Current Time On The Rock

Thursday, December 15, 2011

“Beaches and Such"

Well it has been a while since I posted and since I kayaked. I do get to beaches however if for nothing else to photograph them. I would never hit a beach without strolling or combing it somewhat as well. I didn’t land on this one in my boat but drove here last Saturday evening hunkering for a photo op.

We do paddle by this beach sometimes when we put-in at St. Philips, which is easterly to the right. I hope to get out with the guys again soon as they do make their sojourn it seems weekly somewhere even if it is the pool. I kind of taken to being somewhat of a shutterbug on land because I am experimenting with some new techniques, new to me that is.

Bored as heck one Saturday night and thought I’d try for that crown created by a droplet you know the one I mean. You see it perhaps for only a fraction of a second when a drop of liquid breaks the surface tension of another liquid. Little things that go on in sort of another world that only last for fractions of seconds and of course if no one records them they are missed.

Not much a-do about kayaking but it is water, the medium we interact with as kayakers. Sometimes we can freeze the action when we are out there and damn aren’t those the neatest shots when we look on’em. Like water on a duck’s back.

Kind-a too like reflections on the water that can be lost to cloud cover, shade, wind waves or just obliviousness.

Whatever the reason we don’t see or take the time to experience those little things might just make the big picture not that visible after all either. Paddle hard and safe and remember to stop and smell the Rhino poop!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

“Lest We Forget"

Dawn’s Early Light

For my son Lieutenant Matthew Mac Kenzie, his comrades, for all those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. One day, there will be peace for all.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

“Beating A Dead Cat” and “What It’s Really All About"

A figure of speech of course but I’m posting more shots.

We had river boater as well last Sunday though I did not know him or have a chance to meet him he was boofing in the waves like the rest of us.

Oh yeah, have you met Sean Yet?

Well I know I pick on everyone with photos but this one was neat because you actually did have to be careful on the water because some people did literally disappear in a trough and if you or they were not aware of their presence you could, well, “bump into them”….

Clyde always likes dancing with waves so I wasn’t surprised when I didn’t see much of him on the water. So many waves I don’t know how he coped with which one to attack first.  : )

Doing your thing, what it’s really all about on the water anyway.

Monday, November 07, 2011

“Keeping It Going"

Well since I enjoyed the paddle so much yesterday I figured I’d post a few more shots. Wasn’t able to get good shots of everyone yesterday as I was concentrating more on paddling than shooting. I was tailing a few people but water on the lens in these conditions is inevitable and leads to ruined shots.

Chasing down Gary

Sometimes one character becomes more easily photographed on the waters than others and this seems to happen whenever I am out and on this day it was Sean. Perhaps these guys are just more forgiving and less evasive.  I think that someone taking pictures of you all the time when you are just trying to have some fun and peaceful enjoyment can perhaps be a nuisance at times. I try to avoid this though.  ; )

Sean here was practising some braces in the waves.

Wanted to keep this photo of Hazen on the blog now that it is out of the header.

Tony also practising some bracing in the conditions. A great day on the water with a good bunch of guys and our ritual coffee afterwards at the seaside diner makes for a complete outing.

“St. Philips and I Actually Paddled This Time"

St. Philips again this Sunday under similar circumstances and sea conditions as last week. I was back in the boat after battling a cold for an eternity and 9 of us gathered for some wind wave paddling in the remnants of an autumn sun.

Sean playing around before heading out into the Conception Bay.

Part of the thrill is catching the odd wave to surf in the conditions. The waves are quite irregular in that once you catch one you get hit by another from a different angle which wrecks the wave you were on. Sometimes though, like Tony here, you can catch a good ride and savour the momentum and be propelled along like a rocket.

The boys dipping in and out of troughs.

I liked this shot because Sean looks like he got that evil grin going as if to ram Tony when in reality they are quite a ways apart. I was on shore when I took this using a 200 mm with a 2X teleconverter focused on Sean which leaves Tony in the foreground out of focus in the shot, but most definitely focused on his advance.

“Planting The Stern Rudder"

Des firm on the advance.

Although I had posted another picture of Des in my header last week I wanted to post this one as well from the same outing. Just love the curves of that Nordkapp.

Des from last week as well.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

St. Philips, even if I didn’t get my boat wet.

I’ve been nursing a cold lately but knew the boys were heading for a quick jaunt at St. Philips on Saturday. I was out and about taking photos so decided to head out and see if the guys were within range. If I was feeling a bit better I would have been there so this was a bit of a tease. Especially since I had’t been out in a while.

Des relaxing in the calm shelter of the shoreline before heading back out, to the rough of it, in St. Philips.

Tony and Des bobbing in the wind waves with Bell Island in the background.

Feeling a bit too warm for conditions Dean just cooled off a bit.

Tony seeking a bit of the shelter of the rocky outcrop. Always fun paddling out around this and then beating it back in on the waves. The SW winds give some decent waves occasionally to do this. Today they were gusting 25-30 knots I think.

“Loose Lips Sink Ships", they use to say during the World Wars, my mother told me growing up. In other words keep your mouth shut so you don’t give the whereabouts of allied vessels to anyone, especially anyone you didn’t know. My mother use to fill buckets with sand in Halifax as A kid during the WW11 to help put out fires should they be air raided. She use to speak of the sirens going off and blackouts during preparation for them, some nights.

The vessel in the upper left is a navy vessel with personnel practising diving drills I think. Should be OK to say that now ………I hope!  Des is just waiting for a wave or perhaps just being serenaded by the lull of the waves undulating. 

 Dean back to dry dock after washing off in the freshwater stream under the bridge in St. Philips.

Missing time on the water but good to see the guys out there taking advantage of the conditions. Maybe next time. Off to those landlubbers in Toronto today.

Friday, September 16, 2011

“It Is What It Is"

I’m thinking that it simply can be just that, ‘a kayak in the woods on a shoreline’, but if you are a kayaker or perhaps even an outdoors enthusiast, you know it can be much more than that.

It’s one of those things that always happen in life when we try to just accept everything for just what it is, just the surface stuff. If you scratch at all, how deep will you go? I guess I’ve always been a surface scratcher more like a defacer. Curious and always believing that there has to be something more inside and for the most part not being that disappointed overall. It can be what it is, a boat by the water, but I’m willing to bet when you go down there and put that boat in the water and smell spruce trees hugging the shoreline and edge that craft into the small current coming from upstream and start to rock a bit as you put your spray skirt on, your senses are going to begin to get fired up as you engage muscles and promote blood flow. All of a sudden as you are leaving this scene you see a big ocean beyond and possibilities, challenges, maybe opportunities with a fading day and a setting sun turning crimson and imprinting a deep, rich color of orange and red you didn’t always realize in nature but today you are there.

The water is ever so cool to the touch as it runs down your paddle shaft and you wipe your brow and taste the salt and just before you reach forward to plant your first stroke, tensing and yearning for that forward momentum and hot knife thru butter feeling that allows you to slide so effortlessly on the surface tension of the water you fleetingly think, ‘maybe it’s a bit more than what it was, eh?’


Thursday, September 15, 2011

“A Moonlight Paddle…No Moon"

Wow! It’s been three months and my pictures are crappy but I’m on the water. Took a break from kayaking I guess you’d say. Still remember how to do it though. Especially good to see all my kayaking friends.

Moonlight paddling with or without a moon, I’m game tonight.

I arrived a bit early wanted to work out some kinks.

Practised taking some shots on myself to see if I still had some semblance of balance. Better subject would have helped. 

People began to arrive and I think we ended up with eight or nine sets of eyes.

THe sky was amazing as the sun began it’s decline and my little point and shot I believe is on it’s last legs. THe water was relatively calm, the winds were low, the night was settling in and soon it was off to Topsail Beach for a 6-7km paddle. Glowsticks on our boats we headed off. 

Dean escaping into the sunset and horizon. I’m rushing these posts as I am getting ready for work, anxious to put finally some new blog content out there.

Gerard and Derrick captured in the stillness of night, well almost still. It was neat paddling along the coast and coming up on bonfires sporadically littered along shore. The revellers must have thought it kind of cool as well seeing these glow sticks dancing just above the water as we approached their line of sight weaving and mingling as we glided past.

Thanks guys and great to see you all again.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

“Congratulations Son"

Mr Matthew and  Mrs Charlene Mac Kenzie, I am so proud. I have been busy most of this summer but I am anticipating getting back on the water soon.

Matt is a Lieutenant in artillery in our Canadian Army and his wife is a teacher and they will be enjoying life at his posting in Manitoba.

I wish you all the best with all my heart.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

“Knowledge And Skill On The Fly"

You can’t beat surfing down the face of a wave for some thrill and excitement in paddling. It is even better when you know what to do and how to control your craft. I guess we have all heard by now the expert theory. It takes 10,ooo hours no matter what you want to do, to become an expert. Age doesn’t matter, skill at the beginning doesn’t matter ie one more athletic than the other for example. You just got to put in the time.

Chris Lockyer catching a wave at symposium.

Chris heading on a crash course for Stan. Like he said at the warm up sometimes despite your best efforts and skill a wave will do with you what it wants to.

Evident in this photo is Chris employing his years of knowledge and skill in preventing me from being embedded with the bow of his boat. Luckily for me he was well in control. I was taking shots of him catching one of the nicer waves off the day when it brought him right alongside me instantly almost and his quick response avoided a collision, not mine.

So we practised some reverse towing rescues in conditions with waves and rock all around. It is one thing to tow straight out of a situation facing the direction you are going and quite another getting out of a gnarly situation towing in reverse. Good fun, good practise.

Getting back in after the pull out.

Discussing some of the strategies and pros and cons of each groups attempt at the 3 man rescue scenario. On person bailed. Another rescued and held the victims boat and emptied water while the third pulled all to safety in reverse in whatever sea state was present.

Taking a break!

Sure is good to be on the water.

Monday, June 06, 2011

“Rockin’ In Salvage"

Salvage is one of those places, one of those little subtle jewels, like the Terra Nova River, that has spots so nicely and naturally aligned for instructing. I wasn’t doing any instructing but enjoying the teaching of  skills from others such as Christopher Lockyear of Committed2TheCore paddling..

Salvage is scenic as you can get of a typical outport community in near central Newfoundland. So our invasion was well underway.

Putting in of large numbers of paddlers is much quicker than you think and once one has all the gear on everyone is only to anxious to make way and waves.

Andrew here taking a quick peek out at the training grounds or should I say waters.

Like most sports it is essential for better performance and less injuries to warm up before you undertake the journey.

Some quick rules and leadership establishment so everyone is "on the same kayak so to speak”.

Maybe just a quick go through of some strokes some may have learned in the blending strokes class from the morning sessions. Now was an opportunity to try them out.

Christopher Lockyear one of the very capable instructors planning the session I am sure.

And so they are lead…..

Now one drill I found interesting was paddling out to this exposed rock island and touching the nose of your kayak against the seaweed there and paddling backwards to the starting point. This may have been as much as an evaluation of sorts to determine skills as much as an exercise to warm up.

So there were a few nice spots but this is where the photography gets limited because I wanted to learn too and not be bothered stopping taking pictures all the time but I think you will get the idea.

Assessing the situation you are in before you plunge head-long into it is a useful habit to get into. Timing is everything we constantly hear in many aspects of our lives and no more so than when planning exits or entries through rock gardens. Looking at where the waves are boofing, the sequence of their flow and trying to determine points that are safe, fun and able to challenge those that need it. Some more tomorrow.