Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A small tale in the vacininty of the Kyle

On Saturday past a group of nine of us drove the 50 minutes from St John's to Harbour Grace to paddle along a new coast for us.  We put in near the former coastal boat the Kyle.

The Kyle was a coastal boat supplying isolated communities around Newfoundland's coast with the necessities of life.  She was built in Scotland in 1913 and went through many maschinations before she was washed up in Riverhead, Harbour Grace, in a gale in 1967.

She is the subject of a well known poem by Ted Russell called "The Smokeroom on the Kyle" wherein many  tall tale is told.  We paddled around her but we only had a small tale to tell.

The community of Harbour Grace stretches out along both sides of the harbour.  The houses thin out along the south side so we chose that side to paddle out.

The harbour is some 8 kms deep.  After a leisurely paddle on calm waters we arrived at the exit, at Feather Point.

A later than usual put-in meant lunch time arrived early.  Dean was decisive in making the first suggestion to stop for lunch but was more motivated by a need to fix the backband on his seat.

After a lunch stop in the sun we left to cross a short distance to the Hrabour Grace Islands ...

... only a kilometer away.

Dean at the islands.

There was a little wind but the long fetch and swell made for a bit of action between and around the isands.

Leaving the Harbour Grace Islands we made a slightly longer crossing of three kilometers to Carbonear Island.  The wind seemed to increase as forecasted which made the paddle in beam seas an enjoyable ride.

The English and French contested possession of Newfoundland throughout the 17th century.  In 1696 Frenchman Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville raided settlements in Conception Bay, among them Carbonear.  The English settlers of Carbonear took refuge on Carbonear Island and though the settlement was burned to the ground the settlers managed to hold off the French force and avoid capture.

Enroute from Carbonear Island to Freshwater the wind really picked up making the 2.5 km crossing a wet ride and a bit of work.  The crew got strung out across the wind swept sea as Dean, Clyde and I looked back towards the island from our ...

... landfall in Freshwater's wind protected cove.

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