Sunday, November 30, 2014

Escape from St. Philips

For almost two months we've been stuck paddling in St. Philips due to weather.  Its not ideal but it was time spent in the kayaks.  It was a choice of pounding into the wind and returning surf rides or it the wind wasn't howling it was a series of shorter paddles in confused seas.  Today Dean and I finally escaped from St. Philips to paddle on the Southern Shore putting in at Tors Cove.

Friday overnight we had 15 cms snow.  Its been cold so the snow is still on the ground and trees.  It was -6C when we arrived at the put-in.

Its been gnarly paddling in St. Philips in the wind.  Today there was no perceptible wind when we got going on the way to LaManche.  Both Dean and I decided to take it easy.  Even in the cold a bit of work would mean sweating so we handrailed along the shore at a slow pace of 5 kms/hr.

The trees on the hills all along the route from Tors Cove were covered or peppered by Friday's snowfall.

On our port side lay the islands of the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve.  There wasn't a cloud in the sky.  I had to squint a lot to see where I was going.

Dean and I explored every nook and cranny.

As we cleared Bauline Head there was a bit of swell to add a bit of interest.

The rocks along here are grey to black slates of the St John's Formation.  They are supposed to be grey to black but the brilliant sunshine seemed to bring out a hint of purple.

9.5 kms from Tors Cove we arrived at LaManche with its suspension bridge.  The bridge was constructed by the East Coast Trail Association and is part of, you guessed it, the East Coast Trail.

Dean checks out the water fall at the head of the harbour of the former community before we ...

... took out in a kelp bed at the edge of the sloping rocks.  There is absolutely no beach at LaManche but the kelp bed makes it an easy take-out nonetheless.

Once we had the kayaks hauled out safely on the rocks we had a little walkabout the resettled community.  Concrete foundations and stone retaining walls were scattered on the hillside looking out over the protected cove.

As we ate lunch clouds began to encroach from the south, a harbinger of winds that were forecasted for the afternoon.  We did not hurry lunch but it doesn't take long for the cold to seep into our bones so we also did not tarry.

Our next destination was Great Island in the Reserve.

Here's a link to Dean's take on the day.


  1. Thanks! I posted some other shots of the return trip today. Its cooling down but paddling goes on, as I see also with you.

    Tony :-)