Current Time On The Rock

Friday, December 31, 2010

"The Aged"; "Yesterday"

Well once again I am reflecting on the passage of time and as we seep into another year I am diminished on the grander time scale of geological time but able to look back on those critters, they had no concern nor concept of time or New Years.

Trilobites first appeared 526 million years ago. They became extinct 250 million years ago but not before some 17,000 species of them flourished through that time period. The fossilised remains of one I found on the shores of Lake Huron when I was there this fall is obvious in the lower left of the section of rock above. There are other bio forms fossilised as well but the section of the Trilobite with the visible pygidium (tail shield) in the central end section of the fossil is clearly visible. The remains in this section is about 1/3 of the total size and the range in size of these organisms was extensive from 1mm to 72 cm.

Some were filter feeders, others predators and scavengers that trolled over the sea bed feeding on plankton.  Living varied lifestyles like many of us today. I was saddened after watching a movie entitled "Yesterday" about a couple in a poor farming area not too far from Johannesburg who developed AIDS. The name of the young woman who contracted the virus from her husband was called Yesterday. It went on to show the dramatic death death of her husband while her little girl was growing up and readying for her first school day. The scenery was amazing. I had a brother die of aids in the early 80's (they slid food under the door of your hospital room back then, no one new much about it) so I could relate to their situation and very accurate depiction of the disease.

So I saw my fossil of the Trilobite on my desk and thought of "Yesterday" figuratively and literally and thought hard on the passage of time, of bugs and viruses big and small and how we all fit in our world, then and now.

So Happy New Year Tim you are missed. Happy belated New Year "Trilobite" no one probably felt the inclination to ever do that and to all those more fortunate to be around and hopefully less fossilised, today, tonight and tomorrow, Happy New Year to you too.

Herein lies my last post of 2010.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

"What? No Snow? St. John's, NL""

This shot was taken on December 28th, 2010 on Signal Hill in St. John's NL. The temp was 5 degrees celsius. Go figure. We are breaking records hand over fists here this year. Well it certainly is the warmest any old timer can remember and maybe even back to the late 1800's. The island is not totally without snow as there is some in the central and western locals of the province. We are without, having had about 2cm accumulation all winter. Rain on the other hand. We've had so much of that the animals are starting to look at each other kinda deja-vu????

Probably may not see this again or that often but then again, maybe St. John's is the new south...??????

Cabot Tower on Signal Hill has a sign post with big city names like Montreal, Dublin, London, etc. with distances to these locals and the ironic thing about it is that they all have the snow and we don't. It may not only be the times that are a changin' ." Our New Years DAy paddle on Saturday should be a nice treat and a welcomed change from previous cold and precipitation filled years. I bet when it comes , it comes with a vengeance...the weather that is. Nine days straight of sheet rain from a Nor'easter with gale force winds could be a tell-tale sign?????

Friday, December 24, 2010

"QAJAQ Hits Home"

Well I was delighted when I got home from work yesterday and checked the mail. A Christmas gift to myself showed up just in time for the season. A membership to the QAJAQ Greenland Kayak Association American Chapter. I opened the package and of course like a curious kid a Christmas time I went through the components and read the very nice welcoming letter from president Ed Zachowski. I've had the pleasure of meeting the previous president Greg Stamer a few times on his visits to Newfoundland and participated in one of his Greenland paddle clinics at one of our retreats a few years back.

I can honestly say that Superior Greenland paddle Greg had sure felt good in my hands. Never thought I would ever own one. I did eventually get one a couple years later and have had it for less than a year and haven't used anything since. Thus began my interest with Greenland paddling.

I have since made one of my own, a greenland paddle that is,  and now I am interested in the boat. Though I do not have a garage I am scheming how I can put one together for next year.

There is an interest in Greenland paddling here on the Island and people have been using the paddle and the boats long before me of course as my interest is recent. Some of my friends I paddle with are hooked on the paddle and have made many of their own with some unique and original designs. Sean Dawe continues to make GP's with considerable ingenuity with incorporating hollow shafts and blade protections for those rocky zones.

Malcolm Rowe has praised the paddle and the Greenland history as well as the Greenland kayak designs having paddled many of the designs from Valley Kayaks including the Anas Acuta.

Brian Duffet one of Newfoundland's most excellent paddlers has built a skin on frame and other kayaks of various materials over the years.

Neil Burgess has used Greenland paddles and hosted Greenland Paddle constuction clinic ( of which I participated) in the basement of his home last year. He also attended this past September a Greenland Camp put on by the Ontario Greenland Camp  which he said he thoroughly enjoyed and took away tons of good Greenland Paddling info. He will share some of this at an up and coming Greenland Paddle pool workshop at the Aqua arena on Feb. 5th, 2011.
 I am sure these people and others I do not know about have been at it for a while in terms of their intersts in Greenland Paddling. Hopefully I will be able to now tap into some local skills and knowledge and enhance it with the experience and organization of the reputed Qajaq group. I have visited their site many times and I am very impressed with what they have to offer in their efforts to promote the traditions and techniques of  Greenland kayaking. If you are at all interested in this area of kayaking I suggest you visit their site  you won't be disappointed. The Onatrio Greenland Camp site is also an excellent website for further info about Greenland paddling.

Now if it would only stop raining I might be able to put a sticker on my rig.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

"Burgeo , Newfoundland"

Reflecting on a former paddle because the weather here is so crappy right now.

This was Tony, Ralph and I heading for Red Island this past summer. How time flies! Click on image for better view.

"Logy Bay, Newfoundland"

Hidden Dance

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

"Lunar Eclipse, Winter Solstice"

The eclipse in 2010 is the first total Lunar eclipse in three years, since Feb. 2008.
It is the second Lunar Eclipse in 2010 as we had a partial one om June 26th.
 The eclipse was the first Lunar Eclipse to occur on the same day of The Northern Winter Solstice since 1638, and only the 2nd in the Common Era. You think I would have caught it?

"I see the Bad Moon on the left...."

Vive La lune....

The Silver Dollar in the sky....

Oceanography Centre

Well I did stay up until two thirty in the morning but the cloud cover was heavy from my vantage point. However, I took yesterday afternoon off, basically because it was sunny and I wanted to take some pictures, and headed down to Logy Bay near the Oceanography Centre and snapped a few shots. I did manage to get the moon rising over the horizn at days end. This would be the same moon rising to eclipse on our Winter Solstice. So though I failed to get it in eclipse mode I did get it in moon-rise mode on Dec 20th, 2010.

Friday, December 17, 2010


I've been here five years now this past June. If you had of said 5 and a half years ago that I would be living in Newfoundland I would have thought you were missing your boat! ; )

I grew up in North Eastern Nova Scotia, later moved to North Eastern British Columbia and now to Eastern Newfoundland. My internal compass seems to have a magnetic east. I then began wondering after watching a program on discovery last evening about the changing of the poles' magnetic fields. There is a point when they will reverse and will become chaotic with no distinct magnetic poles and supposedly it is long overdo and happens every so many , many, many years (can't you see I don't remember how many). I also learned that a million earths could fit in the sun and started to feel very small. So back to earth so to speak. How close are we I wonder to the change in magnetic fileds around our earth. The chaotic (i use this term loosely as I am sure they will align in most likely some organised state) fields of magnetism are transient once they do change and the poles get their magnetism back eventually. Finding magnetic north during this time may be very difficult. But more than that I wonder what other things would be affected? What about human behaviors? What about other animal behaviors?  What about my internal compass? What about compasses in general. How will we navigate? I hope my internal compass switches to something southerly. : 0

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Portugal Cove Sunset looking to the North East tip of Bell Island. It  can be quite a tranquil spot as sheltered as it is in Conception Bay.

This shot was actually taken this past summer.

Today we see the varied weather side of Portugal Cove and Conception Bay with visible distant headlands shrouded in coastal fog.

Making time before the ferry that travels the tickle we enter Portugal Cove. Sean presses on in his very Greenlandic style boat as you can see by the low back deck.

From hazy skies to scattered cloud and sun, you have to enjoy the observance of weather when on the water. Clyde and Brian takig a minute.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010


I don't remember a lot most days but I do remember when Dean first got into paddling. He took and he continues to take it like most of us who paddle....serious. I was soon to see his passion for it evolve. Soon his skills became very evident and as I saw him working with Brian some nights on his rolls and later doing re-entry and rolls in the open ocean at St. Phillips you just get the kayaking feeling and the flood of memories ever so sweet that takes you back to your own accomplishments in a kayak.

There were days when we were out there and we wondered where everyone else was. How could they pass up this day on the water?

There were days like this when watching the  ocean wash from cliffs edge kept you in a space you couldn't get out of if you tried. I was talking to Sean about this the other day how it happens when you are on the water and you some how forget about everything else going on in your mind and you lapse into just being in the moment(s) of kayaking and it seems always as the shoreline approaches at the end of the paddle that you become acutely aware that you were in this kayak trance for the length of your paddle, and only reawaken to the thoughts that were in your head at the beginning of the paddle when you know you will soon be getting out of your boat. That is when I miss my kayak most. I just have a feeling Dean was in his own space in this shot.

There are always those days we are happy to share it with others who have perhaps similar thoughts to the craft of kayaking and the understanding that each has his own kayaking aura which is as individual as it is enveloping those around you. When you kayak with a group for a while I guess you just feel when they are paddling on their own, but with you, and you always enjoy when you come together to share something you may have just experienced on the water and then have the ability to gracefully ease off own your own accord again. This happens throughout the paddle with different and sometimes all paddlers each coming together in different circumstances, chatting for a bit, exchanging laughter or insights then slipping off again to ones own aura. I love that.

Monday, December 06, 2010

"The Nordkapp"

I visited  today to check out the Kayaks of Norway and they have some interesting kayak designs there. 9 new models actually. Bjorn Thomasson has designed some of the more Greenlandish styles that appear very sleek with interesting commentary about their intended purpose. I sure would like to try a few though.

"1959 Emanuelle Koreliussen on Greenland built a kayak – the now famous Illorsuit kayak – for an English visitor. Back in England this kayak inspired many well-known production kayaks, among them Anas Acuta and Nordkapp." Quote by Bjorn Thomasson on his Seabirddeisgn site.

If any of his productions come close to the Nordkapp, which is all I really have experience in from the Valley line of boats, he will have multiple successes on his hands I suspect. His Greenland style designs sure want me to try them with my stick. Maybe one day when they come here. The Qanik, Black Pearl and Sea Pearl look attractive to me.

The picture above just shows one of the many advantages to paddling a Greenland design. Such as the low deck profile fore and aft. If I was paddling my other klunker that wave would not be washing over the rear deck. It would be hitting me broadside and probably forcing me to brace. Even near rocks and favorite play places the performance of the Greenland design continues to shine and I wish Bjorn Thomassan and Ingvar Ankervik all the best with their designs and hey, if you ever want one "test paddled" in the North Atlantic, I'd be more than willling to oblige...wink..wink..nudge..nudge....

And I bet Clyde didn't even feel that wave washing over his rear hatch. Probably gone unnoticed as many do!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

St. Phillips To Portugal Cove

It's just a short jaunt and one we made many times but it is always fun just to hang with the guys on the water. Tony, Dean, Clyde, Brian,Sean and I made the paddle. Turned out to have very flat waters with no wind not a bad Dec.4th paddle at all.

Railing the shore and the rocks. The shoreline along this small section of coast is kind of rugged and the rock gardens provide entertainment for most seastates. Today even with no wind or swell to speak of there was still wave action around the rocks. Clyde found some.

In the distance along this stretch of  coastline you can see Piccos Ridge, Big Hill, Franks Hill and others on the horizon that pass by Bauline and on to Cape St. Francis. Here we are just out of St. Phillips.

Tony  working through some sea froth. Good to be padling with you again buddy.

The other thing I like about this stretch of coast are some narrow passages that have to be carefuly navigated depending on conditions.

Dean sinking and sneaking in behind an awash rock, covering and exposing at the ocean's whim.

Brian making way with the pack seeking distant headlands.

With none of the predicted winds of ESE gusting to 50km we made good time. Starting out was over cast some light mist but all soon cleared and visibility remained fine. We were just leisurely paddlers. In the distance is the Portugal Cove Ferry that traverses the Tickle from Portugal Cove to Bell Island seemingly many times a day. The distant headlands were to remain shrouded in fog and low lying clouds as the weather changed but was held off until after we got back in.

We also had the opportunity to paddle by big homes. Man this one is some size when viewing from the water.   ; )

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Portugal Cove Or Bust: This Is The Ocean

It has been a while since I've been on the water. I sure know what I've been missing though. I've been miss'in Clyde in action!!

Clyde decided he wanted to side surf today. Hmmm I thought there could be photo matter. Clyde got his wish on the first wave. I got mine.  ; )

Seeing how that first one was so tastey I guess he decided to meet that other sucker that was right on the last ones tail. Steady buddy!!

At a boy Clyde...... Chew-Dat-Up!!!!

Now that looks like a smile. Ready for some more?? Very nice buddy, very nice!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Mistaken Point Newfoundland

A true trooper and welcomed company Agnes and Eric drove the ways down the South Shore. Agnes always willing to lend a hand. That damn tripod anyway. lol

565 million year old fossils. I thought I'd add some contrast.

I wanted to show some contrast.  So I put the iPone from Nov.21st, 2010 next to a 565 million year old fossil at Mistaken Point. Where we were, to where we are. I Started thinking we've come a long way,   and then I remembered the recent catalogue from UNICEF on our lounge table at work asking for donations of not money for people in Africa (the very rock this most likely came from) but goats, wells, huts, seeds etc. and realised we really may not have travelled that far at all! Ironically enough the writing under the map on the iPhone reads Bigdeal, not by design of course, it really is though I think.

Mistaken Point in the distance is becoming a tourist attraction on the south coast of NL. 800 and some visitors a year. It is remote. Land and Sea, a CBC program, recently did a take on it. We were actually standing on the rock as it was being viewed across NL on TV. It was afterall Nov. 21st with a -5 Celsius chill and cold western wind that day.

Precambrian rock from Avaloniam Terrane, some of the oldest rock in the world and when you see it you are mesmerised by it's presence. Sutured into it's new home from another early continent it was part of but retaining it's geological information and fossils.

Some very old fossils here. This may be a spindle as these are the most plentiful.

More to see and amazing that they were discovered in such an isolated spot in the late 1960's by a Memorial University Geologist. Tony was too young then I think. Sorry buddy had to get a dig in. Excuse the pun....I'll just stop now.

Tony I believe I would have loved to have made this trip with you as you are the geologist quite literally of our kayaking group. I would have learned so much. I had to read instead. I like that too. I wanted to show some dimension to the fossils still preserved on the rock and display how vulnerable and sensitive they must be to the environment and visitors. You have to remove footwear to step on the rock. We did this even in -5. I later found out that the elevation of the small fossil parts may not be due to the biota but to the compression of the organism over time and subsequent small eruptions from underneath. No matter, you still get an excellent view of these original organisms from so long ago. Some of the biota found here is particular to Newfoundland and never before identified.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


A nice colorful hike through the forest alonfg rivers edge. In northern Ontario.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

"Meaford Ontario and Toronto"

Toronto always delights......ya gotta like this billboard!

I was walking down Yonge Street in Toronto behind this lady who looked up at this billboard and started laughing. Not to strange to see people laughing on Yonge Street for no apparant reason but I looked to see what she found so amusing. Nice legs I thought.......

After a few secs gauking like a perv at the billboard legs a small waft of wind blew and lifted what was a piece of fabric over the billboard lady's butt (which was supposed to be her skirt, I'm sure you figured that out lol) and revealed her ..well undergarments and shapely behind. Nothing to do with kayaking I know but I thought this was ingenius marketing at least for those of us that keep our heads in the clouds .....sometimes. Nice I thought even if it is a bit up in the air!

Toronto skyline.

My first time in the CN Tower and I decided to go to the highest observation deck which is the Space Pod. 1465 feet about the ground. I decided to cross the barrier and lie on the outer window of the CN Tower on top of Toronto. I didn't think I'd be doing that  going up there.

The city of Toronto from the CN Tower. Which now stands for Canada's National Tower.

I visited a friend in Meaford Ontario and took tons of photos. Here are a few falls shots. Needless to say my feet were wet for the whole trip, now this can be similar to kayaking! These are called Walters Falls I think.

Walters Falls

Not sure of these falls name but they look out to the Niagara Escarpment which runs down to Rochester New York. It is this mass of rock the the Niagara Falls flow s over, hence the name. I have more shots of the valleys and the canyons of the area and some can be seen at  if you are so inclined. Snow fell the evening of the 5th of November so the following Staurday had a nice dusting for photos. Did lots of hikes and enjoyed the beautiful wilderness in this beautiful part of Canada.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

"Just Do It"

Finally on the water and finally a kayaking blog entry.

It was a blustery day in St. Philips. A late put-in at about 1:30pm and gusting 50km winds made for some mini wave action and a bit of surfing. Brian and I caught this odor with an accompanying huge brown spot on the water and decided to investigate. ???????

A bunch of bows and I have to say that my camera is on its way out as the quality of pictures seems to diminish eveytime I use it. Too many dunks in the sea water  guess.

Brin and I took a bit of respite from some wind. We were paddling hard most of the time against the wind hoping to catch "the wave" for a decent surf back. You can do this in St. Pilips when the wind is SW. You paddle like the dickens out round a small headland then surf back. Why not? It's Saturday!

After so many times out and back everyone needed a bit of a break.

Some of the gang paddling into the waves and a brisk SW head wind. Great to be back on the water with a good bunch of people. Thanks Tony, Dean, Gary, Clyde, Brian,Tobias and Sean for another good one at St. Philly.