Thursday, April 28, 2016

Are you kidding me?

As I looked out my back window Wednesday morning with the falling snow coming to and end, I wondered about our evening practice in St. Philips.  We had 13 cms of snow on the ground and in fact had more snow in April than we had all winter.

Luckily the sun came out around noon and the air warmed to 8C.  It looked like the evening practice would be on anyway.

When we arrived at St. Philips there was no evidence of snow on the ground.  There's usually less snow at sea level anyway but if there was any it had melted during the day.

Maybe the earlier weather affected the turnout; there were only five of us.  It was calm so we just went for a paddle to Portugal Cove mostly doing a bit of rock hopping.

Shane in his new Karma RG.

Gary entering Sailing Point.

Terry emerges after waiting for the water to settle.

At 8:00 the sun sank behind Bell Island and we were back at St. Philips.

We had a lovely evening but I am left to ask, when will spring arrive?

P. S.

Subsequent to posting these few pix, Shane who had a camera going on his RG, uploaded a video of some of the action.  Some nice action and great music to accompany.  Here's the link.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Kellys Island - finishing up

Having circumnavigated Kellys Island we set off for Little Bell Island three kms away where we decided we would stop for lunch.

Thirty minutes later we were alongside the yellow lichen covered rocks of Little Bell Island and ...

... taking out for a well deserved lunch.

I picked up Fred Flintstone's smartphone but found it didn't take very good pictures of the mainland in the distance.

Another crossing of 3.5 kms into a strengthening wind we arrived at the mouth of Manuals River and a further 3 kms along the shore of glacial till we were back at Long Pond to take out.

Thanks to Cathy, Clyde, Dean, Gary and Hazen for sharing the day and the coffee and chat after.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Kellys Island - transition to mountaineering

Almost around Kellys Island we stopped on Easton's Beach to have a look around.  The hill above the beach is 50 meter high and still had a bit of snow on it from the previous Wednesday's snow storm.  We managed to find the fixed ropes the sherpas *lol* had fixed for our ascent.  We didn't have ascenders (tongue in cheek) for the rope so we ascended hand over hand until ...

... we were on the plateau to the summit.

From above our kayaks on the beach looked like ants had paddled them here.

We had a fine view.

A mountain is not climbed successfully unless you get down.  You can't make this stuff up!

Back in our kayaks we continued along the sharply defined sedimentary rocks of the Bell Island Group.  At this point Cathy asked about the obvious difference in the colour of the rocks.  I thought they (the lighter grey) were turbidites, sediments that were unconsolidated on the continental shelf before being sent by an earthquake into the abysmal depths in a turbidity current to settle out of the muddy cloud.  The darker shales possibly were deposited between episodes.

Then I recalled the Bell Island Group rocks on Bell Island contain worm castings and trilobite tracks which only form in shallower waters.  In any case, the darker shales indicate deposition in deeper waters.  One thing we do know is that these rocks formed between 488 and 444 million years ago when this was still part of super continent of Gondwana (today's Africa, South America, Antarctica, Australia, and the peninsula of India) and was appended to Laurentia (North America) about 425 million years ago.

Soon we were near where we reached landfall on the island.  From there we decided to paddle to Little Bell Island where we would have lunch before heading back to Long Pond.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Return to Kellys Isand

Almost all traces of Wednesday's snow storm had disappeared when we arrived at Long Pond for a paddle out to Kellys Island in Conception Bay.  There were some patches of snow but it seemed the low laying areas at sea level escaped most of the accumulation.  In any case, Sunday morning was a beautiful day for a paddle and Wednesday was long forgotten.

Under blue skies and on blue water we paddled out to the exit of Long Pond harbour ...

... to begin the three km crossing to Kellys Island.

The water was oily calm for the crossing as the land faded away on all sides.

Thirty minutes later we were at the island.

Dean asked Cathy to pick a direction for the paddle around.  We went counterclockwise and were soon ...

... under the massive cliffs of Ordovician age sediments.

Kelly Island is not a big island being only 2 km long but hugging the shoreline through Martins Cove and Big Cove ran the distance up to 4 kms.  At Martins Cove we again said we should come here for a one night camp trip.  Maybe it will happen this year.

The north side of the island was cast in shadows and now around the tip and on the south side we revelled in the brilliant and warm sunshine.

There's something fascinating about rocks.  They are the open textbook of the history of the Earth.  Here darker shales cap thick beds of sandstone telling us something about the environment in which the sediments were deposited.  Cathy would also note the contrasting rocks.

It was such a beautiful day and we were in no hurry so we got out for a stretch on this cobble, fibreglass unfriendly beach and went "mountain" climbing to catch a bird's eye view of the bay all around us.

Friday, April 22, 2016

A wintery blast

If this looks like I'm posting pictures I took months go you'd be what I'd call, wrong.

Wednesday, April 20, winter returned with a vengeance.  Wind gusts approaching 90 kms drove 50 cms of snow horizontal to the ground.  Thursday it was time to clean up.  Two hours of shoveling cleared the driveway.  The kayak mobile was set free so I decided I'd go for a final "winter" paddle.

The buoys in the harbour wore their snowy caps.

Bell Island sparked like a diamond with its coat of snow across the 5 kms of open water.

The snow on the shore reflected on the calm water as I made my way out of the cove.

My most favourite passage to paddle through.

Further along the swell seemed to pick up.  It didn't deter me from taking the inside route and ...

 ... nibbling at the edges of the soup as I entered ...

... Portugal Cove.  Not the type of scene that appeals in the middle of April but it is what it is.

I stopped on a beach in the cove before I returned to finish the day ...

... washing the salt out of my gear in the fresh water running into St. Philips boat basin.

Some of us paddled all winter.  We accepted it was winter and dealt with it.  Now its supposed to be getting warmer and we are in anticipation.  Wednesday's blizzard was a surprise and shock but its not going to get the best of me.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Cupid draws her bow ... (Part3)

We reached the entrance to Brigus on our paddle from Colliers to the community of Cupids.  Inside South Point we were surprised by a bit of swell that surged over the rocks which offered an opportunity to test fate.

It was decided to have a short stop and stretch our legs before paddling into Brigus itself.

Hazen in the inner harbour.

Older sheds lined the inner harbour while ...

... some newer "sheds" crowded the shore with a view out Brigus Bay.

The wind started to pick up as we left Brigus behind and were soon out to North Point and the lighthouse benefiting from mini-surf rides.

The shoreline continued to impress as we paddled inside "The Wigwam" seastack.

Just around Burnt Point we padded into what looked like a dead end canyon which in fact was ...

... another stone arch open to the sky and sunshine above.

From the arch we had a short 3.5 km paddle into Cupids.  Cupids, originally called Cuper's Cove, was settled by Englishman John Guy in 1610 making it the oldest settlement in Canada and the second oldest in North America after Jamestown in 1607.  Here's a link to the Cupids Legacy Center where there is more info to check out.

But we weren't there yet and we had a bit of work to do paddling southwest into a 15 knot wind.  Dean and I arrived at the take-out first and I began to feel guilty.  Dean had thrown down the gauntlet and I took up the challenge keeping up with him but as I looked northeast from the beach I saw our paddle partners some distance away, I thought to myself I should have stayed with the pack.

Nevertheless, it was a fantastic paddle of 25 kms with some interesting features and shoreline.  As sure as Cupid let her arrow fly, it found its target in seven paddlers Sunday on way to the community of Cupids.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Cupid draws her bow ... (Part2)

After a lunch stop in Turks Gut on our way to the community of Cupids we passed through this sea arch and ...

... around this seastack.

The day that started out overcast turned mostly sunny turning black volcanic rocks purplish in the bright sunshine.

We approached another seastack and in the calm conditions paddled through the passage and into ...

... Woody Island Cove with its dramatic red and grey beds dipping to the east.  There ensued a short geology lesson.

Brian, Dean and I paddled past another stack that wasn't obvious until we had paddled past it.  I looked back to see it was wide enough and with just a foot of swell there was also enough water to carry a kayak through.  We went back and forth a couple of times while the rest paddled on unconcerned that we were no longer behind them.

Further along as we played catch up we were in another un-named cove with the dramatic red and grey rocks.  Something big obviously happened here as grey and red sediments were jumbled together, the grey sediments passing through the bedding planes of the red.

Just over an hour after leaving Turks Gut we rounded South Point and entered Great Cove in Brigus Bay.