Sunday, November 19, 2017

Brocks by water

On July 9th Cathy, Gary and I hiked from Bauline to Portugal Cove to see Brocks Pond Falls from the top of the falls.  Friends Brian and Sue walked from Portugal Cove to meet up at the falls.  Saturday the same three of us left St. Philips to paddle to the falls to see it for the first time this year from sea level.  We thought Brian may join us but he didn't show so we went on.

It was an overcast day with a hanging fog ...

... which usually means no wind.  It was cool but comfortable for so late into November.

Passing through and into Portugal Cove where we ...

... waited to let the ferry from Bell Island cross rather than take a chance of getting caught mid-channel.

The fog hanging over the land also hung over Bell Island to port as we crossed the harbour of Portual Cove.

The shore towards Brocks Pond Falls is dominated by high hills and the Topsail Fault which mangled the rocks as the two land masses ground past each other.

We reached the 100 meter high falls with a much diminished water flow than we've seen it in the past.  Still, we were happy to tick it off of the to--do list for the year.

We didn't stay long and lo and behold as we paddled south we spotted a kayak coming toward us and who should it be but ...

... Brian and Sue in their double.  In July, as I said, when we did the hike Cathy, Gary and I started the hike in Bauline and hiked south.  Brian and Sue started in Portugal Cove and hiked north planning to meet at the falls.  In an unexpected coincidence we more or less did the same thing by water.

Back at St Philips an invite to have coffee or tea and sweets at Brian and Sue's was gratefully accepted.  It was a fine way to put the cherry on top of another great day on the water.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Return of an old friend

The weather hasn't been great the last little while so the paddling has been sporadic at best.  Monday the weather cooperated with cool temperatures but no wind to speak of.  The call went out with six replies from Brian, Cathy, Dean, Gary, Hazen and Shane.  We met at Bay Bulls.

I was happy to have calm conditions for the paddle; I wasn't looking for a workout.  The conditions also suited Dean who banged up his shoulder earlier this year when he got windowshaded and dragged upside down across a cobble beach.  Dean hasn't paddled much since but this day fit the bill.

A drill ship had been moored at the mouth of Bay Bulls for some time.  We've seen this before when West Hercules was here so I thought it was her again.

We, here Cathy, made our way east along the north shore of Bay Bulls.

Dean looks like his shoulder is doing just fine.

The north side of Bay Bulls offers a couple of places to paddle around sea stacks.  They are not places to get caught in with a big swell running but on this day ...

... it was a piece of cake.  Bran was the first to disappear and emerge out the other side.

Under clear blue skies and brilliant sunshine.

The second opportunity to check out the space behind the sea stacks towering above our heads.


As we reached North Head at the entrance to Bay Bulls I asked if we'd paddle a short distance north up the coast to Freshwater Cove.  So, that's what we did.  Here Hazen paddles under the North Head lighthouse.

Its rained a lot lately supplying this waterfall pouring into Freshwater Cove.

We hung out in the cove for a while and then exited to return to Bay Bulls where we ...

... paddled on the rig's blind side to get close.  As I approached I made out the rigs name - West Aquarius!  It was a reunion of sorts for me.  On January 14th of 2013 I paid it a visit while it was in Conception Bay.  At that time I approached it from the control room side and as I closed on it I was warned off of coming too close.  It was hard to believe it was almost five years ago.

On the west side we were in shade as the low sun hid behind the hills.  It was an uneventful relaxing paddle back to the take out, capped off with a coffee and a few laughs.  It was great to be back on the water with these familiar faces.