Monday, December 23, 2013

Top 10 paddles of 2013 - #9

January 14 was a beautiful day, cool but calm.  The deep ocean drill rig West Aquarius was in the Bell Island Tickle about 3 kms off shore from St. Philips.  I decided I would go out for a visit.

The clouds of the sky were reflected on the absolutely calm sea.  I pointed my bow towards West Aquarius and set off.  I was by myself but was comfortable with my decision to go alone.

As I got closer the reflection of the rig made an interesting pattern is the ripples coming from the massive structure.  Closer still, I heard a voice boom out over a loudspeaker.  I was advised to stay clear of the rig for my own safety.  I raised my paddle to acknowledge I had received the message and steered to give it a wider bearth.

As I was only a kilometer and a half from Bell Island I decided to combine a crossing with my visit to the drill rig.  The top edge of Bell Island just shows itself on the left while in the background the land stretches north towards Cape St. Francis.

I got out and had a little walk-about before retracing my tracks back to St. Philips.

Solo paddling is not recommended but given the conditions I felt justified.  I prefer paddling with company but being out in the middle of the bay by myself is a liberating feeling.  That's why I'm making this paddle my ninth favourite of the year.

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