Friday, December 27, 2013

Top paddles of 2013 - #5

Between June 23rd and June 27th five of us completed a 150 km circumnavigation of New World Island and the Twillingate Islands in Notre Dame Bay.  It was our "big" trip of the summer.

This post is just a bird's eye view of the trip but the whole trip can be checked out starting here or clicking on "New World Island" in the sidebar on the right (if you do that you'll have to scroll all the way to the bottom and scroll back up to get the correct chronological order).

The first day we paddled from Dildo Run Provincial Park to Cobbs Arm for a daily total of 25 kms.

On the second day, June 2th, we left Cobbs Arm and paddled in beautiful but stiffening winds northwards to the top of North Twillingate Island and camped in Sleepy Cove.

The weather forecast for the third day was for northeast winds so we put a little push on to put us in position to paddle down the protected, west side of North Twillingate Island.  The daily total was 32 kms.

The weather changed on the third day, June 25th.  The northeast wind brought plunging temperatures and a raw, damp chill.  We left Sleepy Cove in a bit of a sea but before long we were around the headland and protected from the wind.

We stopped in the community of Twillingate for a warm coffee where Dean decided to put on his cag.  Twenty kilometers later we were camped on Black Island near the causeway between New World Island and South Twiillingate Island.

It rained overnight on Black Island  It remained cool as we set off for Mortons Harbour on the fourth day, June 26th.  The wind was against us for most of the day which ended with a slog into very strong winds that whipped up between a meter and two meter waves.  The total for the day was 23 kms.

At Mortons Harbour there was some talk of abandoning the circumnavigation and going to get the cars.  In the end, it was agreed we'd get up at first light to get around Western Head before the wind rose from the northeast with unlimited fetch.

The fifth day, June 27th, we left Roses Harbour (within Mortons Harbour proper) at 5:00 am without eating breakfast and got around Western Head without incident.  Later we stopped in Little Bridgeport Harbour to eat breakfast, still only 8:00 am.

After breakfast we made our way to Intricate Harbour where Dean had identified a camping spot for the night.  We got into Intricate Harbour just before noon having already paddled 27 kms.  We looked around.  Dean and I picked out our cam sites but it was decided we wouldn't be staying the night.  So, after a warm lunch we set off for Dildo Run Provincial Park and the end of our trip.

Rounding Farmer Head we were greeted with a howling wind but the short fetch only made for small wind waves.  We had a little adventure at the Curtis Causeway against a strong tidal current before finishing the final 23 kms into the teeth of the wind.  The last day was a 13 hour, 50 km day with half of it in strong winds.

The day and the trip ended at 6:00 pm with a shower and a drive to Twillingate for a feed of fish & chips.

It was an interesting trip with a bit of everything.  Therefore I'm putting it on my list of top paddles for the year.

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