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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.

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