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Monday, March 31, 2008

"Greg's Return"

Well it is with great anticipation that we welcome Greg Stamer back to Newfoundland this June for his circumnavigation of the Island. Greg was a guest at our retreat last year and is well known in the kayaking COMMUNITY for his work on Greenland kayaking and kayaking expeditions around the world. Greg in this image, at the retreat last year, is explaining to club members the Greenland Kayak and a bit of its history.
Greg also offered a very informative Greenland paddle instruction on the water at Terra Nova last year and his skills are well....amazing. We got to try some of his Greenland paddles as well as some that were made by club members. Hopefully there will be an opportunity to paddle with Greg on some of his route this June.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

"The Rock, pool that is...has landed"

Well Rockpool of Anglessey has hit North America. I've been eyeing these boats for some time now and owning one may be a reality sooner than I thought. A new composition even? I Emailed Chris Mitchell of Rockpool North America and this is his reply:

Hi Stan,
Thanks for the inquiry. I have been getting alot of email interest so here is the generic answer,

Thank you for your inquiry regarding Rockpool Kayaks in North America. We are in the process
of developing a manufacturing operation to produce the boats here. The molds and demo boats are in transit
from the UK and I hope to see them in 3 weeks. Refining the manufacturing process
and actually producing boats ready to sell will take at least another 5 weeks. The boats are being made by an
Aerospace composites manufacturer and as such will be of the highest standard available using the latest materials. We anticipate
using an infused Epoxy process with a 2 part polyurethane finish eliminating the use of gelcoat , thereby saving 10-15 lbs over conventional
composite manufacturing. This is the same process currently used in space craft, airplanes and racing cars where an exceptional strength to weight ratio
is required.
We anticipate the finished boats to be in the $3100-$3400 range. Due to the high cost of manufacturing, we will not selling
to a dealer network so we can keep the price in line with other high end composite kayaks.
Instead we will being holding demos days around the country beginning in June or July. We are developing a website that will have updates and schedules as soon as we receive the molds from Wales.
The site will have a place for you to sign up for those updates if you choose.

Thanks again for your inquiry,

Chris Mitchell
Reed/Rockpool North America "

I am ramped over this. Reed North America is also part of their company here is the cool link:
photo courtesy Rockpool Gallery


Well what do you do when you are in the throws of a spring snow storm? Read a 2006 issue of KANAWA, Canada's paddling magazine and find an article by Mark Lafontaine, an avid canoeist, photographer and outdoors man from Saskatchewan on making cinnamon buns over a camp fire, and well, make'um.

So I did and with a cold glass of milk they were delicious. I like trying camping recipes at home first to see how I fare and what changes I can make to suit my own taste. Didn't change a thing here....oh yeah left out the camp fire did I mention it is blizzarding outside. I'm going to the pool tonight though!

Here is the recipe:

1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp margarine
2 tbsp milk powder
brown sugar

At Home:
Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and milk powder. Using two dull knives, cut in 3 tbsp of margarine until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Seal it in a zip-lock bag. Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon in another bag.

In Camp:
Add enogh cold water to the prepackaged dry mix to make a firm dough. Spread the dough out about half-inch thick on the inside of a barrel lid that has been lightly dusted with flour. Spread the margarine over the dough then sprinkle with cinnamon/brown sugar mixture. Roll the dough tightly and cut into 1 inch sections. Place the sections into a greased pot, cover with a double layer of tin foil and place over camp fire taking care not to burn bottom. Place twigs over top of tinfoil to start small twig fire to cook bun tops. Well this is where I would just use an outdoor camp oven I have but hey in a crunch the camp fire method sounds sweet to me. Cook until your bun tops are brown. Easy as pie......I mean buns!

Friday, March 28, 2008

"KNL Retreat 2007"

Freya at last years retreat demonstrating some Greenland rolls. I obviously rotated this image for a unique look. From this perspective it looks as if Freya is embedded in a huge wall of mottled rock or glass. Entombed in time perhaps! We're looking forward to great clinics this year from Bryan Smith and Fergus Coffey.

"Kayak Newfoundal Labrador, Retreat 2008"

Received the retreat info yesterday and we are a go for May 16th to 19th, 2008; 8th annual, in the Terra Nova Park area. This is a beautiful spot in NFLD with access to the Terra Nova River in yellow on the Topo map at bottom. There is also access to the ocean and various coves and inlets that will be utilized for sea kayaking. This years guests are Bryan Smith and Fergus Coffey. We look forward to hosting this event and if anyone is interested the registration begins 1930h on May 16th followed by the icebreaker meet and greet.
Early Bird registration includes KNL nylon paddling cap with new logo. Must register before April 16th for early bird. More info can be obtained at The Outfitters Adventure Gear and Apparel, one of our sponsors for the event. They will also be providing rentals of river boats and seakayaks at great discount pricing for the weekend. Contact 709-579-4453 or visit

Sunday, March 23, 2008

"Plateau At The Cape"

I just like the rusty colors in this shot. Crossed over this to get to the next series of pics on a hike at Cape Spear, Mar. 22nd, 2008. Just heard that we are supposed to have 6-8 weeks of unseasonably cool weather, OMG!!!

"Frozen Distant Falls"

I had to check on these falls . It turned out that getting back up this cliff edge was a lot harder than I had ever expected. I had grass to pull on but it was frozen and very slippery, steep and difficult to dig in my boots. Worth it though once I got my lung tucked back in my chest.

"Frozen Falls"

On a hike to Cape Spear yesterday I spotted these falls on the way back in a little cove down by the seaside. It is always with trepidation that one goes near the close shores of Cape Spear because there is often rogue waves we always hear about, mostly in the summer, washing someone out to sea. It happens every year. But the frozen falls were captivating and I wanted a closer shot and there was not much wave action at anyrate.

When I got down close to the falls which was a $%$*& in itself I could see that there was actually little spaces behind the frozen falls that I might be able to fit in regardless of the intense melting. The next photos show that it was worth the effort.

"Inside-Out, Frozen Falls"

I wanted to see what the view would be from the inside -out of these frozen falls. They were melting quite profusely so it was a slippery operation but I managed to get inside with water pouring all over me. The view was amazing with the sounds and the smells of the ocean beside me. The only issue was now getting out without breaking any of those sharp daggers off and impaling myself.

"Cape Spear"

The Cape today. It was quite cool but a brisk hike kept the chills at bay. There was pack ice in the distance that was being blown around St. John's Bay and Conception Bay for the past week or so. Today was sunny and afforded some good spring/winter shots. Some interesting ice falls I'll post tomorrow.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

"Moose Encounter, Of A Strange Kind""

On another back Channel paddle on the Peace River we encountered a confused moose swimming towards us. Needless to say we were quite alarmed at first but the poor thing looked extremely tired. I noticed that the young moose had a massive tick infestation on its' ears and on parts of its body. We thought it may have been trying to release these buggers somehow but I doubt that the water would have worked. We did edge the moose towards shore where it weakly emerged from the river and clumsily disappeared in the bush. When you paddle in Northern BC it is almost impossible not to encounter wildlife on every outing. Makes for great stories and photos and never is there a dull moment.

Friday, March 21, 2008

"Back Channels"

The sometimes fun part about paddling long and wide rivers like THe Peace River of Northern BC is that there tend to be lots of "back Channels". These are seperate water areas from the main river flow and some of them can carry on for quite a few km with their own flow but more often than not they are rest areas with calmer water and some great fishing spots. Camping spots too. Here we actually saw a black bear and we were watching him from our rafted up position. It was very foggy on the river in the early evening hours and we were looking for a place to camp, so needless to say we took our pepper spray and headed on down river a bit further where we hit another back channel that actually had a camping area already established.
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Thursday, March 20, 2008

"Can't Be?"

Well it isn't really. This is a cave in Cape Broyle but these are not all the colors that were originally recorded. When I was going thru some photos this evening I decided to play with the saturation on some of them and I thought this one was kind of mystical and worth posting. Most of the colors are in fact intact but the blues are added as well is some pink in the saturation process. It would be kind of interesting no doubt if one did encounter such a cave but I would be very curious what may be inside.
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"ThermaCELL Update"

I received an email from ThermaCELL marketing that I think it is only appropriate that they have every opportunity to rebutt to my gear review, however what I did find interesting is that they were somehow alerted to this by Google. I thank however ThermaCELL for their their prompt attention to this review and will continue to use this product with greater peace of mind based on the more concise information. Kind Regards.

"Hi Stan:
Google alerted us to your write up on ThermaCELL. We are glad the unit is working well for you. Based on your blog, I wanted to answer a few questions you bring up.

All products using Allethrin as the active ingredient are required by EPA to put these fish and aquatic organism toxicity warnings on their labels even if the product is being used in a way that does not pose a risk. This labeling requirement on the ThermaCELL package is information related to manufacturing and/or transportation concerns where much larger amounts of the active ingredient are being used.
The amount of active ingredient in the ThermaCELL mat (0.08 oz) is very small. This active ingredient when exposed to the environment is easily broken down in a matter of hours to non-toxic forms. Even if a pad accidentally fell into a pond or lake, and disintegrated, the amount of water in the pond or lake will easily dilute and degrade the active ingredient to a very low level that will not be toxic to the fish.

Please let me know if I can answer any additional questions or concerns.


Allegra Wechsler Lowitt
Vice President of Marketing
The Schawbel Corporation / ThermaCELL
100 Crosby Drive, Suite 102
Bedford, MA 01730
p: 781-541-6900f: 781-541-6007e:"

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Mosquito Area Repellent, nifty but does it work? Did you ever buy a piece of gear proclaiming to do this one specific thing or a few things and ya get it home or out in the camp and it does nothing. It becomes solely a gadget and a worthless one at that and it makes ya feel well kind of deflated and cheated, but when ya hit that gadget that is simple and actually useful, and does what it says it does and effectively , well it makes ya just wanna kiss it.......kiddding!

The ThermaCell works by heating a mat containing a mosquito repellant.

" ThermaCELL Mosquito Repellent utilizes the active ingredient known as allethrin. It belongs to a class of materials called pyrethroids, which are synthetic analogs of pyrethrin, which is a naturally occurring insecticide found in certain types of chrysanthemum known as pyrethrum flowers. Mosquitoes really do not like this material. The allethrin is contained in the blue mats, and when they are heated it causes the allethrin to "volatilize", which is similar to evaporation".

The reppellant seems to be effective against no-see-ums, blackflies and sandflies. The unit is not waterproof however. Works effectively in about a 15 foot diameter area. The bottom cover where the butane cylinder inserts does not clamp on snuggly so I tape it on so as not to lose it. It does not hold the cyclinder in so if it was lost the unit would still work. You shouldn't handle the blue mats too much if at all avoid contact with skin and avoid the vapors, so definitely don't put in your tent. Strictly for "out-outdoors".

The unit has an on/off button and a start button to turn on the heating plate. A lens on the end of the appliance glows to let you know the appliance is working. A butane thermaCEll cartridge contains 30x the energy (by Weight) of alkaline batteries. 12 grams of butane can last for 12 hours and you can turn off or on the unit as needed.

Another interesting thing is that the pesticide is highly toxic to fish. So you shouldn't dispose of the used mats in water, which would be polluting anyway, and do not contaminate food/feed by storage.

My overall impression is that I do use this on camping trips when I am able and have lots of time to properly handle and contain the Cell, but the moment you have to think of "containing" anything should probably give you cause for concern. I do not take it kayaking I would be too concerned about contaminating my kit based on the small storage areas we deal with. However it was rated well in Backpacker magazine. I really liked the fact that it worked well and will continue to use it camping. A few pesky mosquitos aren't bad but it sure was sweet having this along when they were extremely heavy. The web site has tons of info for most concerns and pricing at and I just love the buzzing of their ad.

"Lucky Duck"

Having so much weather lately that ultimately leads to wetness maybe it is "lucky to be a duck". I know we'll be in the water with them soon. They still pool together though for warmth I think.


Well I can honestly say that we have had just about every kind of prceipitation one can have over the last couple of days. Snow, wet snow, hail, sleet, rain/sleet, rain and did I mention snow? Well the good news is, we are headed for fairer weather with even some sunshine on a couple of days.

We are definitely in melt mode today so all that fell is ready to evaporate again or flow into the Atlantic, I guess both. This was taken at Middle Cove.
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Monday, March 17, 2008

"Sheila's Brush"

They say that a full moon in March is known as a storm moon. You have no idea!

"Beware the Ides of March", ring loudly in my ears as the 60-70 or so km/hr winds howl outside right now. Impending doom and this Julius Caesar metaphor is but an inkling of the blizzard we are being lambasted with as I type right now. I believe the worst of the winter and spring is neigh!

In Newfoundland lore they call it Sheila's Brush, that hits around St. Patrick's Day. Well Sheila, all I can say is, your timing is impeccable. The resulting snow is supposed to be attributable to Sheila's sweeping away of the last of winter......see ya in May Sheila cause ya got a lot of sweepin'. Not to be cynical mind you, but our snow was almost gone last week. The storm is so bad our road is impassable, full of snow. It started after work at about 3pm today and is supposed to carry on until the afternoon tomorrow. I was already out shovelling twice. You can't keep up. Should be interesting pictures around town tomorrow.

Oh Yes, and Sheila, that flowering crab tree sticky thing, on our lawn, to the left in the picture, you can take it with ya!
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"Sunrise, St. John's"

A beautiful sunrise in St. John's. Have a great day. We are going to have another storm. Two in three days. New logo should be ready on Tuesday and Tuesday pool session to look froward to and of course....more shovelling.
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Sunday, March 16, 2008

"Camping Williston"

My buddy Dean on one of our excursions to Williston Lake in BC. You know, sometimes the trip there is as good as the paddle. Always an adventure to be had and I think on it more as spring approaches. Haven't talked to Dean in a while...hope you're still paddling man!

"Row On Row"

Still snow around in St. John's and supposedly a storm tomorrow. Celebrations for St. Paddy's day continues unabated.
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Wednesday, March 12, 2008


May or may not be what ya think. Globicephala melaena. This is not a dinosaur. Of course when I saw the sign "Pothead Whale"...I had to investigate.The pilot whale gets it's local name from its round pot-shaped head.

In late summer or arly autumn you can find these toothed whales in the bays of Conception, Trinity and Bonnavista chasing the squid. Potheads are dark black and have a long curved dorsal fin. They measure about 3 meters and can weight up to three tons. Up t0 50,000 of these whales can come to the waters from the winter habitat of the grand banks. I am not very sure how accurate the literature is that I got this figure from however.

This picture was taken at "The Rooms" which is kind of a gallery, museum, and possibly convention complex in downtown St. John's.
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"The Battery Side"

This is the side of the St.John's harbour entrance (North Side) which has housing development and is quite expensive I think now. There are some very interesting character homes in bright colors nestled on the cliffs edge with wharfs like this one that go right down to the harbour where the locals can access their skiffs.
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"Fort Amherst Light"

Fort Amherst Light Gaurds the entrance to St. John's Harbour (South
Side). Sometimes the waves crashing against the base of it's cliffs are very dramatic. No matter what kind of light this "LIGHT" seems to always be charming to photograph. What is really sweet is when you can take a picture of this light with a gigantic iceberg in the background. Hopefully I'll be able to post some this year.
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Saturday, March 08, 2008

"Queensport Light"

Not far from my home town in Canso NS. The Queensport Light still shines. Queensport Light was built in 1882 on an island called Rook Island which is another name for crow. Queensport harbour used to be called Crow Harbour. The indian name for Queensport was Wedonitk, "having a mouth". Rook Island shelters Queensport from the cold north blowing winds. In the early days before the Canso Causeway was constructed, which connects mainland NS to Cape Breton Island, the ice from Chedbucto Bay use to flood these small harbours and fisherman use to be able to walk out to the light. Such is not the case today. On the drive home you always looked for this landmark as you new you were almost there. I was trying to capture the actual light for the picture as it was revolving.
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"Kinuso Falls"

These are some rapids just before the falls. This may be a first descent for someone however you might consider that these falls are longer than the falls of Niagara in Ontario, Canada. Here is a link for the beauty of the area . I did paddle this river a ways up from these rapids a long ways up!!!! Tumbler Ridge is a mining town and is host to some of the most spectacular scenery in North Eastern BC. Many NFLD's live there and have done so for many years.
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"Thought I Heard A Red-Winged Blackbird..."

Thought I heard a Red-Winged Blackbird, Red winged-Blackbird down my row......David Francey sings a song entitled Red-Winged Blackbird and he is one of my favourite folk singers. Originally from Ayrshire Scotland but lives in Canada now. I know a few of his songs, however my all time favourite is "Torn Screen Door" which he sings a capella. Wicked!! This was shot in BC I was kayaking in a lake one day and paddled into a bunch of channels of Bullrushes and weeds. There was a couple of Red winged Blackbirds that were flirting with the camera I think or perhaps just curious but they ended up sticking around for about 35 minutes flying about, landing on the bullrushes and checking me and my kayak out.
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Thursday, March 06, 2008

"Chuck's Puddle"

A Lake In North Eastern BC called Charlie's Lake, we called it Chuck's Puddle (just a small one at 13km long) at about mile 43 of the Alaska Highway. In the early 1940's, Charlie Lake was the site of a major camp for workers and supplies in the construction of the Alaska Highway and was the scene of the worst accident. In May of 1942, a large raft carrying tractors and a jeep across the lake broke apart during a storm. 12 men died in the cold waters of Charlie Lake. I've fished, boated, sea kayaked, river kayaked, jet skied, camped, hiked, instructed, rented out kayaks and canoes, skated, iced fished, drove on when frozen, ski-dooed, and swam in this lake, so it is known to be quite utilitarian and laden with green algae at some shores, and May Flies during parts of the summer months. But it provides beautiful sunrises and sunsets in a vast sky. Some nights the northern lights were just spectacular over Chuck's Puddle.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

"Halfway River, Almost There"

This is the end of the Halfway River In NorthEastern BC and just around the bend it feeds into the Peace River. I used to use this spot as a put-in site to travel down the Peace. The Peace River is wide and lazy for the most part but there certainly are action spots along it's length but it is certainly manageable in a seakayak. This is a Quest x3 from Seaward kayaks of Ladysmith, Vancouver Island. I came across this picture looking for the next two posts and realized that I did manage to get a paddle or two in the cold winters of northern BC. This was getting closer to spring though and I believe I was harbouring the same feelings that I am now.......can't wait to have the ability to go paddle if you want to.....outside that is.......almost there!!