Saturday, April 13, 2019

The best-laid plans of mice and men did go awry

Brian, Clyde, Dean, Sue and I met at the Irving gas station on the Trans Canada Highway at 9:00 to begin our ride to Avondale to begin our paddle.  Dean remarked he wasn't sure if he still knew how to paddle as its been a while.  The next thing he said was he was sure he didn't know ... he had left his drysuit at home!  As Clyde rode with Dean they left to pick it up and paddle closer to home.

Three kayaks remained and Brian, Sue and I put into the cove that was skimmed over with 2 - 3 mm thick ice

Crunching through the ice we were in calm water and making our way along ...

... the shore towards Salmon Cove Point.

Six kilometers later we were at Salmon Cove Point where the calm of the inner harbour turned choppy and swell crashing on the point.

We rounded the point, left Gasters Bay and checked the sea surging through the slot at the point from the other side.  It was a no go zone today.

We carried on into Harbour Main under imposing sedimentary rocks of the Conception Group where we ...

... stopped for a break at the local swimming hole before retracing our way to Salmon Cove Point.  Around the point and facing southwest we were met by a 20 km/hr breeze all 6 kilometers back to the take out in Avondale.

Dean and Clyde did paddle at St. Philips while Brian, Sue and I also had a great day on the water.

Monday, April 1, 2019

First paddle of spring

A week into spring and we had our first paddle.  It was warm, 10 C, but the vestiges of winter clung on along the shore.  I joined Brian, Cathy, Gary and Sue for a ease back paddle to Topsail Beach.

Brian said he had not paddled since last November.  None of us have paddled much this winter as the appeal of winter paddling seems to have worn off.  I've only had two winter paddles this year whereas several years ago Dean and myself paddle pretty much every weekend.

Cathy paddling around the Rock of Ages.

We were off to Topsail Beach and the return would net us 13 kms.  That was a comfortable paddle to get us going for the rest of the year.

The water was still cold but the air was spring like.  Usually this time of year I'm still wearing my neoprene mitts as protection from the cold.  On this day they weren't needed as the sun kept my black paddle shaft nice and warm.

The closer we got to Topsail Beach the breeze increased slightly as we picked our way around and through the rocks and ...

... checked icefalls along the way.

Hoards of people were at Topsail Beach also taking advantage of the weather.  We landed but on the other side of the stream running out of the pond behind the beach so we had that part to ourselves.  Nestled behind a cobble bank shielding us from the slight breeze some of us snacked before making the return journey and completing our first spring paddle.