Current Time On The Rock

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Ocatagon Pond KNL Safety Day A Success!

Kayak Newfoundland Safety Day at Octagon Pond

It can be about boats of course.............

Ya gotta get'em there......

Canoes too.....

Yup, looks OK on that side....try before ya buy!

people helping others is common....

Getting them there is kind a fun too....

Getting in them even better......

Some were just contemplating, like the life guard......

some were just caught candidly smiling,,,,,

others were meeting new people and introducing to club members....

some were marching to their own tune like the Cadet Band....

other photo shy people were just marching to the lake...   :-)

some were already there like Louise looking golden as usual....

There were rescue demonstrations ........

.....sample tows.......

...and of course helping hands like Darren who took time of from his Master's work to be at the pond and lending a bit of assistance......

Well how does it happen you might ask? Well it takes dedicated people like Craig here and others who strike a committee and power on against odds and obstacles. A great job  an excellent day for only an evening session and maybe next year there will be even more interest by club members to participate and show up even if you've done a rescue or two before and maybe ........because!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

"Farley Mowat's House"

Finding Farley Mowat:

This wasn't as easy as we thought when we arrived in Burgeo. We knew he once had a house here. We made a few inquiries. Dorum our B&B host told us where he lived we were just typical males and drove around until we couldn't find it....then asked someone. Dorum said the house was "shrink wrapped" that means having had siding added. This takes away from the "naturalness" and originality of a place hiding in a way perhaps behind a modern shield, the individuality that is expressed by ones' home, the character and life they take on over time. Probably much like the owners I presume. Farley was an environmentalist, conservationist and author. He is known for such writings as  People of The Deer, Lost In The Barrens, Never Cry Wolf, A Whale for The Killing and The Sea of Slaughter to name a few. He is known for his controversial accounts of the impact of modern society on traditional cultures and the natural wilderness. He lived in small villages such as Burgeo, around Newfoundland and on a farm on the Island of Cape Breton in Nova Scotia. Well worth a read for sure. He was a second lieutenant in World War II and was in command of a rifle platoon and  participated in the initial landings of Operation Husky, the Allied invasion of Sicily. He has one many awards including The Order of Canada and On June 8th of 2010 would have a star added to Canada's Walk of Fame.
Ralph being as curious as he is, walked on up to his house for a closer look.  We were told it was very nice inside and bought by a neighbour whose son was moving in. Anyone home Ralph? lol

Sunday, July 18, 2010

"Burgeo By Kayak"

Guess what? This is our last day. We travel a good bunch of  km to get from Wreck Island To Burgeo. Mixed with big water, undulating swell and calm barasways.

It was an 8am departure from wreck Island. I slept fitfully through the night having gone to bed early. Even missed the camp fire. Had bit of a chill as the fog rolled in, the skies over cast with periods of rain and the wind picked up through the evening. At about 3am I was awakened by the sound of waves hitting the beach that seemed intensified. Got up warily in the dark and walked down to beach to find the water washing under the stern of my boat. Ralph and Tony had secured it last evening. Ralph's boat was also having its' stern washed so I moved both boats further up beach and went back to bed relieved. Tony's boat was fine. We were anxious to get on the go and hoping weather would hold. The fog was just a km or so out to sea.

Waters were not bad at start and certainly manageable as we pass Wreck Island Harbour.

Rounding the outer rim of Green Island we begin to appreciate the increase in swell from the open ocean of the Gulf.

As we near Kelpy Cove Point the swell is ever increasing with a bit more wind.

We are exposed here and not sheltered from the SWesterlies.  We decide to paddle a bit more towards the worsening swell at the headland into open ocean.

Adjusting for taking a shot was no easy task as allot of paddles rounding Kelpy Cove Point were braces and many times my deck was a wash. We soldiered on to the bit of respite provided by the inner side of the head and Cowlest Barasway.

Later we round Barasway Point, pass by Doctor's Island and near and pass Slaughter Rock. Not sure how this rock got its' name but one can only imagine a number of possibilities in this area.

With the tougher waters behind us on this day we are lulled by the Barasway waters and can see the towers and Island of Burgeo in the far distance we are back! But not before a stop on Cornelius Island for some much needed drink and refueling.

Cornelius has this cabin in a neat little protected cove with green fields and smaller islands around. A beautiful tranquil spot before the Burgeo finish.

As I gain steam for Burgeo I take one last look behind and see Ralph and Tony rounding Cronelius Island we are off again for the final leg. I contemplate our trip, our adventure and our success and it is then that I know we have etched memories forever.

Distant Burgeo.

Tout Finis!

Friday, July 16, 2010

"Grand Bruit To Wreck Island"

This is not the exact route we took as I am sure we meandered much more but it is merely to outline our progress. It was a long paddle with a few breaks, some fog of course and some delicious sun.

After our final fairwell to one of the last residents on Grand Bruit we pushed of the slip with his help. They always help here. Ralph and Tony ready for the next leg of our journey.

The exit to GB harbour then a sharp left and we are on our way. THe sun was out and intense already this morning and a beautiful start for a paddle.

Here we are facing Three Islands and Sandbank Point in the distance. The sun direcly in our eyes and my glasses lost in Harbour Le Cou. Thank god for hat brims. As it turns out we certainly had more sun than expected and I ended up with blisters on my nose that scabbed and one on the lip.  They are just now healing. Not enough sunscreen. Who'd a thunk?

Well under way we pass a few headlands. Cinq Cerf Bay with a few Isands was interesting and waters not that bad at all nor were the winds which were still hovering around 15nts and from the SW. Couteau Head , Deep Water Point and Shot Bag Island were all navigated by the guys.

Deep Water Point I believe.

Nearing Captain's Island we had been paddling for a stretch. It was getting time to get out and stretch the legs. I looked over to Ralph and creeping behind him was none other than our coastal friend .....the fog! I told Ralph to have a glance behind him and check out the banlk rolling in. I suggested we might make it to Captain's Island before it.

This is a sandy beach on Captain's Island we spotted from off shore and Ralph noticed movement coming down the hills behind the beach. It looked like  some four legged animal with a calf. They were just strolling down their woven path oblivious to Tony who was just about to hit the beach, and he had not seen them yet at this point I don't think. There was a small knoll before the sand they had to top and they strolled down right in front of Tony still in his boat maybe a meter or so from shore. The quiet approach of a kayak had not alerted them and Tony was able to get some decent shots. It turns out they were Caribou. Tony and I have come upon them before on a previous trip in Placentia Bay. They must have crossed the narrow strip between the Island and the mainland. It was obvious they were here before from the worn trails on the island.

Remember the fog bank behind Ralph and I. We beat it by about ten minutes. We were later to navigate through this for quite a ways. Keep the land to the left and ya can't go wrong. Some sunkers and shoals with breaking waves to get through though.

All I captured of the Caribou was their hurried departure and they were quick to make for the hills. Later the stag appeared for a security evaluation of us and then they were all lost in the  engulfing fog.

With Captain's Island , Bell Head, Muddyhole Point and lots of fog behind us we broke out into sunshine for the crossing of Connoire Bay. It seemed like forever and it was hot but we sauntered onward longing for Wreck Island and what may lie there for us.

Rounding Connoire Head and Wreck Island in sight we were propelled forward with a nice gentle swell from seaward. Tony and Ralph consulting maps we headed for our camp site for the night. What a site it would prove to be, eh Guys?

Boats ashore it was time to set up camp and enjoy the declining sun . We had time to again dry gear, go for walks, collect firewood and prepare for our supper.

Tony spotted this flat shelf above the beach that was cushioned by this dry moss. Camp took shape quickly and we were delighted not to have to trek sand in and out of our tents. Good call on that Tony!

All along the way my guts were killing me. I was kept awake at nights but always seemed to get enough sleep. When I got home I did a Helicobacter Pylori Breath test on myself at work where you swallow some radioactive  carbon 14 urea and give a breath sample (because it is one of many test we do) and two hours later I had a high positive result.  I figured. There is antibiotic treatment which I am now on and feeling much better. I only mention this because at this point the guys were getting ready to eat. I wasn't hungry/ Wasn't looking forward to gut aggravation so I decided to build a sun shelter. Funny really because at first I built it into the sun. Figured 36km wasn't enough work I guess. Dah! Anyways lots of time, lots of sun and it was great to enjoy it because we didn't even have sun before we left St. John's. Coincedentally more warm sun on our trip than we had all spring. The tarp more to protect my camera equipment than me.

Seeing how I took the extra effort to bring the equipment along including a heavy tripod which on occasion in Burgeo Tony helped me lug along and I thank him for that for sure, I figured I'd stick my kayak on a rock of seaweed and snap my beautiful Nordkapp, (we all had Nordkapps on this trip) pointing to the west like some ebony magnetic needle on a compass island...........maybe I really needed food! Welsh's supposed real fruit gummies were not doing the trick. Another wicked day and another chapter in our adventure. The final leg tomorrow.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

"Grand Bruit By Kayak"

The second leg of our trip.

When we woke in La Plante Harbour the next day it was early morning sunshine. I was up at 6 and went for a morning pee then set off on a hike to take pictures. When the sun shines ya gotta make hay!  The header image was taken that morning July 2nd. After 26 km yesterday (it will be 36km  today) it was good to stretch the legs again.

Early fog was developing already but the sun was quick to burn some off.

The coastal Iris and Newfoundland's provincial flower the Pitcher Plant. It is a beautiful carnivorous plant and possesses a prey-trapping mechanism whose deep cavity holds a liquid known as "pitfall trap". Just after my slip on seaweed coated rocks and a good ole shin gouging I was ready to relax and enjoy the light.

With our vehicles on our doorsteps it was time to catch breakfast and break camp.

A Beautiful day as we head down La Poile bay. About three down and three back up. I took more of a diagonal crossing to Eastern Point so it was probably more tan 6 kms I'm sure. Ralph breaking the water today.

La Poile is a small village that still receives ferry service from Rose Blanche-Burgeo. We didn't take out here it was purely for interest sake and rubber boots. lol

In Roti Bay we decide on a break at this beach Tony is heading for.

Fuelled up we begin again and start to make our way between mainland and Jacques Island.

Making our way past Wild Cove we begin to recognise a distant tower.

Beautiful weather passing the likes of Shag Rock, Tinker Rock, Grip Island and such we come up to The Barasway and clearly see the communication tower of Grand Bruit. It is a calm, peaceful paddle through there and a feeling of accomplishment starts to set in knowing we are nearing our half way mark and now familiar Grand Bruit pronounced Grand Brit.

Tower left...................Grand Bruit exit right!

Entering on our own steam this time we paddle into Grand Bruit. We see the dock and a few gathered there and proceed for a "paddle by", lol.

Low and behold our new friend Joe , proprietor of Cramalot Inn, is there to greet  us. One thing that was evident from the outset at Grand Bruit is that there is a strong culture of helping each other out. Today Joe was helping someone else leave the village and soon of course he would be packing his own belongings for territory less familiar I think.

A swing by the falls and we are ready to disembark our boats and once again set up camp. This time it would be in the United Church on the hill. Arriving early in the afternoon allowed us to take it easy, replenish our water supplies (my filter/pump came in handy) and enjoy the sun yet once again, oh wonderful kayaking gods!

We also had time to explore a bit the back side of Grand Bruit, the part we missed because of lack of time during our first arrival here two days ago. The Blue Hills in the background provided an excellent backdrop for a small hike. You are able to climb these hills but they are about an hour and some away. This natural reservoir of water is what feeds the falls that flow into the heart of the village. I'll have more pictures at posted soon.

Since our arrival in Burgeo about 5 days ago , we were captivated by the beauty of the  area and it extends all the way down the coast. I plan to make a pictorial book of our trip for each of us and of course it will need a cover. The on going joke of the trip was "this picture is the cover Ralph",because many of the shots taken I'm sure by all of us could easily be a cover for a book of some sort. Thanks again guys. Two days to go.