Tuesday, September 24, 2019

A bit of everything in Bay Bulls

The forecast for today was winds from the north at 20 kms, gusting to 40.  I suggested a paddle in Bay Bulls.  A paddle along the north side of the harbour would moderate the affects of the wind.  Jenn and I met shortly before 10:00 in Bay Bulls with not a breath of wind apparent.  So we set off along the south side knowing that should the predicted wind materialize we'd just cross over to the north side.

Exploring the world from the bottom of a cave.  First I had a turn, then Jenn and then further on ...

... another.

Investigating this rock to paddle around but ...

... not this one, another one.

As we paddled east along the south shore we reached and went around Big Cove Point and the open ocean all the way to Ireland.  From the put-in we had paddled east, first past black slates of the St. John's Formation and then the greenish grey sandstones and, here, the red sandstones of the Signal Hill Formation.

A whispy waterfall fell from above where both Jenn and I grabbed a shower.

The wind waves began to grow as the wind began to pick up.  But, we had come this far and I wanted to show Jenn some of the Baboul Rocks so we paddled south among them and sheltering behind one to have a quick snack.

The forecasted north wind was more NE as we left Babou Rocks.  We set out for the north shore of the harbour into a stiff wind and breaking waves.  We paddled side by side across the 2 km open mouth of the harbour with occasional waves breaking over the kayaks and plastering us with salt water.

The trick is not to look at the destination but merely just paddle and eventually ...

... there's an assurance calmer waters will be reached.  Water drops on the camera lens testify to salty spray.

We paddle around Useless Bay, past Bread and Cheese Point and 4.5 kms later we were back at the take-out.

It was a bit of everything - caves, rocks, open ocean paddling and calm inner harbour waters.  I knew Jenn was a good paddler as I was so told.  Today she proved it; huge respect!

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Making a new friend

Some years ago friend Eleanor from Nova Scotia visited our province and we shared a paddle with her in Cape Broyle.  Recently Eleanor contacted me to say a friend of  hers would be in the province for six weeks.  Today Cathy, Gary and I met Jenn for an introductory paddle.

As I didn't know her I thought we should be flexible for our first paddle as to distance.  We had two targets in mind.  Reaching Portugal Cove we could decide whether to extend the paddle further up the coast or turn around there.

Gary approaching Portugal Cove where we ...

... can paddle through Two Tower Passage between the vertical cliffs and ...

... an offshore outcrop that provides protection from breaking waves.

Satisfied everyone was doing fine we decided on paddling a little farther.

We explored this cleft and cave and were content to make this our turnaround point.

Returning to Portugal Cove we got out to stretch our legs on this beach and also decided to clean up and remove various bits and pieces of plastic flotsam.

After getting out of our paddling gear the four of us stopped for a choice of coffee or tea and a nibble of fries etc in the warm sunshine.  We chatted for some time and left having made a new friend.  I'm certain we'll have more opportunities to show Jenn some of the other kayaking hot spots on the Avalon Peninsula of our province.  That's the kayaking community for ya wherever ya go!

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Beating Dorian to the punch

Those reading from North America will be very familiar with Hurricane Dorian that decimated the Bahamas earlier this week.  It lashed the east coast of the US as it made its way north and was due to arrive in Newfoundland on Sunday.  A club paddle out of St. Philips was squeezed in on Saturday before it arrived.

Eleven paddlers showed up to enjoy a sunny and calm day on the water.

It was a short paddle of 10 kms to Portugal Cove along a shoreline in shadow with the sun to the est.

While it is a short paddle there are numerous rocks that can be paddled around that add to the entertainment value.

I lurked behind rocks to catch different members of the group as they passed by.

Its a paddle for me but its also about keeping my eyes open for photo ops.  Sometimes the other senses lose out during a paddle or a hike when the emphasis is on sight of picturesque scenes but attention to smell and touch is also important.  The sea has its own unique smells and the feel of water temperature on the hands adds to the experience.

Cathy joins me among these rocks.

At Beachy Cove the gang stopped to enjoy the sun's rays in front of the contorted rocks mangled by the heat generated by the Topsail Fault which defines the shoreline here.

An hour later after a relaxed paddle from St. Philips we came to Portugal Cove where we took out on a small beach to break up the paddle before the return to St. Philips.

Dorian arrived on Sunday but we had beaten its arrival with another super day on the water.