Monday, July 24, 2017

Isle Valen: Journey complete

Wednesday I landed a Browns Cove on Bar Haven Island.  As I set about making supper it began to drizzle lightly.  It eventually stopped and I had my campfire.  During the night I was awaken by rain beating on the tent.  Oh well, I thought, I'm 17 kms from completing the trip and rain wasn't going to put a damper on it.

Morning came and I must have paid my dues because I woke to sunshine.

The tent was in shadow but south of the cove the sun was making its mark.

I was only 17 kms from the take out and I had only one stop to make on the way.  I had lots of time to have a leisurely breakfast and take my time breaking camp.  I put-in and left the cove heading back to the mainland on the Burin Peninsula.

I was back at LaPlante Cove where I stopped for lunch four days earlier on my way south to Isle Valen.  This time I didn't stop but paddled inside of a small island claimed by a cabin owner.

To starboard the tip of Bar Haven Island was left behind and Little Woody Island floated on the horizon.

As I made my way north I kept an eye on the map to make sure I identified Soldiers Cove.  Here it was, not much of a cove but people made an attempt to settle here in 1911.  It was a small "community" as the census for 1921 listed 18 individuals in 3 families.  I didn't see much room for expansion and maybe it wasn't such a good idea in the first place as the cove was abandoned in 1945.

And so I arrived at Rattling Brook Falls.  I was stopping here for a dip, for, if you only checked this out from the seat of your kayak you missed the best part.

In 2009 I was here with Allison, Peter and Stan.  I was newish but Allison and Peter knew about the swimming hole above the falls.  Then I didn't have swim gear so I had a dip in my drysuit.  This time I came prepared with swim trunks.  I got out of my paddling gear, put on my trunks and light footwear and walked up around to ..

... what is a natural infinity pool.

I had a sweet swim and a most enjoyable treat on the last day of my solo expedition to Isle Valen.

I was sped along the last four kms by a tail wind that created small surfable waves.  The end of the trip was close at hand at the north end of Sound Island.  I turned around the point and made for ...

... Garden Cove.

Like all good things, they have to come to an end.  I had four super days with a bit of everything.

Its not recommended to paddle alone.  IMHO, its not recommended for unexperienced paddlers to paddle alone.  I've paid my dues with practice in all kinds of conditions.  I had two short solo trips last year.  This year it was building on what I learned, not only about solo tripping but also about myself.  I was alone but never lonely.

I checked the weather forecast each day the previous week.  It was clear a stable air mass had moved in.  I planned a four day trip but I had supplies for more days.  There's always some risk involved in every undertaking.  The key is to minimize the risk through good judgement, skill development, reliable back-up plans and all the recommended safety gear.

Its up to the individual to assess the risk - reward equation.  When the rewards outweigh the risk its time to take the leap.

I'm glad I did with this trip!!!

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