Sunday, November 10, 2013

Going over 1,000

Today was a monumental day for myself and friend Dean.  We both started the paddle at 993.0 kms paddled on day paddles for the year to date.  Today we knew we were going to go over 1,000 kms for the year.  It was going to be a milestone type of day.

We met the crew for the day (Hazen, Julie, Ron and Tobias) at Bay Bulls and decided on Tors Cove or our launch site.  In the distance the islands of the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve called out to us.

We left Tors Cove, paddled on the outside of Fox Island and headed for Great Island.

Where we experienced only a gentle swell of 1 meter on the way out, at Great Island things got confused as the water met the immovable rocks.

Approaching the couple of north facing coves it was relatively calm until the deeper reaches of the cove were probed.

Finally we reached "The Great Slot of Great Island".  This shot is from the south end after I emerged.  On the north end, at the entrance, the water was confused.  In the slot the water rushed in from both ends.  I watched and decided there was enough head room for me to pass through without getting my head pushed into the ceiling.  I temporized and paddled when the time was right and got thru.  Unknown to me I was by myself until after I exited the south end when I looked back and ...

... realized the rest of the gang had bypassed  and paddled around the outside.

We left Great Island behind to cross over to LaManche.  In the middle of the crossing Dean gives me a "two thumbs up" meaning we had both paddled over 1,000 kms for the year.  Not an insignificant feat for a couple of recreational paddlers, mostly on weekends.

We didn't set this out as a target in the new year, its just we crept up to it and as the year wore on we realized it was within our reach.  After some self congratulations and exchanges of congratulations we paddled on to ...

... the entrance to the abandoned community of LaManche.  The six of us took out for lunch.  In hind sight, I should have brought champagne but I washed down my sandwich with orange juice.  The temperature hovered just above zero so we didn't stay long after we have eaten our respective lunches

Some of us paddled around the rocks with surging surf  Others tactically paddled further offshore on the way back to Tors Cove.

Inside a cleft in the rocky cliffs we found still water and stopped and floated around for a few minutes.

Ron at the rear end of the cleft.

On our way again I said to Dean I had to get a shot of Julie so I innocently lagged behind until she passed in front of my camera.

And so, under cloudy but indigo blue skies Dean and I made our way back to Tors Cove while the rest had carried on ahead.  It was fitting as both of us had shared so many paddle strokes to reach this milestone.

And, this was only November 10th.  Six more weeks before the end of the year.  Who knows how many more paddle strokes we'll make yet this year but each one will be as sweet as the thousands up to today.

Congratulations to my friend Dean and thank you for the company on each and every kilometer.

Here's Dean's pics from the day.

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