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Sunday, January 24, 2010

"High Tide Cut-Off"

These frozen falls were beautiful to paddle by. Awe inspiring to gaze on. They are from a paddle two weeks ago but this picture was o my header for a while and now I must archive it on my blog which is why you see it here.

"Just The Beginning"

Well Tony, we may have missed the session on the water yesterday but the guys made it out for a session that looked both a little cold and fun. They were undaunted and red faced, and all after the rolls, exited the slip way for a paddle in Conception BAy.

Robert is seen here tailing the group as they head out. You can winter paddle and if you go over in it and practise that well, you just get a feeling for what it is like.


Well we all wear it. Or at least some form of it. Especially on days like yesterday. "Kokatat" is actually a Native American word meaning "into the water". It only seems fitting that it should brand a company designed to produce paddling gear. Couldn't have found a better one really. Today the literal affirmation of that word was approached by some paddling dudes who felt the need to be 'in the water' on a very cold day. About -20 celsius I guess. I actually liked my vantage point. The wharf.


HAve you ever done a roll and coming up banged your head on a floating sheet of ice? No, me neither. But the possibility was there yesterday, hence the helmets. A handful of guys got together to practise just that, rolling and assisted rescues. It was chilly and here they are just jockeying for spots to roll in the Gut at St. Philips. How come I'm not in the water? I just came from work but didn't want to miss the photo op so Tony and I are planning fo a colder day! ;-)

"Who'd Know"

Well I would and I am here to tell you that they were rolling in -16- -20 degrees celsius yesterday just to get an idea of what it would be like and what it would feel like. Some rolls seemed fast(just get me out of here) and others more controlled. HAd to be careful not to bang your head on floating sheets of ice though. Sea using his stick to take him through the motions.

"It Does Get Frosty"

When you winter paddle it becomes clear instantly that things are just a little bit different. The water is cold, the air is cold, and well you simply have to be more aware because things just are not going to click and snap as readily as they would in warm weather. Clyde exiting the Gut to the open ocean outside yesterday.

Monday, January 18, 2010

"Into The Light"

Some parts of Saturday's paddle were shaded while others allowed us to paddle in a bit of very transient sun, nice contrast and swell action to propel us along.

"Let There Be Water.."

Where would we be without it? Something neat about creating your own platform or 'kayak island' in the middle of a big body of water. Conception HArbour Newfoundland.

"Open To Blue"

Though we started out on Saturday with overcast skies it was not long into the paddle that we realized a bit of blue poking through the clouds in the distance. Ralph and Gerard chatting it up as they paddle along.

"Crystal Cliff"

Neville cruising near the shore the frozen water seepage from land. Very beautiful to paddle near the frozen stalactites. Some were menacingly sharp.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

"Make It An Even Ten, 10"

Nine of us started out today, Robert, Neville, Sean, Dean, Ralph, Gerard, Tony, Tobias and myself and later the even ten Clyde showed up to complete a paddle from Conception Harbour to Collier's Point. We were gone for four hours and had multiple stops to maintain our group.

The scenery of frozen ic falls, blue and grey skies and turqoise, blue and black waters, kept the interest peaked for there was always something worth gazing on around the next bend. But then again in kayaking for me.......there always is! Paddle Safe.....Paddle Hard.

"Geology 101"

To Tony Geology-To me...a big friggin' rock! Watch out ya don't hit that Gerard. :-) Great paddling with you buddy. I love your passion.

"Sky to Sea"

Definitely a sky to see today as the clouds were just beautiful to photograph. You couldn't help but feel very lucky to be where we were today considering what is going on in other countries. Life was good today and we were grateful to be partaking of it. Tony, Gerrard and Robert here.

"Down The Shore"

Hugging the coast and feeling the small swell and wave rebound for that extra umph! Tobias preparing his video camera I think.

"Niceeee Hat!"

Getting ready for the shot. lol Good job Neville.

"Holding Pattern"

The beach was not big enough for us all to land at once so it was done pretty much one at a time to keep it clean and safe.

"Quick Stop"

A quick stop to kick start the energy reserves and be on the way again. Bacon Cove was a tease really as a few of us were discussing how nice it would have been to have bacon and eggs and a hot cup of java at this point. Next Time.


The hills in the distance would be Witch Hazel Ridge as we make our way to Conception Harbour, in from Conception Bay, NL.

"The Sprint"

Ralph and I decided to sprint back to Conception Harour from Collier's Point. We both agreed that while it was sweet to paddle in the winter, it is equally sweet to make haste for shore during the colder season. 4 hours of winter paddling, is I think, a good limit.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

"The Weather Outside Is Frightful"

Not really as bad as it might look and just as refreshing as paddling in a light rain in the summer.
I have to say that I always paddle with a deck bag. This one is from Northwater in BC Canada and they make tough kayaking gear,sometimes "frilly" like the paddle pants, but most times very funtional. This sleek, peaked bag has my flares, waterproof light, spare mitts in small plastic bag for when I get out, rope, and some snacks. All is accessible via a horizontal zipper which I check upon every outing for proper function. In the winter if you happen to get out of your boat in the dunk, the essentials are a small zip away, no fumbling, mumbling or grumbling (you get the umbles when 'the hypo' sets in) just easy access at you mitt or glove tips. At least this works for me. One thing you may want to take care of is having the pump exposed in really freezing cold climes. It may seize and/or break(the skinny handle). It may be wise to store it below deck capitalizing on the enclosed sealed cockpit. This day was not cold enough to present such a problem.


Well Ralph has a Nordkapp with a light grey deck and a white hull and I have a black nordkapp which on this day's paddle were excellent contrasts for white snow and seemingly black rock. So needless to say it was kind of neat taking shots and besides Ralph seemed to be having some fun on the water as I believe we all were.

"Rock and Water"

Surrounded by rock and water on a winter's day with a light snow we were. This was the header of my blog for a few days and now I just want to archive it to my site.

Saturday, January 09, 2010


Becasue they can!


Tony and Dean Cleaning the salt off in the fresher water.


Ralph with Tony in the barely visible distant kayak in Conception BAY.

"Distant Headlands"

Visible to us now the distant headlands were a range point. Soon though they were lost to the snow we enjoyed on a nice leisurely winter jaunt to Portugal Cove.

"The Plan"

Almost to Portugal Cove we decided to stop and evaluate conditions and give everyone an opportunity to choose to continue or not. Group consensus was to continue paddling to Potugal Cove even though a snow squall had moved in. Visibility on the distant horizon was gone but we certainly had visibility as you can see here.

"Snow Lessons"

Well if you can learn something new every time you go for a paddle it kind of enhances the paddling experience for me and if not that, then at least the stories are livlier.
Today I found out that when I padle head on into a snow squall my eyes hurt like hell and couldn't adjust to the beating. Now I have paddling into what seemed like torrential rains and never felt the same annoyance or pain on the eyes. This face must have been the one I paddled with all the way to Portugal Cove and was relieved to be able to turn around and head back to St Philips and let the snow pelt the back of my head.

"To Portugal"

On the way to portugal Cove today we paddled in a light snow with temps hovering around -1 celsius and 15 knot winds. It was an excellent day on the water for Jan, 2010. Dean up ahead is being followed by Tony through a rock channel.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

"Kayaking Newfoundland Waters"

Kayaking Newfoundland waters is an exciting prospect. Kayaking is an exciting prospect. Not everyday is a kayaking day nor is every kayaking day without it's inherent risk. It is managing risk in this area to enjoy the waters that it has to offer. The amazing thing about all this is that there is so much beautiful coastline the non-paddler cannot see, and it is very close to St. John's and area.
So sometimes when it is dark and seemingly gloomy and waters to rough to be plied by kayak or any other boat we will always be thinking where our next adventure lies and if you cannot for what ever reason make it on the water yourself, visit this site and you will enjoy photos and some fun banter on our beautiful coast that is Newfoundland. More photos at

"December 24th"

Reposting this image because I had it as my blog header and they do not get archived on my site. I wanted this image archived so here it is again. Some of the boys of St. John's kayaking club preparing for Christmas.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

"It's All In The View"

One of my favorite paddles last year was a trip I took MAy long weeekend to The Dungeon campground in Bonavista Newfoundland. The wind was howling when I arrived that evening and set up my tent on the edge of a cliff in the park. I had read about the Dungeon Sea Cave and how long ago it was covered and caved in over time, when that actually happened I am not sure but it left an indelible mark on the beauty of the cave.

You can paddle in and of course out of the cave as I did. The wind was so strong through the openings it blew me against the inner shore and out.

The upper image is looking down on the sea cave from a viewing platform in the park.

The bottom image is a view from my kayak seat exiting the sea cave via the left portal as viewed from the top image. What a beautiful and mystical kind of paddle that morning. I wonder if the roof was on the cave when John Cabot paid his visit to the area in his ship the MAtthew in 1497. If he knew of the cave he would have had to find it by row boat because it is a very shallow draft.

This is my first post of the year and I think it only fitting to look on the new year with the same anticipation of excitement in new adventures as John Cabot surely had in making his discoveries in his many trips across oceans, bays and likely coves of foreign lands. Though I may not paddle foreign lands I certainly hope to paddle new waters, bays, coves and the like. Maybe even some lake trips this year. One can dream of plying new waters and feeling the freshness of their spray as we are whisped along by tides and winds of distant origin.