Monday, August 31, 2009
My pictures came out really crappy on this paddle as I realized I had a metered setting or something like that. It is a shame because I had what I thought were good shots of Tony, Brian and Dean on out little Saturday morning excursion in St. Philips Newfoundland. But in the 45km-60km winds there was a fair bit of air time.
LAst Saturday saw a few of us out paddling in 45 gusting to 60 km winds. The sun was shining the water was relatively warm in Conception Bay and the winds were straight out of the west blowing to St. Philip's harbour, perfect for surfing in the strong westerlies. This was true to a point. It was a good old slug to get out of the harbour and the waves were fairly big 1 and half to two metres but confused and not great for surfing but still there was the odd good ride. Still was a blast though and I was very tired by 12:30 after a 9:30 put in.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Well I didn't even realize that I would be home during the Regatta but wow what fun we had and festivities we enjoyed. Of course the boat races and lobster pot pulling contests are the highlights. Maybe next year I can help plan some sea kayak races and add some more excitement to the venue. Sure would be nice to paddle with some Kayak club members from Newfoundland in Canso. At anyrate, the Regatta was more fun than expected the weather was holding nicely and my wonderful time home was coming to an abrupt close and this would be my last day on and in the waters of Canso Town settled in 1604.....at least for this summer.
Met Steve Buschel at our take out. Apparantly he lives in Fox Island and was always wanting for paddling partners. As we talked we realized we just missed each other on paddling days. Steve told me that everyone is into motor boats at home and the only kayakers really are those from away. He told me he gets out often and guess what? just loves to paddle sure doesn't sound like any kayakers I know...lol. I told him I would be back and we definitely would be getting out during my next visit. I see a camping trip along the coast brewing already for next year. I welcome anyone that would like to share in Canso's hospitality. You would have a place to stay but that is all for another day.
My sister in her Prijon at the Regatta in full swing. We only got in the way a couple of times but it was all in fun but when you havd ten fishing boats at high speed bearing down on you in a race you just paddle like heck to get out of the way...phewwwww.
After the Regatta was over the Dory boat races finished, lobster pot pulling contests done and the boat parade and wreath laying(to remember those lost at sea) completed it was time to cool off. Steve Meade has a dock that seem suitable to all. Down went the beer and in went the bodies. This is where I took the pictures of the jellyfish that follow and the picture of Matthew in my header.
This one really wanted to sting me and was trying to maneuver to do just that but I think I was proving just a bit elusive......this time!
Sometimes these Jelly Fish seem to be carrying quite a load. I am not sure of all the components of the "sea nettle" or chrysaora quinquecirrha, but there are tentacles, a structure that acts as a mouth and an anus, the bell of course and oral arms that contain components needed for digestion. They have a polyp and larvae stage and breed sexually I think. No brain or complex nervous system just a few nerve fibers. The venom is in their stingers or tentacles and will continue to release until tentacle is removed even if it isn't still attached to the bell.
They can get to a fair size in diameter and flare out like a peacock to make themselves look bigger, whether or not they actually do this as a defensive mechanism in nature I am not sure but they are captivating and graceful to watch.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Not far at all from the shipping lanes of Chedbucto Bay, the small island of Fox and Durrell's are great areas to paddle. The bay is very bust with boat traffic heading to the Cape Breton side of the bay to Port Hawkesbury and Auld's Cove where they unload and pickup various commodities for transport. Some of these boats are huge and you can see them pass all day long from all over Canso including our kitchen window and doorstep.
West of the Canso Tickle will take you past the west side of Durrell's Island towards Fox Island our destination today. Fox Isalnd was always a favourite beach spot for our family. Today Wayne and I are going to paddle there from our put-in further down the Tickle. The waters are amazingly blue as is the sky. The sun is hot and the wind is light....ya might as well be paddling!
Another check off my list as we prepare to circumnavigate Fox Island. As a family in my youth we use to swim in the waters opposite Fox Island on the mainland beach. There is a very small village there callled Fox Island. In the summers we went there and swam in the days and sometimes partied in the nights. Today we shall kayak and what a day to do it. When we started to round the Island were surprised at how big it actually was.
This Gull brought new meaning to the term scavenger. As we were paddling the shore line Wayne noticed lots of feathers in the water. I thought it was nothing. It may have been a gull scrap and if so, this was ones' fate. The gull floating nearby was digging at the not so lucky gull's chest as we paddled near and he wasn't willing to fly away none too soon either.
While swimming in Fox Island the Atlantic this time home wasn't so cold and when you ducked under water, we use to call it "getting your ducking", you could see these little minnows.
At first I was alarmed when Wayne yelled that there was a black cloud moving in to shore and that it was moving around quickly. Well, exposed up to my waist I wasn't too happy about any black cloud moving uder water that I couldn't see. So I ducked under again and saw the huge school of fish swimming around our legs. Very cool!
Well you won't be in Canso long durng the summer or weekends before a "kitchen party" breaks out. It is the funnest thing sinced well....sliced bread maybe. With all my family home and neigbours we were able to rip tunes through the night sky on Middle Street. A couple of guitars, some spoons and willing participants to sing we were well on our way by 8pm. Matthew wrote a song and well I played along to the delight of all there. There were songs of old and songs of new but Stan Roger's Barrett's Privateer, Fogarty's Cove and a few other of his songs were shouted to and through the rafters of our small saltbox house by young and old and the night settled in unbeknownst to us partiers. Memories of Friday's and Saturday nights in my early days in Canso flooded through my mind like the tides racing through Hart's Island channel.
A look of fire and brimstone in setting sun of Canso. A spectacular end to another amazing day. Looking west from the bridge that connects mainland Canso to Durrell's Island I feel the heat of the hot day subside and the fingers of night take hold as the penninsula of Canso is wrapped in the conclusion of another day of paddling and another day shared with family. The lobster and crab are sitting well in my stomach and the homemade bread from "Days Gone By" bakery in Guysborough and the mediterranean squares are seemingly sprouting spurts of energy for a walk along water's edge before I tuck into my bed and it is now I realize that I have truely made it......Home!