Sunday, December 14, 2014

Tracking down diamictites of the Gaskiers Formation

Saturday, December 13th found us in Florida.  No, not really!  But it was 11C when we arrived at the home of the Holyrood Yacht Club.  An unreal temperature for this time of year.

Dean, Neville, Terry and I put-in under overcast skies at the slipway of the marina with millions of dollars stored out of the water for the winter.  Their hulls won't feel water until near the end of May next year.

As we made our way into North Arm two kilometers away the combination of the warm air and the cold saltwater created a foggy haze.  It started to rain heavily.  We were unmoved and undeterred.

When we paddled north out of North Arm and out of the protection provided by Joys Point the SE breeze cleared the air.  At the 250 foot high Blow Me Down Bluff the dark volcanic rocks of the Harbour Main Group loomed overhead but ...

... as we entered Red Rock Cove we found the red, hematite stained Cambrian age sediments faulted as a block against the volcanics.

This was where a GoPro would have been an advantage.  It was still in this picture but within minutes a rogue water entered the cove and rose in the shallows threatening to envelop Neville and myself.  We saw it coming, pointed our bows towards it and paddled hard.  I cleared the crest ahead of Neville and looking over my shoulder Neville was totally airborne.  Alas, no picture.

In Harbour it again got hazy.  Neville and Terry check out a waterfall.

We decided on having lunch on the beach by a church on the west side of Harbour Main but not before having a look at this outcrop of diamictite at water level.  A diamictite is a term most often applied to poorly sorted glacial sediments.  Here, stones of various sizes can be seen as they were dropped by melting of the base of the glacier floating on water at its terminus.

These diamictites are part of the Gaskiers Formation dated between 580 - 582 million years ago and thought to be evidence of a world wide glaciation termed "Snowball Earth".

I like to tell the guys about this stuff!

Things brightened up as we ate lunch at Harbour Main.  We felt the heat of the sun on our backs as did the cold seawater causing a fine mist to form.

After lunch we headed up towards Salmon Cove Point stopping in this cave to explore.  There's an opening at the end but rarely passable.  Today it was almost but conditions were just not right.  A gentle swell at highest tide may allow passage.

So, we arrived at Salmon Cove Point hoping to paddle through the cleft.  It didn't look good as water surged through.  The largest swells piled water a minimum of three meters in the middle of the slot then ...

... ebbed some ...

... and some more exposing land on the other side of Gasters Bay until ...

... sucking out leaving a hole and exposed rocks.

But, timing is everything.  Checking the wave action at the Point and being patient allowed Terry and myself to get through unscathed.  Waves not crashing on the Point opened a window of opportunity.

We left Salmon Cove Point to paddle back to Holyrood.  The sun came out and the slight wind we had earlier stiffened making it a bit of  slog.

The only thing we didn't have from the four seasons was snow.  That is unusual as normally a blanket of snow would be blanketing everything.  That will come soon enough but Saturday was a bonus.  As is everyday!

Here are the bredcrumbs:

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