Monday, December 30, 2013

Top paddles of 2013 - #3

Between October 12th and 14th Brian, Dean, Hazen, Neville, Pete and I did a Thanksgiving weekend kayak camping trip to Gulch Pond.  The original posts can be found by clicking on the "Gulch Pond" link on the right hand sidebar but I've selected a few shots I didn't post previously with short commentary.

So, we drove just over an hour and a half to Garden Cove on the Burin Peninsula where we launched from the community slipway.  It was an interesting launch because the water was some distance below the end of the slipway.

We paddled inside of Sound Island, Woody Island and Bar Haven Island.  Between the islands we could see the other side of Placentia Bay in the southeast distance.

We had the wind behind us and it seemed in no time we were entering Gulch Pond, almost 22 kms from Garden Cove.

Our campsite at Gulch Pond looking southwest s the sun was setting.  Gulch Pond is an inlet of the sea that is accessed by a narrow channel.  Entry can best be made at a rising tide because a significant tidal current flows at ebb tide.

The same scene early the next morning after a frosty night.  Everything was covered in frost as the temperature sank to -4 C.  It took a little while to get moving in the morning but we didn't have to break camp.  The plan on day 2 was to leave everything at Gulch Pond and make a day paddle over to the former, resettled communities of Western Cove and Bar Haven.

It was a cool, crisp day as we made our way over to Bar Haven Island and entered a broad open cove that contained the former communities.  At Western Cove we got out and cooked lunch on the lee side of a cabin.  The former community of Bar Haven, now a community of summer cabins, lies at the north end pointed to by the wharf.

Day 2 ended back at Gulch Pond with a super cook-up and our usual bonfire.  Well, it got to its usual size after Pete hit the hay.  The temperature, while frosty overnight, wasn't as cold as the first night.  The third day dawned sunny and bright with calm winds for our return home.  Along the way we checked out some possible other campsites, here at Carroll Point at the north end of Bar Haven.

We stopped at Back Cove on Woody Island for lunch and explored the former homestead of eccentric Randy Lied.  It was an amazing amount of work that has imply been abandoned.

We got back on our horses and paddle the last few kilometers into a slight breeze and into Garden Cove.

It was a late year trip, a stolen moment so to speak.  We had great weather though cold.  We had lots of laughs.  It was an all around good time.  It was always going to be on my list of top paddles but the one thing I took away from the trip is that it can be comfortably be done in sub-zero weather.

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