Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
Anderson's Cove was one of the resettled communities we visited on this trip though we did not paddle in very far we became aware that it was nestled in some small hills and Tony summized that their graveyard was probably over in Lobster Cove where we were staying for the night as there was more land available for burial sites as well as head stones. John Hatch and Sabine Hatch lie at Lobster Cove and so did we lie with them or at least on the beach near them. Like Tony said it is amazing to think that people were here 100 years and more at a funeral or burial long before we set our kayaks on that shore.
A very mystical and serene part of the trip was the crossing of Big Conne. Conne is the french slang for 'bitch' which can be offensive or it can be used non-offensively such as, "Je suis conne!", which translates, "I'm so stupid!" There was nothing offensive or stupid during this trip but this most tranquil area reminded me of a spot just west of Branch on another shore on a very similar day. The fog was constantly whaffting ever so gently as there was zero wind and most amazingly calm water considering what we went to bed to just a few hours earlier. If the conditions in the early morning of Sunday had of persisted we would have been forced to hold up at Lobster Cove for the wind and waves were that bad.
Tony in his own thoughts during the Conne cross.
Throughout our whole trip we were constantly being watched by Eagles and I got as close as I was ever able to get to them on some instances before they flew off. This one allowed me to come right under his rocky perch before he decided to fly away.
This was what I saw last as I left the west side of Fortune Bay and began my 6km crossing to Harbour Mille. Tony continued on down the west side to a bit more of a narrower cross. I felt invigorated by the day and the calmness of the waters and decided for the longer cross.
As I paddled into Harbour Mille upon our return there was a sense of fullfilment because just a couple of days before this Sunday the trip was put together. I had never been to the Fortune Bay area but when I checked on my Blue Chart maps I liked all the coves that were accessible. The fact that our weather held to forecast was spectacular and the VHF weather channel was a major utility during our trip as were the locals we met when we left.
The harbour was ripe with activity when I glided in. First off though I just sat outside the harbour entrance trying to savor every last moment. The sun was shining, I was sweating in my dry suit, my face was crusted in salt, as I dunked my cap in the bay many times to cool off during the crossing. Enjoying my trip wind-down thoughts.
I sort of did what felt like a victory lap around the harbour. Nothing was won, just such ease of enjoyment as I passed the guy that was hold up in the trailer on the side of the road when you enter Harbour Mille. Russ the auxillary Coast Gaurd help was getting in his boat for another burn around, so I thnaked him for all his concern. Two old timers were sitting on some coiled ropes chatting in the sun and looking at me as I waved as I slowly slid by. There was a fisherman outside his wharf shack who looked to be baiting some line and who occasionally engaged the old timers but mostly kept his head low to his labor. A young boy on a small bike passed near the dock where I came in and stopped to check me out. Then a gentleman from the south end of the harbour came by to say that he saw us up in Long Harbour when he was out after the cod yesterday. A missus came walking down the road near the harbour front just as another young lass went over to the old timers to inquire about our presence. And one of the old timers came by to ask where we came from as he must have talked to Russ who saw us packing up on the beach early Sunday morning in Long Harbour at Lobster Cove. He, I guess, wanted to make sure we were the ones Russ saw and tell me that we made awefully good time on the paddle back. It was like they were waiting for us and I had the feeling they were. We talked and laughed and he sauntered back to his pal and shared a chuckle as they looked back approvingly at my boat and I could hear them say that, "they sure hold a lot of gear".
What a friggin' great day.
We came to harbour Mille on Friday evening hoping to put in and cross over Fortune Bay but the winds were high and the waters quite rough for an evening paddle. We decided to hunker down and ask if there was a possible place to pitch a tent. Wade came to the rescue first, when I was taking a picture of the local church. He suggested that his friend had a place out back where we could probably hunker down. We checked it out but as we were leaving his drive way a lady stopped us and suggested we could use her tent already pitched in her back yard so off we went to check that out. Looked very comfortable to me so we were off to take pictures and climb steep hills. We then found a spot on our drive that would provide us with a bit of seclusion to make our own noise and leave early in the morning disturbing no one. But the hospiatlity of people like Wade, Geraldine and Todd were amazing.
At our put in the following morning, Russ the local Coast Gaurd Auxillary, introduced himself to us and gave us some insight to the waters and where we were going. We left with him a mini float plan. He gave us his cell number, and VHF channel for contact. He said he would come and get us where ever we were if ever we needed him. He did check on us the Sunday morning when we were packing in the fog. He said he would rather hear from us than read about us. The generosity and caring of these people was just amazing. We were to get invites all along the way to our destination for dinners or drink. Wow! Wow! Wow! What a beautiful trip this was and what beautiful people live on the shores and in the hidden coves of Newfoundland.
This picture tells part of that story. Loaded and ready for adventure with my Pal Tony. LIke we always say, "we got da best lookin' boats in Newfoundland".
From our put-in on the east side of Fortune Bay. We crossed the bay from Harbour Mille to BAy de L'Eau we rested and chatted with some local fisherman perparing to partake in the recreational fishery for cod that began this past weekend. They had a few fish already and spirits I might add. lol We also took time to stop and smell the bells.
Jim if this is your pad I believe you found a bit of paradise. If you are going to have a cabin you might as well have one on your own beach in a green valley with waterfalls behind you. lol Very nice indeed. Tony did suggest leaving a note but we were out of paper , at least writing paper.
They were all over us today I could feel them if I didn't see them. They were constantly in motion along the coast either soaring in the warm air currents high above or diving from perech to perch keeping watch over their kingdom sometimes coming so close, but out of know where, you could hear their whooosh as they glided by so crisply with their huge wing span identifying them as a predator of the sky.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
It is amazing to paddle into a place that was once inhabited years ago and now sits idle and empty save for the history and the souls of those buried there. It is like riding into a ghost town on your horse in an old western. Everything is gone and a kind of 'melencholy sits on brood' feeling prevails, you might say.
WHile Tony was focusing on the graveyards and the history of the resettled communities we visited on our paddle to Stone's Cove and Crant's Cove, I took the opportunity to focus on the living. The living beneath the waters and the life that continually thrives long after those who have perished. This appears to me to be a "daddy" jelly sporting around with his little one, perhaps on a leisurely Saturday swim. Learning the ropes of jellies.
I believe I was witness to the birth of jellies as you can see "hangers on" on the bottom of this beautiful jelly in Stone's Cove. The Cove is totally protected from the confused waters that exist at the mouth into Fortune Bay. The calm, cold and clear waters of the sheltered cove provide the perfect breeding ground rich in nutrients and underwater sea organisms essential for a thriving ecosystem and untouched from the spoils of human kind....at least for now...again.
This jelly seems to be ready to unload it's cavity full of new young to enter a world snug in the safety of isolated and deserted Stone Cove Newfoundland.
Hunkering in and staying warm after a days paddle of 18 miles. Mesmerizing and soothing, fires seem to transfix those who gaze upon them. A nice way to while away the hours on an isolated beach at the entrance to Long Harbour at Lobster Cove.
On a recent paddle to Long Harbour and destinations in between including resettled communities of Anderson's Cove and Stone's Cove, we decided to hold up at Lobster Cove. The day's paddle behind us we settled in for the evening. Boosted a raging camp fire, ate and spoke of the days events and wondered if Sabina Hatch buried not far from us would be wondering the shores in the predicted rain and fog longing for company in her lonely burial plot.