Sunday, July 26, 2015

Second time around the Bell in two weeks

The plan as I left home this morning was to paddle to Bauline from St. Philips and back for a total of 30 kms.  As I drove to the put-in I thought I'd suggest to Dean that we paddle around Bell Island for 35.  I had one the circumnavigation solo two weeks ago but was game to do it with Dean for his first time this year.

He said yes and we struck out across the Bell Island Tickle to Bell Island 5 kms away.

Dean loves crossings *lol*, not, so he put his head down and paddled hard to get across.  A minute and a half later I also arrived at Dominion Pier from where we headed southerly to begin our rounding

The thing that makes Bell Island such an appealing paddling destination are the massive, tall cliffs.  Here we're reaching Chimney Rock near the south end.

At Front Bell Cove we were nearly at the southern extremity of the island where we found "The Clapper".  It looks like its attached to the island from this perspective but it is a seastack which symbolically rings the ...

... "Bell" on the left.  It too is a seastack separated from the island by a channel of some 40 meters wide.  As I entered I could feel the swell running down the west side and heaving up in the shallow passage.  Committed, a wave broke right in front of my bow.  I paddled hard to get over the surging water and then paddled back otherwise I'd have been clocked by the next breaking wave.  Picking my spot I paddled safely through.

Where we had calm conditions on the easterly side paddling south, when we arrived on the westerly side the swell was running from the north directly in front of us.  The rebounding waves made for chaotic conditions.

The cliffs run northerly for 10 kms, the only interesting feature being this seastack with bands of oolitic hematite.

The swell forced us to keep off a bit making it seem like a long paddle as the cliffs marched unendingly into the distance but ...

... paddle stroke by paddle stroke we arrived at Eastern Head and near to the turn back southerly.

Four hours straight in the kayaks we were ready to stretch our legs and grab something to eat.  Long Harry Cove looked a good option.

A short lunch break saw us back on the water with 10 kms left to cover for our circumnavigation.  We exited Long Harry Cove with the distinctive Long Harry Point on the southerly side of the cove.

Great looking cliffs and rock formations and calmer water made the return to Dominion Pier a pleasure.  From there we crossed the 5 kms Tickle back to St. Philips, both of us agreeing to make the crossing at a relaxed comfortable pace.

Two weeks ago on my solo circumnavigation I paddled counterclockwise.  Today we went clockwise.  It made the scenery look different so it made a familiar area interesting anyway.

Six hours later we were back.  Coffee and a bite to eat at the restaurant topped off an excellent day.  Always fun to paddle with Dean who is always ready to paddle because he is a kayakoholic.

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