Saturday, April 18, 2015

Clyde's first retirement paddle

Today's (Saturday) paddle was late developing Friday.  By 8:30 pm nothing definitive had been arranged.  Afraid that there'd be no paddling I suggested a paddle from Middle Cove to Flatrock return.  I mailed Clyde, Dean, Hazen, Neville and Terry.

Everyone was in except Clyde who decided to pass on the paddle the day after his retirement, and Hazen.  When I arrived at Middle Cove I was pleased to see Clyde changed his mind and joined us.

There was no wind but a swell was running into the bay crashing into the cliffs at Middle Cove.  It was going to be a bumpy, open ocean paddle.  To put it into perspective, Greenland is the next land encountered north of where we were.

We headed for Torbay to the west.  Half way between Middle Cove and Torbay is an area called Motion.  It comes by its name justifiably.  Swell reared up as the bottom rose, piled up, curled and broke over the rocks.  We stayed outside of the break zone.  To be caught inside of it meant a side surf right up onto the rocks.

We turned the corner into the cove at Torbay.  Yes, it still looks like winter on the shade protected cliffs.

Further along in the cove we heard a woosh where the swell rushed into a hole at sea level and sent spray and water back.

The cliffs dominate the seascape between Torbay and Flatrock with no place to get off the water.

To port cliffs leap from the sea.  To starboard, the open ocean all the way from north on the compass to east.  Once the decision is made to leave Torbay one is committed.

Massive forces of nature are frozen in the rocks as the sedimentary beds curve up at water level and dip steeply upwards.  I think Clyde was happy he change his mind to join us!

Coming around the bend out of Church Cove the land stretched north with the end of the peninsula, and the entrance to Fatrock, in sight.

We reached "The Beemer" at the end of the peninsula at Red Rock Point.  The Beemer is a low shelf running north from the Point and with a bit of swell it is a sight to behold and stay well clear of too.  The larger waves in the set broke at about 2 meters.

We made it around to the other side and got surprised by waves approaching 2 meters with wave faces almost vertical.  We turned perpendicular to the waves and got out of there pronto.  Once back in calmer water I said to Dean it would have been great to get some pictures of that.  He said he hoped I had taken out my camera.  No, they'll only be etched in my memory.

A stop at the slipway in Flatrock and the return paddle to Middle Cove netted us 23 kms.  Felt more than that in the conditions.

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