Saturday, December 30, 2017

Top 10 paddles of 2017 - #2

The sea usually freezes along the north an northeast coast of Newfoundland and the shores of Labrador.  In spring the ice breaks up and drifts south.  That's when I start to keep an eye on the ice forecast hoping it drifts down and into the bays nearby.

On April 9th I finally recovered enough from a bout of shingles to go for a paddle.  I was motivated because the ice came in.  Its awesome paddling through channels in the ice using close boat control.

There's also a chance to run the kayak up on the low laying pans of ice in the middle of the bay to stretch the legs.

It was a super day but I had a similar, better day two days later with ...

... Brian and Sue.  We met at St. Philips and headed south through patchy ice.

The water was open along the shore.

Eventually the ice blocked our progress.  We sat and watched this chunk of ice drift north at a good pace.  We decided to return.

The rest of the ice was also moving and ...

... closing in around us until ...

... we were completely barred from returning to the take-out.

I was in a narrow opening between two large pans of ice that were rapidly converging and threatening to crush my kayak.  Thinking quickly I put both hands on the pans as they got within reach and pushed up lifting me above the merging ice pans.  I had narrowly escaped a serious incident.  Above photo by Brian capturing the moment.

Once safely on top of the ice pan I grabbed the toggle of Sue's kayak and pulled her onto the pan and then Brian.  We walked our kayaks across the pan and launched on the other side into open water and paddled without further incident to the take-out.

These ice pans don't always drift into out area but when they do its such awesome paddling.  I had an earlier, spectacular day by myself but the day with Brian and Sue took the cake.  It was calm, clear sunny weather with the promise of spring in the air.  It was 100% pure fun and #2 on my list this year.

Here's a link to the original post with more, mostly different pix from that day.

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