Sunday, March 2, 2014

Still winter, still paddling

Saturday night I went to bed knowing the forecast would finally cooperate Sunday for a paddle.  For three weeks its been windy and seemingly a constant track of winter storms marching over our area.

I met Dean and Neville at St. Philips for a paddle to Topsail Beach.  Familiar territory but it fit the bill.  It was close by which meant we had enough time to get our paddle in before heavier winds were forecasted to rise.

The harbour was clogged with ice so we put-in on the beach.

It was -8C with a wind chill of -14C as we left on calm seas with Bell Island as a back drop.

The rocks were covered in snow and ice.

The wind freshened a little driving slush and chunks of ice along the shoreline.

Some icicles were massive while some were more fragile like lace.  While it was cold, a little water ran making slender icicles.  Though not picked up by the camera, the ice had a beautiful hue of indigo blue.

The drag on the hull increased as we paddled through the slush and icy bits.

We had a short stop at Topsail the length of which was dictated by the speed the cold penetrated our clothing.

The wind did pick up but slick planning meant we had it behind us for the return leg.

I waited for Dean and Neville to catch up as I waited in the protected, calm waters behind this rock.

The water had dropped while we were away showing how much ice encrusted the pilings of the wharf.  Dean and I paddled into the harbour to see if we coud get up into the river to wash our our gear but ...

... there was no way to get through this jumble of ice.

I returned to the beach to take out and walked the short distance to the river.  I managed to break through in one place where I immersed myself in the fresh water and washed the salt out.  It was cool but not totally unpleasant.  A good test of my thermal protection.

Neville treated Dean and myself to a coffee before we headed home.  It was three weeks since I paddled and as promised by Dean, I would enjoy it the next time out.  And, I did, immensely.


  1. Glad to see everyone still going strong. It might warm up soon! Great weather today I got out too.

  2. Seriously cool with all that ice on the rocks!

  3. Good for you Lee getting out. Been windy lately so you have to take the opportunity when it arrive.

    Tony :-)

  4. Yes Mia, seriously cool is right. I felt warm though. My new padding mitts made a big difference as my old mitts had holes in them.

    Tony :-)

  5. Looks cold but once I got going it was quite pleasant. We're still in the grips of winter. If anything its gotten colder. Tomorrow -16C and -26 with the windchill. Spring is around the corner though if only on the calendar.

    Tony :-)