Friday, December 25, 2009
Under the bridge in St. Philips is the gateway to the fresher water flowing in from a stream to the little harbour. It is where we generally wash off apres paddle. No different yesterday and afterall ya gotta have your boat clean for Christmas??????
Thursday, December 24, 2009
About two weeks ago we got winter in one day...literally, 25-30 cm of snow. We felt swamped. Today it is barely visible except as frost on the stern of my boat. I'm just getting ready to put-in here for a Dec 24th paddle with some friends. What a day it turned out to be. If you are not a paddler and stumbled on my blog for some reason, I give you the gift of encouragement for the season. I encourage you to paddle, as I believe you will find a certain peace there, for many, like myself, it may be our only religion. This of course means that everytime we are on the water and finding our peace we are in fact celebrating our own faith. A hope, maybe even a belief that we have found something bigger than ourselves and something worth sharing. So just do it and you too will enjoy writing and talking about it. Just ask any kayaker, well maybe you shouldn't because once they are on the topic it is hard to shut them down and you all know what I mean. Happy Holidays to you and your families and safe winter paddling.
The winds were there, 20-25 knots maybe, some swell, the temp about 2 celsius, conditions for a paddle. Some days you just got to be on the water. Sometimes it takes a bit of enticement, like the day before Christmas, yeah that sounds enticing,and other days you need a friend to motivate you. Whatever it maybe, get on the water, we all know that we never regret the decision to do it once there. So today we decided to play in the waves and dart back and forth from headland to headland stopping to catch our breaths and chat andmostly trying to catch a fun running wave.
Well if you get off work early and phone a few guys the night before you just might have some takers for a Christmas Eve Day PAddle. So we did. I arrived a little early at St. Philips to loosen up a bit and was later joined by Tony, Derrick, Sean and Dean. Derrick and Sean just crusin' by here.
Dean finishing a roll today. The water was not bad at all he claimed. I thought that was pretty good considering it is the day before Christmas and in Newfoundland waters. Ya gotta like it! Good on you Dean for gettig the 'noggin' wet.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Put-ins' they are the greatest and not so greatest of spots in kayaking. We try to make them the easiest and sometimes they are just as scenic as your kayaking destination, after all they may be it. It is bonus when you can choose to do it that way. Sometimes they are that happy place where you all meet and know ahead of time that sometimes the gathering is as good as the journey. Sometimes they are miserable spots designed it seems to pi$# kayakers off, well not really, most times sea kayakers can choose pretty excellent sites because what started as as put-in may well be a take-out upon your return. So, having said that, it is wise not only to plan for what you are putting in to, but also what you will be taking out in. Long walks at a miscalculated low tide takeout is a real slug when your boat is loaded and you are tired after a trip. A couple options,carry boat with a friend, unload and then carry (this means lots of short trips),or haul the darn thing and you might not want to do this if you want to avoid hull mayhem. Best option plan as much for your takout as you put-in. :-)
Monday, December 14, 2009
I won't be here next year for our annual Jan. 1st paddle in the gut. But if tradition is holding I'm sure the usual gang will be putting in like Alex here from last year bound for The Gut. The Gut is the entrance to St. John's Bay via Quidi Vidi Harbour of which Alex is paddling in here. This was JAn 1st 2009.
Friday, December 11, 2009
There are those days where the sun just doesn't seem to want to shine, literally and figuratively. On those days perhaps it is best just to step back and find your own sunshine. Maybe it's in people, maybe it's in more inanimate things like photos. Photos can almost always guaranteed, take you back or rejuvenate a long lost scent, or simply get those forgotten sounds of summer reverberating once again in your head. This past summer was excellent in St. John's as far as good weather for paddling went. One of the best paddles of the summer was trip done with Alison, Tony and Peter. We paddled leisurely around Woody Island and others, stopping to eat, sun bathe, swim in water holes filled with fresh river water, watch moose, caribou and jelly fish as we just floated on by like Huck Finn floating down the Mississippi on a sweet, hot summers day kind a thing with a straw in our mouths and not a worry or care in the world. Those are the days to be lost in paddling and those are the days to reflect on again and again when you haul out that photo or bring it back up on your screen. This is one of those pictures.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
My friend Tony and I love mulling around in boats. Our boat of choice is the Nordkapp kayak. What fine craft indeed they are. What fun they are to paddle really on any day but this sunny fine day paddling around Kelly's Island and Little Bell made for some typical kayak fun on the water. Off course one of us always finds a bit of excitement either we are lifted skywards on waves or pushed menacingly sideways in surf or just rocked in wind, whatever the case, we feel at home on the water.
Monday, November 30, 2009
CN Tower in Toronto Canada. A landmark if there ever was one in Ontario. This night scene allowed me to capture the moon that was plying hide and seek during the whole time I tried to snatch a pic of it. It was a fun night wondering around the city snapping shots of various things. More at www.gullfeather.com
Excuse the pun but this exhibit must be getting old for a lot of people around the world but the one now showing at the Art Gallery of Ontario is quite spectacular to me. Some recent up dates from other Pharaohs and such. I was and still remain captivated by the fact that one, I saw about a 4000 year old toilet seat and two that there was such artistry and no doubt misery and slavery back then, after all someone had to haul those stones to build the pyramids and such. Nonetheless a spectacular display of richness and power not to mention innovation.
The Anubis that guards the outside of the AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario) is representative of their belief in gods of various sorts, sun, wind, jackal, etc.Anubis is an ancient god, the god of the dead before Osiris took over. He then became one of Osiris's many sons. There is a statue of him as a full jackal in the tomb of King Tut. Rarely is Anubis shown fully human. Anubis' totem is probably due to the fact that jackal's would hunt at the edges of the desert, near the necropolis and cemeteries near Egypt. Makes sens to me.
Here however he is allowing the souls of the living to enter a replica domain to gain a better understanding of those thousands of years ago. It was amazing to see actual treasures including a small bed that King Tutankhamun must have lain on and the solid gold sandals found on his feet to help him through the underworld of death.The exhibit is there until April 2010.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
I'd like to introduce my new photography website to my fellow bloggers and those who follow my blog. I have been looking forward to releasing the site for some time now. Utilizing the services of Skillet Creek Media of Derrick Mayoleth fame I am able to present the site to you. I hope you enjoy the postings as much as I enjoyed taking them maybe even enough to make one part of your own collection. Even so, check back for continuing updates to content on the site.
I Hope You Enjoy:
Stan/Paddlehands and Gullfeather
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Well ya know, any day kayaking is better than the best day at the office. Thanks Clyde for reenforcing that. As I had exhausted myself in the water today with Tony and Malcolm it was good to see others, Dean, Sean, Tobias and Clyde heading out for that kayaking fix. Also good to see more people on the water in November. Ya gotta like it!
Tony chill'n while we wait for Malcolm to begin a wicked paddle in St. Philip's today. GAve us a chance to catch up on some news and such. Seems our paddles together now are less frequent but they aways have the enjoyable and fun factor associated with them when ever we are at it. Great paddle today Tony.
It was one of those days on the water in St. Philips today where the weather was a smorgasbord full of elements. Rain, fog in the distance, wind, a penchant of sun and well did I say rain? I love paddling in the rain I'm sure it must rate up there with singing in the rain and today I did both. Paddled and sung. It was obvious we were all enjoying ourselves especially the wind wave surfing and by the sounds of it we all caught a nice one or two or even three or more. Malcolm is just in his own element here.
Waves just simply intrigue me. You know, you are heading into them, following them, riding them, surfing them, crashing with them, sizing them, more times than not...swallowing them. The thing I like most with waves is going through them. Sometimes when that happens the camera can be put in the right spot or the sweet spot to catch that feeling, that penetration of water wall and exit through the other side. And as you do this the water just seems molten to your boat.
If you are going to be on the water you should be prepared to have fun. Tony, Malcolm and I did just that today. It was one of those days with no real destination in mind just friendly paddling under various sea conditions with varying weather to match. Really wouldn't want it any other way. Get too hot in the sun anyway.lol
Thursday, November 19, 2009
I love open water, I love sheltered waters, and I love surfy, fluffy waves, caves and rock gardens and when it comes to kayaking I just love being in one anywhere. Who gives a rats ass where it is you paddle. Our club's newsgroup has become a repository for some hurtful banter on the issue. I prefer the decent blogs I visit around the world and seek comfort knowing if I cannot get out myself I can at least paddle vicariously through those who are able and willing to paddle anywhere at anytime and like I said who gives a rats ass about the rest of the crap. Thanks to all you great kayak bloggers and for all the excellent content. You all know who you are. LOL
Saturday, November 07, 2009
Sunday, November 01, 2009
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
If you pay closer attention at times 3:35 and 4:11 you will see the waves start to hide the horizon, and then crash on shore, respectively. Too bad pictures mask some of the actual sea state and I suspect they do to a degree save that you just have to have the right angles to get quality shots. I most certainly did not, especially since the drops were starting to mask and coat the lens as was obvious by the water blobs and streaks in the video. Kind of fun to try and capture something though.
Last weekend Tony and I had a paddle from MIddle Cove To Outer Cove in the lull of a storm. It was an exciting paddle wrought with a few challenges however conditions were not too crazy. This video is launching in Middle Cove and then making our way to Outer Cove and back again, and does not have the wave I spoke of in a previous post. If you like bronc-bucking, kind-a-paddling........paddle in 'The Lull Of A Storm'.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
First I watched the storm come in this early morning. Then there was a bit of a lull and thought I have to get on the water. Called Tony and we hit it. What a lumpy ride today in kayaks that were more like bucking broncs or mechanical bulls. Yup it was fun though.
I know this looks benign, but the waves today were unbelievable at least one of them. Tony and I were at it again paddling from Middle Cove to Outer Cove and back in the middle of a storm lull that boosted winds in excess of 100km/hr. I hadn't been on the water in a while and was glad to get out there. Like Bob said in an email the waters were like a boiling cauldron. Exciting. To top it off on the north side of Middle Cove on the way back I paddled around a bit and neared the north headland and was elevated on a wave that I can only describe as colossal because when I was looking down its face it was the furthest down a wave I had ever seen. Pheeew! Immediately I thought there was another behind it and surely I was heading for a farmers field. When I watched the wave pass under me and head for shore it eclipsed the cliffs on the north shore for its' size. It was spectacular to watch the back of this monstrosity plunder to shore and crash violently. I did have my video camera rolling but when I came down off the wave I darted Left so as to avoid what I thought might be another one behind it so I hi tailed it out of there and missed its' progress. Tony is not in any of these shots because I took video and have to process. I will post some drama when I get a chance under Paddlehand's Adventures In Kayaking.LOL Hee Haw!
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
My desk, this picture and my head are as cluttered as they've been for a while. Those are all signs of paddle withdrawal for me. I may even have to hit a lake tomorrow just to stretch my kayaking muscles as I believe they may be losing their memory. Preoocupied with much lately. Trying to piece together a photo blog but soliciting professional help. 2 am mornings are a thing of common place for me now, must remember to eat!! aaahhhhhHHH!
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
How i felt taking this shot. I almost or perhaps even did feel sorry for the rose almost embarrassed for it. We are so use to viewing their beauty when they are in full bloom and that is when of course they get their praise for their richness in color and their devine fragrance while on the perked and prickly stem and if you pass near one you are driven by some internal inertia to stop and steal a sniff, hence perhaps ,"stop and smell the roses" for it is hard not to be captivated by the beauty or the scent. When however their fate is decided for them based on seasonal responses to cues,such as cold weather a comin', they begin to loose their splendor. Like a movie star caught candid without their makeup, because they really would like to be seen all gussied up.....like a rose I suppose. So when you see either in their less than regal state you feel something, bad, embarrassed, sorry or whatever it is, the moment can sometimes be caught.......and so it was!
During a walk in Bowren Park of St. John's Newfoundland last Saturday.
Monday, October 05, 2009
In the fall it is amazing the diversity of color that exists in nature and no where can it be more pronounced and rich than in the leaves of maples in autumn. They are not as characteristic in their thriving state but certainly take on a whole new persona in their lifeless and decaying form and there-in lies the beauty and the spectacle as romanticized and recognized as the one on our flag. It is hard not to feel the symbolism and association of the maple leaf to Canadian culture and mind set as the Bald Eagle may be to American parlance the Maple Leaf is to our identity. We don't have a national bird per see as other countries do, but each province or territory has their provincial or territorial bird. The provincial bird of Nova Scotia is the Osprey and of Newfoundland since 1991 is the Puffin but neither really defines their respective province as the Maple Leaf defines us all as a country. Cheers to the Maple! A new camera shot.
Friday, October 02, 2009
It is soon that time again when paddles get way layed because of weather and time constraints. I've been preoccupied lately and the shorter days of daylight make it hard to get on the water after work. This is when you count on your kayaking pictures files from all the great paddles you had in previous months and try to make posts of pictures you haven't posted yet. I'm sure I may have posted this one but it reminds me of the calm of the mroning Tony and I had on a trip this summer right before we crossed Fortune Bay. Seemed like yesterday really. Winds are high tomorrow but hoping to put in somewhere. Just have the need to get on the water and it is clawing at my will to make a concerted effort to get out there ...somewhere....
I got a new camera...definitely not for kayaking but a sweet distraction. Silbs I heeded some of your advice and went with the Nikon D700 totally not disappointed but finding I may have to work the hand muscles to hold the darn thing for any length of time. Hopefully the quality of some of the pictures on the blog will improve a bit more. I plan to actually start another blog that will cater to just my other side.......photography. Somtimes only pictures work for what I want to say. I guess I really have to figure that out.