Current Time On The Rock

Monday, June 28, 2010

"Off to Grand Bruit"

I'm lying here in a very quaint B&B in Burgeo trying to get some sleep before we catch our ferry tomorrow for Grand Bruit then on to Rose Blanch. We filed our float plan with the RCMP today. We also gave one to Coast Gaurd in Port Aux Basque. We are also lucky to have a local fisheries person that will come to out aid anywhere along our route. We all have VHF's and two cell phones. Just going over everything as I contemplate sleep. Yesterday we padled25 km to Red Island, simply beautiful there. Lots of swell in places two to three meters and we got on fine. Little wind. Today we paddled 15 km around the Islands of Burgeo and had lunch at the Sand banks park. Nice sandy beach. Of course taking lots of shots of area and of our paddles. I have my real camera with me on this trip so hopefully some nicer pics. I would recommend this B&B to any kayaker. What a sweet set up here. You'll see why when I we get back. To mjy son....I got your message Matthew. I'll be thinking of you.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

"Birds Of The Bar-B-Q, Part 2"

Birds Of A Feather......

After a week and a half the avian crowd seems to still be doing fine. Had to shoo away a few cats but when the lid is down , which is all the time, they are safe from everything except us. We treat them very well.

With faces only a mother could love we allow her to do just that. We interject no intereferance other than to take these shots when she is absent. It is nice watching her feed her young daily with worms. She ignores anything we put out.

They will probably be well grown when I get back maybe even gone but I was hoping to watch them learn to fly. The blue egg of before has obviously hatched and there are five little critters now. You can see here there metallic looking skin and new feathers. They still haven't grown into their beaks yet though.

Monday, June 21, 2010

"Finishing Touches"

On June 29th we leave for Burgeo. I put together my maps on a 500m scale. I printed them off on legal size paper from my Blue Charts from Map Source and had them all laminated. 32 in all.

Once around the apple tree James and home for...... I just wanted to illustrate the length of our paddle at a 500m map scale that's about   (----------------)  this long on the actual map. Shot from my deck. With my lawn chair saw horses. Heee Haaw! THese are the 32 maps from above.

A most important finishing touch is this label. Not just any label. This is one of our club boat labels that we put on our kayaks for identification purposes. Very handy should you become seperated from your boat on shore or in water. It makes identification of owner simple which is extremely important in a rescue situation when rescuers come upon and empty and usually overturned boat. I have mine behind my seat with a thin coat of resin over it. Another sunny day achievement. lol

Beef Jerky is in the dehydrater, GORP has to be bagged, final food purchases have to be collected then I should be ready.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

"Alleluia, Alleluia!! Nordkapp Owners"

This is a paint can lid remover. It cost me $7.49, I think they saw me coming.

This is a Nordkapp hatch cover remover and re sealer. It simply is the cat's meow of a Nordkapp owner's gadgetry. Save your finger nails in the winter and all season long let me tell ya!

This thing works like a charm. The inventor is Will Forsberg. You all probably know about it and I am just finding out. You taper the end so as to have somewhat of a point to seal the hatch cover back on. I tried it today and it works like snot. Clyde turned us on to this a few weeks back. Same time I dinged my

Cut view after a bit of filing and sanding.

I posted yesterday about an untidy shed. That bothered Now it's tidy. I like tidy!

More space for more gadgetry perhaps.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

"Putting That Pump Away!"

My Little work shed. Cluttered but I know where everything is.
Does that count!
Need another sunny day for spring cleaning.

Todays project was designated for hull repair but since I had the fiberglass out I decided to finally put that pump on the hull of my boat . Homemade toggles and all.

Might as well add an under deck water bottle holder. I am trying to organise
my deck for our paddle from Rose Blanche to Burgeo at months end.

Secure and tidy. That mission accomplished. Sometimes you just have to spend time
if not in the shed....near it.

I may have mentioned this in another post but when I work on my boat I use two lawn chairs as "saw horses". Works like a charm and you can adjust them accordingly. That's the way it is when your shed won't fit your 18 foot boat. I like sunny days.

"One Hull Of A Day"

I've been putting of this hull repair since Tony, Clyde and I were paddling in Witless Bay.
Waiting for the sun.


Cleaned and Fiberglassed. Oh Yes and sanded. A rough job I know, but I thik it will hold.

Now ain't that spiffy. And Shiney with the new Gelcoat.

Ready For the trip at Month's end. Finally had a sunny day. I crammed as much as I could into today.
The hull repair was part of that day. Gullfeather is happy.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

"Bar-B-Q Birds"

Children Of The Bar-B Q

Sure would like a worm!!! Says the guy with the wide opened mouth. The other little gal just looks enamoured with her brother.

Just tryin' to grow into my beak.

All squared up for warmth. Better shut the cover!

Well I know what you are thinkin'. What a cold hearted bast%$&! Not at all. Actually on our deck was my Bar-B-Q. It is old and weathered and we have been thinking on a new one. Well now we have no choice. A couple of European Starlings decided to take up residence there a few weeks ago. We knew they were up to something when we saw them coming and going with twigs and anything else they could enter through the holes on either end of the Bar B Q with. Well I decided to take a peek with camera in hand yesterday when Mom flew out for food. Yup there be birdy babes there. Kind a cute don't ya think. Reminds me of spring that we missed. :  ) But it looks like one of them is gonna have a sore neck. Or maybe he is just keeping that egg under there warm.

Friday, June 11, 2010

"Down The Arm"

With waters as smooth as silk every stroke seemd effortless and the hulls of our boats easily sliced the crystal clear surface of the Arm.

Tony choosing a course through The Duck Islands.

With a spectacular day behind us we depart for home under a setting sun. So ends our day and so ends our Bull Arm paddle last Saturday.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

"Duck Islands"

Near Bull Island are a bunch of smaller islands which all seem to connect underwater. Sort of like a rolling meadow with all the deeper compressions filled with water. When you paddle in and around them you are treated to shallow under water vistas suitable for easy viewing and I dear say fishing as there are lots of shoal(y) type areas for fish to feed and feel protected. We decided to lunch here on Saturday in the afternoon sun and just really take it all in.

An underwater glimpse of some water creatures.

Just organising lunch. Nice day for a Saturday Tony?

Wednesday, June 09, 2010


Upon Reflection...........

Critters big and small are in Bull Arm. This little guy got our attention as we were on our way back from Duck Islands and Bull ISland Tickle. I thought at first he was kind of floundering in the water but in retrospect he may have been just finding his way on his own. Later we saw a few other bigger seals that were perhaps looing for him.

This Bald Eagle was spotted on our way out the Arm. There appears to be some animal diversity in this quiet community. Perhaps of course "the quiet" affording this opportunity.

Upon further reflection it felt like we were paddling on a lake not a coastal arm. Bull Arm I am sure has its' share of wind and sassy weather like any part of NFLD. Today however was to be tranquil and relaxing. It was a day of roving on the water and dilly-dallying around most of the day. The water was so clear and near the Duck Islands at the exit of the arm into Trinity Bay you could see clear to the bottom and there sure were a lot of scallops down there I wouldn't have minded getting to. Lots of sealife on the floor of the arm as well.

Of course the paddle was with Tony but it is nice when the other animals show up on the paddle as well. Our blogs always have pictures of us. Sometimes it is difficult because of conditions or geography to capture the life around us. Today we did.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Humpback On The Surface

Sun Bathing

So Saturday was a beautiful sunny day. How fitting for a community called Sunnyside. We were however in Bull Arm kayaking. It certainly proved to be the place to be. Yesterday I posted about a Humpback encounter and a wonderful underwater display he put on for Tony and I. Today you can see his topside show of curiosity, bewilderment, playfulness and perhaps communication. Certainly whatever was going on was very moving to say the least.

Coming closer to investigate we began to get a good impression of the size of this whale. Right then he is just sizing us up. With a few sprays from his blowhole we got to feel him as much as see him.

He bobbed up and down getting a glimpse at eye level for us both. Too bad for the water droplet but you get a good perspective of the size of his head. A small portion of his head.

Still there??

He seemed to understand that I wasn't going anywhere. He wanted to be sure I guess that I ws harmless. I wasn't moving perhaps he thought I was an injured fish not a foe.

I'll just roll over a few times to see what you look like upside down.....

Are you sure you know how big I am and where my blowhole is?

Ok, Ok,  you know, but did you know that I can roll too? Watch!

I have an offside roll as well.............

and since you appear to be so still and not moving, I'll clap for my own performance. Thank you...thank you very much!

I'm going to wind up for my curtain call......don't be too alarmed .....but you probably will....

of course I sure was as he maneuvered around me to his own tune. Flickung his tail gently at my boat and stretching out so that his whole length was extended across the water surface showing his flukes in the front and his belly and tail closer to me. The waves he created right beside me were gentle and didn't require any kind of bracing. It was as if he knew. His control was impeccable and his ability to read our situation was astounding. I was at a loss at this point for anything other than total amazement. What a spectacle, how privleged I felt to have been able to witness and be part of this wonderful encounter and sit at home each day now and wonder really what it meant.

Of course like a fighter pilot tipping his wing at a target he let go on land, this humpback actually submerged so that just a part of his tail fin was exposed and meandered around a bit in that stance like a shrk fin on the surface of the ocean, as if to say, "see you, I know you are here but now so are you aware of all of me."  I can only thank the whale gods for all of everything Tony and I were witness to on Saturday. Off he went to the otherside of the arm. We did not engage him as he left. Later we tried but he was busy with his own activities and had obviously figured us out but left us with lots to talk about and figure out for ourselves. What more can be said other than please treat these animals with respect as we did and I hope that you someday may have this magical experience to share with others too.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

My Hull

My attractive kayak hull. The whale probably was admiring all the scratches thinking they were perhaps scars like on his own body. Maybe not but the hull does look fishy.

Humpedback Whale: A Whale's Tale

A Whale's Tale

Tony and I wanted to paddle on Saturday past. I suggested a paddle originally from Bellvue Beach to Bull's Arm. We settled on Bull's Arm at the top of the isthmus that connects the Avalon Peninsula to the rest of Newfoundland. It is a typical Newfoundland outport with character, charm and of course Newfoundland hospitality evident straight from our put-in. Senior Hiscock of the community was very helpful and generous in allowing us to enter near his staging From then on it was simply adventure and a most awesome paddle with lots of wildlife above and below water and warm weather to sharpen the trip. 

The word leviathan is pretty much synonymous with a large sea monster or creature. It is the modern Hebrew name for whale I believe. Today we came eye to eye so to speak with one such leviathan, the Humpedback Whale, on our paddle. Every cent and every hour ever spent on kayaking to this point in my life  was worth it, for the moments of this day.

I don't think he came out of no where as we heard his blow hole earlier. I also felt several times his blow hole spray when he was maneuvering around me on the waters' surface. Ithought it would smell fishy, as I heard it did, but I couldn't smell anything but the salt water.When he did come he came as a huge graceful  monolith. Slithering beneath me I felt totally frighted and in awe at the same time. I wasn't sure what his behavior would be but his persistance allowed me time to photograph some of his magnificent movements under and very near me.

I really didn't realise his size until his back at one point was right beside my kayak. He seemed attracted to it. Perhaps because of the color. I'll post an under water shot of the boat hull at the end. He also surfaced many times right beside me. Flicking his tail ever so gently for the colossal size and resting his huge head parrallel to the side of my kayak in the water. The above water shots I will post another time but his underwater show was just as spectacular to me.

From various angles he studied me and i him. I felt he was trying to communicate something. Maybe ...just get the hell out of here....but it did not feel like that at all.

I tried in vain to figure out what was going on. I dare not move my kayak I was spell bound and totaaly enthralled in this display. I wasn't scared he was observing me for so long. Even poking his head up like a seal right beside me and looking me in the eyes. I felt so small and humbled. For a time I felt part of the food chain. I know Humpedbacks don't attack humans
 but his size was very diminsihing to me.

He was either playing with me or courting my kayak. His on water behavior was even more peculiar in his display of unconventional positions and movements. Well at least unconventional to what we normally see as his feeding behaviours. I wasn't moving, he could have departed, but choose to stay and reveal his playful antics.

Strangely enough I had just watched one of those corny Jaws movies last week. With this in the back of my mind I looked over and saw him rising not quite as quickly as the hair on the back of my neck I might add but rising and then rolling over exposing his underside and flukes as he glided beneath my boat. It was simply amazing and something I've never experienced before.

His gigantic size cannot truely be appreciated here but though he was probably meters beneath me he felt everywhere. I just couldn't surmise what he might do next. So I just kept sticking my arm in the water with the camera attached hoping for the best and being entertained on a scale that has no comparisons.

I knew there was an end in sight and surely he'd soon tire of me and my boat. That was a close encounter of a whale kind and a whale tale I shall cherish for times to come. I shall never forget this day, the sunshine, the whale, my humility, my humanness and the sharing of it with my pal Tony Roestenberg. What a friggin' day Tony!