direct route in front of Fox Island.
Just over 20 kilometes after leaving Tors Cove we were back. It was another great day on the water with seabirds, caves and like minded paddling buddies. Thanks guys.
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Today Brian, Dean, Gary, Jake, Peter and myself met at Foodland in Bay Bulls to settle on a paddle destination. Brian had suggested Tors Cove - Great Island - LaManche return. These are the breadcrumbs.
The weather looked to cooperate so we headed for Tors Cove where we put-in. It was decidedly foggy.
The fog hung over the hill at Fox Island as we left Tors Cove heading for the islands of the Witless Bat Ecological Reserve.
After paddling along the outside of Fox Island we set our sights on Ship Island a kilometer away. While it was foggy, the fog didn't hang all the way down to sea level so we could paddle by sight.
Passing by Ship Island we arrived at Great Island, still shrouded in fog. The sandstone beds of sedimentary rock dip steeply and ...
... are covered with white guano left by the thousands of sea birds that call the Reserve home.
Dean and I checked out this, the first cave on Great Island. We had to be careful for ...
... the birds circling over head. Don't look up with mouth open *lol*
Dean and I caught up with the other guys who were checking out this massive cave on turquoise waters.
The fog looked like it was trying to lift as we reached the notch. The notch is where the sea wore through weaker bed of sandstone where its clear to see the orientation of the sedimentary beds.
The guys are but specks by comparison with the overhanging rocks. There aren't many days that this passage can be made but we did it today.
Leaving Great Island behind we crossed back to the mainland. Still the fog hung on. I hoped the sun would eventually burn it off and let us paddle in the promised sun, which we did as we reached ...
... LaManche where we stopped for lunch.
Kayaks hauled out but just barely. There's no beach in LaManche. I usually haul out on gently sloping rocks covered in seaweed that are a bit kinder on the fibreglass hull.
We sat in the glorious sun to eat our lunch.
LaManche is one of hundreds of resettled communities in Newfoundland that is evidenced now only by its abandoned foundations.
Finally, check out Dean's shots of the paddle here.
Saturday, May 11, 2013
Thursday evening I wanted to practice heaving my throw bag. I gave it a good toss and it landed right in front of my kayak but disappointingly close. I retrieved the rope and began to stuff it back into the bag for another toss.
That's the thing about practice. I find out unexpected things like its not easy restuffing the bag with neoprene mitts on. I could have removed one mitt but decided to just bundle it up, lift my skirt enough to dump it into my cockpit. That's what I'd probably have to do anyway in winter. Or in choppy seas with the risk of capsize or in danger of being driven onto the rocks.
Seems so innocent these little things that are better found out beforehand. With neoprene mitts, it could be just one shot to get that saving toss.
Thursday, May 9, 2013
Jacob has been one of the ever present at our Thursday evening get-togethers. And, he has it together at a very early age. He's 15!!!
Last week he did his first cold water, in the sea roll. I got a shot of it but it didn't do it justice. This time I shot a short video clip. Here it is Jake, well done.
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
After our lunch stop we got back on our horses to retrace our tracks back to Flatrock. Heading east just out of Shoe Cove, Shoe Cove Island was our target. The swell was too large and the tide too low to chance the opening between the island and the land ...
... so we paddled around the outside of the island. The swell crashed everywhere the land got in its way.
Rounding Blackhead North we could see all the way down the coast.
The swell running from the east created swaths of foamy water.
Ferry Point at Dogs Hole looked interesting which we could see ...
... as we got closer.
Dean and I swung into Red Head Cove whereas Brian, Neville and Sean paddled across the mouth of the cove.
We were all together again after we passed Red Head paddling south alongside deeply etched rocks and before long ...
... we had the takeout at Flatrock in front of our bows.
It was a perfect day for a paddle. Little wind but good open ocean conditions created by swell and clapotis. We had to stay offshore a bit because getting caught inside the break zone would have resulted in serious consequences.
As Sean and I neared home on the drive back we drove along Conception Bay. It was completely mirror calm. A big difference on Sunday from the exposed east coast of the Avalon Peninsula.