Saturday, September 30, 2006

High and Dry....

Seems the weather and winds have me high and dry. I'm not out doing what I'm supposed to be doing. Tomorrow looks better. However...I just noticed on the detailed marine forecast, that they can not forecast for this coming week. Isaac is to cross over the Avalon Peninsula.

"Isaac is moving Northwest at 6 knots. Currently it is not clear whether Isaac Will merge with...And consequently further intensify...A low Pressure system which will strengthen off the eastern seaboard on Monday...Or whether it will remain as a separate feature..."

They ask mariners to continue to listen for updates. Yes, only tomorrow looks better ;-)

Thursday, September 28, 2006

First Real Hike

Took my ten year old niece for a hike the other day. Her first time around Signal Hill. It is only ten minutes from my home...and maybe an hour or so to hike. With her camera in hand, she poked, climbed and explored.....we were three hours. Oh' well, she was proud that she lasted more then the hour others thought she should try. How could one doubt her, the kid has so much energy. She took it all in...and had a lot of fun too. Cheers girl.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Refreshing Paddle.

Paddled in large stuff today. My kayak partner was game for a 'look see'. In the stiff 20-30km SW winds, with wind waves forming from the fetch from the west of Conception bay...we paddled on. Two things about this particular section of coast. One is that it can be shallow, forming higher, curling waves. The other, that it can have deeper cliff sections, leading to refracting and confused seas.

It was sunny and the water as warm as it ever gets here. What a blast. Riding the following sea and laughing in the rodeo style of kayaking. Finally, we had to turn back. The wind was staying stiff, so the sea was not getting any calmer. We had had a 45 minute ride, knowing it was to be at least an hour plus back into this stuff. Still smiling and now laughing, we pushed into it and jumped up over the crests and slide down into the troughs. My partner pushed her ability admirably. She finally got pushed over. A few good attempts at a roll in the rough stuff...but it was not to be. She pulled her skirt as I was arriving by her side. Cold? ", the neoprene is doing what it's suppose to, I'm fine". Fun? "...hell ya!"

With in a few minutes she was back in her boat, pumped out, and pumped to do more. We rode the waves some well as tacking to a beam sea and a quartering sea.

Once back on shore an hour or so later...she admitted that her arms were a bit sore, but she confessed that given the conditions, she knew she'd be dumped today. So she pushed it a bit anyway. "What's that they say?...that if I'm not getting wet, I'm not learning. I learned a lot, and it was fun...all good."

I only know two girls these days with this much vigor...I'm happy to say they are both good friends of mine, I respect them dearly, and I'm lucky to paddle with them both.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Tidal Race

There were three of us: Ian Fong(the eminent Newfoundland sea kayak instructor), myself, and a newer younger, three year veteran of the sport, by the name of John. We paddled Placentia Yesterday. The tides where higher than normal, and John being a local from the area(born and raised, as well being employed as a regional Paramedic)was dying to get out in it....albeit with company. As well as the fact that the tides were higher, we had a stiff onshore SW wind. As good a tidal race with standing/surfing waves as we'll ever see in these parts. By noon, we were playing in the narrow channel below the bridge. We later moved out into the bay as the ebb tide caused the reseeding current to peaked at about 2:30 that afternoon. Amazing...along that kilometer of water, we had thousands of square meters of wave action. It was a blast...I'm new to it, so I learned a lot. Sorry, no camera, no photos. We stripped every thing down(not even a spare paddle....but we each had tow rope on quick release belts)...just some drinking water and a paddle float on deck. I may have had pocketed a tiny digital camera in my PFD next to the mini flares, but I don't have one of those....yet. It was sunny and warm for this time of the year, but I wore the drysuit knowing full well I'd be getting wet today. Later in the afternoon once we were playing in the tidal race, I ended up pitched over several times in a row. I managed to take a breath in between each time, but eventually realized that pulling the spray skirt was wiser. I may need that bit of oxygen for the next activity. Swam for ten minutes or more, until I cleared the tidal race, into calmer water for a re-entry and roll. Fine work, but while I practice all rescues, I'll practice this one even more this winter in the I now believe it is my solo rescue of choice. Old're not learning unless you're getting wet. It was all a great experience.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Dry Wall...

Dry wall plastering has got to be the most distant activity from sea kayaking. But like kayaking, it HAS to be done. I was helping out the folks after two days of Cruise Ship duties. I finally managed to plaster their new(and much needed)downstairs bathroom. Once I finished in the late afternoon, I raced for the lake(ponds as they are called here) on my way home. What a space and fresh air, as I glided over the water. Then I realized it. I have had a good summer of kayaking on the open ocean, but as for just the simple pleasure of gliding on the ponds for the exercise and to relax...I actually missed this. It should be good until these ponds all freeze up by late December. But while I'll look to get out on the cold north Atlantic as often as the weather will allow, the lakes are another matter. Wind and foul weather has never stopped me from this fresh water activity. I will not take these pond excursions for granted. I'll remind myself that I'll miss it when it's frozen....and then I'll be dreaming of them over the long winter as I wait for them to open up again in May.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Work this morning saw me with the cruise ship 'Jewel of the Sea'. As a photographer, I was to guide a bus load of visitors on the most scenic outing I could think of. My aim; to show off our culture and spectacular coastline. At the end of the day, they were all still smiling.

This one is not only large, but is one of the most sophisticated cruise ships on the oceans today. With it's modern lines, she looks fast, a long water line, hard chine, little rocker....initial and secondary stability are probably excellent. Really just a large canoe....

All said...I suppose it wouldn't like the surf zone...and driving it up on a beach to get out and walk around wouldn't be good practice...

....I believe I'll stick with my kayak.

Monday, September 18, 2006

There be Pirates there.....

A rash of kayak thievery this past week. Stolen from back yards and atop roof racks in some very public place. The faithful and diligent kayak community was keeping an eye out for the stolen boats....and yes, believe it or not, one kayak was actually recovered from under the back steps of a strangers house. To see the events as they unfolded this week, check out the Kayak Newfoundland and Labrador message google group. Link: ..or hit this post's title.

Pillaging and plundering from the high seas...maybe I can understand that, but stealing a man's vessel?...Now that's crossing a line. Walk the plank with him...and feed him to the fishes! Poor bugger....

Sunday, September 17, 2006


So perfect, so simply...and oh so tasty.Today was a fine trip into the woods. Let's hope the meal is equally appealing.


Arrived home late yesterday from a long drive to St. Mary's Bay. Winds were dumping large surf onto Point Le Hay beach. Fair and sunny.

The great kayak guru Alex McGruer was at my side, so we pushed into the surf. For the next few k, we played against the oncoming waves. What's that on the horizon?...fog you say. Ha. Let's take a compass bearing on that light house and head back. The wind and sea are increasing too. Surfing and tacking all along the coast until we reached our launch point. Now it's a dumping surf....Let me try first?

Thanks...Smiling and timed it well, high on the beach, but another wave is barrelling down on me. Quick to haul the kayak clear...then flag Alex in(he doesn't need the help, was probably entertained by the whole affair). Once we're both on the beach, we both turned to face the sea....fog, wind and waves...what a difference an hour makes...smiling, devilish boys that didn't get caught with their hands in the cookie jar.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

New Blog....Hummm