Friday, April 2, 2010

A good Friday paddle

Glassy calm waters of Conception Bay

It was Good Friday. It was another crossing; Stan and I did one last year on Good Friday too. Maybe it'll be a tradition.

The forecast was for calm winds so five of us met in St. Philips to paddle the 5 kms across the Tickle to Bell Island and spend the day sacrilegiously (to some) in the temple of the great outdoors.


After we reached Bell Island we conferred and decided on paddling up from the ferry terminal towards the north end of Bell Island. Stan thought the scenery was better. None of us cared which way we went; we were just happy to be on the water.

Sean rounds a sea stack

There are lots of things that excite kayakers. Rocks, caves, sea stacks ... OK everything on the water excites us. We have to stick our bows into the smallest crevice, scoot between half submerged rocks (without leaving gel coat) and paddle around sea stacks. Sea stacks aren't abundant because the sea usually shows no mercy and eats away at the land without favour. Where the rock is just that little bit more resilient, it survives as sea stacks.

Massive cliffs, massive day

The cliffs of Bell Island NW of the the ferry terminal rise vertically 200 feet from the green waters. I had to get a bit further off shore and hold the camera vertically to catch where the cliffs meet the sky.

A swell day

There wasn't much swell but at places where the bottom rose sharply, the water turned to foam as it crashed on the rocks.

Lunch stop beach

Near the top of Bell Island we decided to stop for a break and refuel. This looked to be a suitable spot nestled in between the towering walls.

Birthday Stan

As we sat having a snack Stan casually mentioned it was his birthday. We all wished him a happy 39th birthday *lol* (stop counting there Stan). I know you had a good one and many more my friend.

Spring runoff

We rounded Long Harry Point, Polls Head and Redmonds Head and everyone kept paddling. We were going to turn around at some point but it took a while before we looked at each other as if to say where will we stop to turn. I thought for a while it looked good for a circumnavigation of Bell Island but not to be on this day.

Loading up on java

We were going to have coffee at By the Beach restaurant but it was crowded with religious people who were hell bent on having a feed of fish on Good Friday. Thou shalt not eat meat on Good Friday! So Sean invited us to his place not too far from the take-out and we enjoyed the sun and rehashing the day's paddle - and a good cup 'a.

From left to right - Dean, Gerard, Tony (me), Sean and Stan. Thanks guys, enough said!


  1. Thank you Douglas, coming from you that's a real compliment. Out of 77 shots a few turned out suitable to post!

    Tony :-)

  2. Tony: My only regret for the day was not taking a picture of the five vehicles with kayaks lined up my driveway!!! When I told my wife, Cheryl, that we had all five vehicles in the driveway, the first thing she said was "Did you get a picture???" Which was immediately followed my a face palm!!!

  3. Sean, ya can't think of everything ... you were after all quite busy making coffee. Would made an interesting picture though.

    Tony :-)

  4. awesome shots, looks like you guys had a great paddle.