Saturday, March 17, 2018

Four times is a charm

Its been meager pickings this winter to find days to paddle.  Today was only the fourth day I've been on the water this calendar year.  Pitiful really but ...

... I've found other things to do when the weather doesn't cooperate for kayaking (photo credit Brian).  But I digress, back to ...

... paddling.  Today I was lucky to be in the company of Cathy and ...

... Brian, who has also succumbed to the fatbike addiction.  Brian said so far this winter he's paddled once in January, February and now March.  I'm not alone!

Massive icicles just four weeks ago have had their feet nibbled by ocean waves.

Dave hasn't paddled since last September but happy to get out today.

Clyde and Brian paddle by Harald Bluetooth.

And, the fifth (excluding the guy behind the camera) of the group today - Gary.  That made  group of six of us, all of whom also own fatbikes!!! 

So, it was a short paddle of 13.5 kms as we try to get back in paddle shape.  In four days it will be spring and hopefully better paddle weather and regular weekly paddles.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Mother Nature, you're an eight

Mother Nature you're an eight, you'd be a ten if you were warmer.

This past Tuesday evening I went to the pool where it was nice and tropical.  Today, it was the opposite.  It was cold, snowy and blowing a bit.  As I prepared to put in I tried to put my two piece paddle together but it wouldn't lock.  The water from the pool night had frozen in the paddle preventing it from setting properly.  I blew warm breath into it trying to free it up to no effect.  Shane jokingly said "Pee into it, urinate into the paddle!".  Well, that worked.  Ah, I reasoned, it would be no less salty than the water I was going to paddle on.

Shane behind the Rock of Ages.

Dean and Terry getting round the Rock of Ages.

There's not much snow on the ground but its still winter by the look of things along the shore.

It was blowing a bit dropping the temperature to manageable but noticeable.  Every once in a while we stopped behind rocks to escape the wind and ...

... here again where massive icicles draped over the rocks.

We carried on for a bit burning up an hour before returning to grab a coffee and have a chat.

Every now and then something happens to make a paddle memorable.  Several years ago it took Dean and myself to get my spray deck on because it was so cold it froze solid.  This paddle will likely be remembered for the call of nature that came to the rescue.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Arrr, no pirates

This morning, Thursday, I got mail from Dean wondering if some of us were interested in  paddle.  It was going to be a beautify day with low wind.  I suggested we meet at Long Pond for a paddle out to and around Kellys Island.  Brian was also interested so it was just the three of us.

We left the harbour and, paying no particular attention to the rules of the road, we paddled on the left by the red bouy and started our 30 minute crossing to the island.

We arrived after a leisurely paddle across the bay.  Now, Kellys Island is reputed in folklore to be a place where the pirate Peter Easton buried his loot from piracy.   In fact, he established his headquarters on Kellys Island.  He's long gone since the early 1600's.

Making landfall we made an unspoken decision to paddle around the island counterclockwise.  Setting out we spied a seal on the beach sunning itself.  Usually they are very wary but this one ...

... let us take his picture.

Sunlight behind us lit up the cliffs of sedimentary rocks of Ordovician Age.

On the north side the high cliffs hid the sun cooling us down in the shade.  Icicles also hid from the sun.

Rocks leaned over threatening to topple into the water.

There is practically no snow on the ground locally.  That is most unusual and its been off and on cold, cold enough to keep ice from melting.

Back on the south side we were back in full sunshine heading east.

There are only three places to get off the water.  This is one place.  We got out and climbed to the top of the cliffs to ...

... look around and over the waters of Conception Bay.

Back on the water and under some impressive cliffs.

We returned to the point where we made landfall and set out for the return paddle to Long Pond.  It was smooth padding on calm seas without much effort.  Fourteen kms ended with a stop for coffee before heading home.

We didn't see any pirates.  I think they may of moved to the Caribbean for the winter where its warmer.

An awesome day in weeks of strong winds had to be taken advantage of, and, we did.  Thanks Brian and Dean.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Risen from the almost dead

Anyone following my blog may have thought I went into the afterlife.  I haven't paddled in just over seven weeks,  since December 16th.  I have a good excuse.  Its been very windy around here since.  I can recall only one day that I could have paddled but did not.  I should also confess that I've been seduced by the fatbiking craze!

Finally, today the wind lay down and it was sunny.  It was cool but not freezing cold.  I asked the retirees without success.  Brian and Clyde went fatbiking.

I couldn't pass up the opportunity so I went by myself.  The conditions made it an easy choice.  The only issue in going alone for me is - no one to take pictures of.  It was going to be ...

... landscape shots only.  You can't always get what you want.  Nevermind!  Here I paddled around the Rock of Ages and looked out before exiting.

It was cool, just 0C.  There is, for all intends and purposes, no snow on the ground.  Most unusual for February 7th.  In the shadows, protected from the glare of the sun, water run-off stays frozen to the cliffs.

At Topsail Beach there was only one small patch of snow, maybe even just ice, on top of Topsail Head.  I stopped for a break and snack but did not linger so as the cold couldn't penetrate my bones.

On return I paddled inside of "Harald Bluetooth".  Paddling south I had to squint into the sun but on the return north I had the sun behind me.

It was a slow relaxed paddle that felt like a long lost friend had been found.  I'm back in the game.  A couple of years ago Dean and I paddled almost every weekend over the winter.  Too late for that now but I certainly hope to be a bit more regular.

I am BACK!!!