Monday, August 31, 2015

The sun sets on a short padde

Dean send an invitation for a one night kayak camp trip.  We're going next week for a seven day, six night trip so I passed.  I had to pay for a week off with some chores at home.

The evening was so nice that I decided on an impromptu paddle down the well worn path to Topsail Beach.  The brilliant sunlight caught on the weathered rocks of the Topsail Fault.

I like paddling by myself at times but those trips don't yield many interesting pictures.  A kayak blog should have shots of kayakers in them but going solo makes that impossible.

I stopped at Topsail Beach for a short stretch with the sunlight glistening on the wet rounded beach cobbles.

Heading back I kept an eye on the setting sun which slowly sank into ...

... the low faraway clouds.

I get a real feel for the speed of the Earth's rotation watching the sun set.

While the sun had set in the west, its rays added a tinge of red to clouds hanging in the north.

As I paddled north I saw another kayaker coming south towards me.  It resulted in a bit of an adventure but more on that later.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Ending the fast

I did not paddle last weekend nor the Wednesday evening before that.  It almost felt like I was fasting.  There was no specific reason except that maybe I needed a rest from kayaking.  Wednesday evening though I was glad to get back on the water.  The weather was temperate and calm.  There were ten of us.

Wednesdays we like to meet and practice rescues etc but we've been cursed with calm weather most of the summer so far.  Some may question the use of the word cursed as calm weather may be prime paddling conditions.  So, in the calm seas we paddled down the shore to Topsail Beach.

Sean was also among the group for the first time I can remember.  Notice the sweet lines of his Black Pearl.

Single file please!

Almost down to Topsail Beach half of the group decided to turn back.  The evenings are getting shorter now but five of us figured we had time to get back before dark.  Besides, we'd have a ...

... beautiful sunset to glance at as we headed back.  The sunset was captivating as it ...

... settled further into the sea the further we paddled until it was only a ...

... small red ball.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Scenic entry into Salmon Cove

We had a short, wet 2.5 crossing to Freshwater from Carbonear Island in waves created by the 15 knot winds and long fetch.  Back near the coast in Clown Cove it was sheltered except if you ...

... paddled further offshore as Gary did for a while.

As we made progress up the coast towards Salmon Cove it got more scenic with seastacks and rugged cliffs.

Alvin under clear blue skies.

Around the corner this little cove was bathed in brilliant sunlight.

What can I say?  Just spectacular scenery leading into Salmon Cove.  Too bad the whole coastline doesn't look like this!

Brian and Sue emerge in their double kayak.

Arriving in Salmon Cove.  Salmon Cove has a beautiful sandy beach that we could see was almost standing room only as we neared the end of our paddle.  We paddled up the fresh water river that flows out of the lagoon behind the beach being careful to avoid bathers.

It was a day of a bit of everything, calm protected waters, waves over the deck, open windy crossings, islands and scenic shoreline.  It was my first time paddling this stretch.  Its takes a 50 minute drive and a car shuttle but was so worth it.

Here are the breadcrumbs:

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A small tale in the vacininty of the Kyle

On Saturday past a group of nine of us drove the 50 minutes from St John's to Harbour Grace to paddle along a new coast for us.  We put in near the former coastal boat the Kyle.

The Kyle was a coastal boat supplying isolated communities around Newfoundland's coast with the necessities of life.  She was built in Scotland in 1913 and went through many maschinations before she was washed up in Riverhead, Harbour Grace, in a gale in 1967.

She is the subject of a well known poem by Ted Russell called "The Smokeroom on the Kyle" wherein many  tall tale is told.  We paddled around her but we only had a small tale to tell.

The community of Harbour Grace stretches out along both sides of the harbour.  The houses thin out along the south side so we chose that side to paddle out.

The harbour is some 8 kms deep.  After a leisurely paddle on calm waters we arrived at the exit, at Feather Point.

A later than usual put-in meant lunch time arrived early.  Dean was decisive in making the first suggestion to stop for lunch but was more motivated by a need to fix the backband on his seat.

After a lunch stop in the sun we left to cross a short distance to the Hrabour Grace Islands ...

... only a kilometer away.

Dean at the islands.

There was a little wind but the long fetch and swell made for a bit of action between and around the isands.

Leaving the Harbour Grace Islands we made a slightly longer crossing of three kilometers to Carbonear Island.  The wind seemed to increase as forecasted which made the paddle in beam seas an enjoyable ride.

The English and French contested possession of Newfoundland throughout the 17th century.  In 1696 Frenchman Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville raided settlements in Conception Bay, among them Carbonear.  The English settlers of Carbonear took refuge on Carbonear Island and though the settlement was burned to the ground the settlers managed to hold off the French force and avoid capture.

Enroute from Carbonear Island to Freshwater the wind really picked up making the 2.5 km crossing a wet ride and a bit of work.  The crew got strung out across the wind swept sea as Dean, Clyde and I looked back towards the island from our ...

... landfall in Freshwater's wind protected cove.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Bonavista Bay - Finishing the trip

Sunday, the fourth day and final day of our trip in Bonavista Bay, we agreed on a 8:00 am departure time.  Breakfast was cooked, tents taken down and gear made ready to stow in our kayaks.

On the water at 8:10 we left Flat Island and made for the opening between Bessy Island and Shelf Island heading almost due south.  Winds were forecasted to be from the northeast at 25 kms so if they did materialize they would give us a good push to our destination.

A short 1 km crossing from Bessy Island had us at Willis Island.

Behind us the morning sun crept higher in the cloudy sky while ...

... in front of us lay Varket Channel, a 2.5 crossing from Willis Island to Morris Island interrupted half way by our target of the two hilled Varket Islet.

We had a short stop at Varket Islet to discuss the next objective.  It was decided to continue southwest to Morris Island which would keep the building waves to stern.  Dean, Terry and I however got approval to paddle more southerly in the beam seas and meet the rest at Morris Island.

It was 10:30 when we made Morris Island.  As it was early we had a time-out and stretch before making our final 3.5 km crossing for the day back to our vehicles at Burnside.

Paddling through a narrow channel west of Squid Island we ...

... caught sight of the houses of Burnside.

All good things have to come to an end and so it was with our four day exploration of the islands in Bonavista Bay.

We were lucky with the weather and with the company.  An excellent trip totaling 95 kms.

Here's the track for the return home on day four and ...

... here are the breadcrumbs for the entire four days.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Bonavista Bay - In and around the isands (2)

We continued exploring along the shore of Willis Island after eating lunch and then crossed over to Bessy Island where we paddled between it and Fuzz Island and back to Flat Island where we ...

... poked into every crevice and ...

... nook, however dark it was out of the sun's reach.

Eventually Piffin Island came into view.  We decided to paddle outside of it to see if there were puffins on it  Maybe at another time of year but not on the day.

 Some of us could not resist the temptation of challenging the surf at the north end of Fat Island.  Hazen's photo.

 Almost back at camp we paddle through this protected channel.

 As the evening progressed the water dropped and at low tide the rocks emerged in this channel that hours earlier I managed to get through but did have to knuckle walk the kayak in a few places.

Wood was scarce but we did manage to gather enough to have a fire which became ...

... the center of attention as darkness began to settle over ...

.. our second night on Flat Islands.