Sunday, November 19, 2006

The Land God Gave to Cain.

I'm off to the Big Land. Heading to Labrador for a bit. I'll teach students workshops in photography. In the end, they hope to mount an exhibit about their community and present life style. I'm excited to see what they come up with.

I'll be in the southern part, so on a fine day I may be able to look back from this light house at Point Amour and see the northern most tip of my Island. This section of the coast has about a hundred km paved highway...and is only accessible by plane or ship. Strange I should mention this, as I come from an island, so the same can be said of it...even if Newfoundland is the tenth largest island in the world. Communications may be sketchy, as I have no real idea as to my schedule...but I will try to blog once or twice while I'm there. I love all parts of a photographer, it is breathtaking. As a kayaker, it is a place that dreams are made of...If I was a WW kayaker, I'd be in double trouble as you may guess from this scenic of the Pinware river.

I wasn't aware of any residents kayaking on this part of the coast....yet anyway. If this has changed, I'll see about getting out... I'll at least try for a boat trip, to check out the coastline and find some dolphins to hang with.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Sea Kayak Foot Pumps

This Guzzler 400 foot pump is great. Even at a vertical position, this custom set-up clears twelve inches. I have it bolted forward of, and between the foot rests. As the distributer Harvey Rintoul knows, each kayak is different and everyone may have a preference for the intake position(btw...Harvey has modeled his own Strum Box). Next, where the outlet goes on the kayak hull. I have mine on the deck. Yes,...drilling the hole in the fiberglass hull takes ones breath away...words fail me...but scotch didn't.

Harvey will help you built a custom set up as for your he has several models of pumps and all manner of fixings. I found him most patient and extremely helpful. He may be reached at

Sea kayaking is a whole other experience when you can pump out with both hands still on the paddle..

Saturday, November 11, 2006

WW Kayaking Photos on the Web

While I am not a WW kayaker, I do love to watch and photograph these guys in action. I took the above photo in icy waters, at a place called Piper's Hole.

With the progress of media technology that allows for digital imaging, MPEG files and pod-casting, I'm always on the look out for what's new. Here is a link to Jacob Hannah's photo essay on one of the World Cup of Free Style Kayaking competitions held in Watertown, USA. It's of interest for it's quality of photos and editing, but also for it's wonderful use of sound. This short peice is very good stuff...and with a little effort, it's doable by anyone with a camera, sound recorder and computer at their disposal.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Kayak Clothes

Funny, but people don't laugh that much when they enter my kitchen....okay, just a bit...

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Caplin rule the summer...from under the shadow of my kayak.

As the days become longer and the icy waters begin the long climb up to a reasonable temperature ...something is stirring. With sea birds periodically pitching into the water, and whales blowing off shore and then cruising a beach as if looking for something...well, they are....they know that any day now, the caplin will return.

These tiny 7" fish will school on mass and head into the bays to spawn. They will wait for the tide and the water temperature to be just right. Then they will move...They will spend an evening or two, over a few weeks, riding up onto the beaches and spawn on mass. The waves will be alive with silver flashes of fish as they squirm and wriggle to hold on the beach. They deliver the next generation of food for almost anything larger then they are, in the waters for this part of the world. A wave will come back in and they are gone. When the caplin 'roll in', it is common practice to head for a beach with a small dip net in hand. As for the right water temperature, I've also had fisherman tell me that they believe, if such conditions are right, that the caplin will spawn at the surface of the water if need be. Funny, but for a fish that is so important to this ecosystem, we know very little about it. We know they gather in groups in so many schools, that in would be impossible to count. We know that from early June until mid August, they can come onto bays at various times all along the east coast and around the rest of the island. Usually they only hit a beach once, but some have been known to be revisited weeks later. These schools can range in size from a few cubic meters across, to ten acres. Some years they are early, other years late. Sometimes the fish are large, and other years half the size. Once they leave the bays in the late summer, it is believed they head out for the plankton rich Atlantic waters between here, Greenland and Iceland. But except for the few summer months in our waters, for the rest of the year, we have no real firm idea as to where they actually go, or even if they stay in these large schools.

One thing is for sure...that every whale, dolphin, seal, squid, seabird and cod (almost all fish species) travel to this coast line, and hug it's shores, feeding and gorging itself on these small fish for the better part of the summer months. If it was not for this tiny fish, then the whales, the great seabird colonies and an inshore fishery....would never exist like this.