Friday, November 11, 2016

14.3 Squared

Today was Friday, Remembrance Day, 2016.  On a grey cloudy day Cathy, Gary and I arrived at Tors Cove to paddle to the abandoned community of La Manche.  It was supposed to be windy but it wasn't when we arrived so ... on with the plan.

We put in and headed south inside the islands of the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve.  The Reserve is home to 10's of thousands of sea birds but they have already departed for the winter to live on the open sea.  Here, inside the islands we were protected from the open North Atlantic and I mean open.  Open all the way west to Ireland.  But, as we paddled south we lost the protection of the islands and ...

... it got lumpy.  Lumpy and confused with waves we had to climb over and ...

... down.

All along the shore where the sea ended, it ended in foam.  There were places it went 5 - 6 meters into the air but trying to catch that and stay upright proved to be hit and miss.  Actually, miss.

The water all along was a mass of peaks but we stuck with it and soon we were at Bauline Head and the entrance to La Manche Bay.  In the middle distance loomed Cape Neddick.

While we paddled south we were padding into the waves.  As we turned west into La Manche Bay we had it on the beam with occasional waves breaking over the deck.  No big deal and when we got further into the Bay and got protection from Cape Neddick the water flattened out as we cruised into La Manche with its scenic suspension bridge of the East Coast Trail.

As we paddled into the harbour we were greeted by two people on the bridge who shouted out that there were 7 or 8 seals by the falls where La Manche River runs out.  We went to look but the seals are elusive swimming under us and out into the harbour so we ...

... took out for lunch.  There's no beach at La Manche as can be seen from ...

... old photo dating to 1966.  We pulled out onto the seaweed covered rocks just about where the white house is in the center of the photo.  Back up on the hill where the dark grey house is located we ...

...sat on the old foundation to eat lunch.

Cathy brought a bag of twigs and grass *lol* ha ha clippings. to start a fire and warm us before we got going again.  There was no wood around to add so it was a pretty modest fire but we convinced ourselves we were warmed.

As we got in our kayaks to return to Tors Cove one of the seals was hauled out on a rock (bottom center).  We weren't going to get close so we went on.

The conditions for the run back had not changed except we then had the waves to push us back.  At Tors Cove I checked the GPS.  It read 14.3 kms.  Not a long paddle because we had to stay offshore but the conditions made it seem much longer; at least squared.

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