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Sunday, January 30, 2011

"Japanese Black Tailed Gull"

Today I pay homage to my kayak's name sake -The Gull! There's a new kid in town. His name is Black Tailed Gull. 

He came to St. John's arriving at our harbour bubble, (that is another story) in the month of December. He hasn't left. He is quite rare and is causing quite a stir locally. He has  very distinctive red markings on his beak and is quite a sight. Apparently this gull has a cry like a cat which I've yet to hear. The red markings I've read on the bill are for their young. They tap on these quite visible spots to signal the mother to regurgitate so they can feed. Oh yummy yum!

I shot these photos at Quidi Vidi Lake in St. John's where he likes to reside periodically, as the locals like to feed the birds of this area. He is quite distinguished looking.

Long live the Black Tail and safe trips in my Nordkapp named Gullfeather.


Well when I"m out there learning rolls I'd love to say I always have total success. Sometimes I do. Other times, like learning the hand roll.....not so good. I try to teach myself which may be a source of error right from the get go. So here I am at a second attempt to do a hand roll and my paddle gets away on me. For those of you who've never swam to a paddle to roll up here it is. I'm not sure how far a person could actually swim while sideways in their kayak. Maybe someone should put themselves in the Guinness Book of Records. It certainly won't be me. lol

Part of learning something new, especially when you have it on digital, is to learn from your mistakes. I approach new rolls as being a source of fun and therefore have very little pressure to succeed immediately. Now I am a creature of challenges so I will have to get it eventually, but I will have fun with it in the mean time. Rest assured when I get the hand roll. You'll be seeing that too. lol And all the misses in the process! So without out a little bit of "failure" there would not be a little bit of success and after all, it is that initial failure, that will allow you to perform that successful roll when you need it. 

Roll On!

Friday, January 28, 2011

"Underwater Exit and Re-enter Roll"

Had some time on my hands so I thought I'd put together another clip of a re-enter and roll, exiting and re-entering underwater. Now on Saturday it is more hand roll practise.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

"Vertical Sculling Roll and Back Deck Roll"

You just have to like the tunes to this one...or not. The music is from the Glover Point Drifters a Blue Grass Band out of Victoria British Columbia. I saw them at a folk festival one year when I lived in BC and they were an excellent group. Got to listen to them Jam afterwards at their trailer. They were forced from the stage as a intense thunder and lightening storm was rolling in during their outdoor performance in Dawson Creek BC. It was kind of funny because they kept playing right off the stage as the lightening was firing in the background and continued to play in a huddle down in front of the stage as the thunder pounded.

This was after a couple of attempts at the vertical roll. We and a couple others had a bit of fun playing with this roll. The flotation property of the Superior Paddle is amazing. The back deck roll I got in the pool last year. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"Rolling Along"

I had a couple sessions at the pool lately. I've been trying some rolls that are new to me. Focusing on some Greenland style ones with mixed success. It has been enjoyable though.

Of course if you are practising rolling you tend to spend as much time under water as you do above. Just thought I'd say hello from under water at the Aquarena in ST. John's. I took a bunch of video and the underwater component looks great however in the above water component there is always a water droplet in the centre of the frame. So when I do edit some of my rolls for the site you'll have to excuse the H2O drops. I had the camera on deck in the bow and it was out of reach for wiping the droplet off. Some of the rolls I was trying needed the sticky pod camera attachment almost a paddle length away.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

"Lookin' Back"

It is sometimes well worth your while to look back. For instance, when you first set out on a journey be it  a short or long coast known to be foggy, do you find it most useful to get a compass bearing to where you will be returning to? That can make the difference between a safe return and a more hectic return if lost in the fog. Sometimes in the thrill of setting off we can forget that simple little task. But if you're seasoned you probably wouldn't?

Looking back to see if you are still within your paddling group is very useful. Sometimes we wonder off or are lost in our thoughts on the water. People paddle on oblivious to distances covered. Are you within reach of someone who may need a rescue, is your VHF turned on, do you have one, are you on the same channel? If not, you should look back. Maybe a knowledge of paddle signals would be useful. Did you know they exist? Are they the same everywhere?  Sea Kayaking Paddle Signals

I also like looking back to get a different perspective for a photo. This can be tricky in conditions but you just might get "that shot". Be safe first. You best look ahead before you look back in this circumstance because something like a juicy wave could be coming at you head on.

I also like looking back at old pictures taken like this one of Tony at St. Philips. I figure I can always, always improve my photos and learn something to maybe improve upon or do differently next time. So what does this photo tell me? 1. I just love being on the water paddling, especially the ever changing ocean and 2. 'sometimes looking back to see if you are looking back at me', ain't a bad thing, especially if you are on the water with other people even if trying to get a decent shot in the fading light of day and especially if you haven't looked for members of your group for awhile.

Monday, January 24, 2011

"Rafting Up"

Now I can't say enough about this little informality on the water. Now sure it is nice being out there in our own space and finding our individual zen on the water and well hey it can probably even be found in groups. However, "rafting-up" while sometimes essential during trips to make sure everyone is on the same boat so to speak, (or not) is also essential in other ways. Certainly as a stabilizing platform should you need one in times of trouble (boat repair, first aid administration, rescues to name a few) or just simply bad weather like a squall you may have to link together to ride out. 

But there is no better or probably no less enjoyable reason other than to stretch the legs, relax and shoot the s&%t. Sit back, recline, read a mag, have a drink check out the scenery and just simply be in the zen of "rafting up"!

Now Gerard here is introducing a more lounging pose, looking comfortable, relaxed and most certainly engaging while sharing his enthusiasm for being nothing other than on the water in a kayak. Ya gotta like that. I do. Not bad for January 1st, 2011 in St. John's Newfoundland at the exit to The Gut at Quidi Vidi. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

"Weather Or Not..."

Just now the weather in St. John's is frightful. Glad I was able to hit the pool last evening and after a dinner at a friend's I didn't thing I would make it. An Iranian and an Italian dish for the meal was simply exquisite and the wine delicious. Some of the guys I knew this morning were getting together for a short jaunt but I didn't make it.  This photo is not from today but epitomizes what the current conditions are outside. This is Tony and Dean getting ready to wash off in some fresh water at St. Philip's. "ya just gotta make hay when the....."

Friday, January 21, 2011

"Newfoundland Winter"

I've been kind of preoccupied lately with other things so I have missed pool sessions and the odd paddle the guys have been getting out to. I'm definitely at the pool tomorrow night so looking forward to working out some kinks there and maybe trying a new greenland roll. I need nose plugs though. I find that when I am working on a new roll, eye goggles and nose plugs help tremendously when under water. I know most know this but I find the reasoning behind it is that I feel not rushed to get up because the chlorine is not ripping whatever protective coating I have on my eyes -  off.

The above photo was taken on a jaunt a year ago I believe. You can see the snow and I posted previously that we were without the white stuff well now we have it back and winter like everyone else but maybe not as bad as some.

I am also having problems with my header images as I switched from PC to MAC and haven't sorted out the issues of selecting and posting images as I am finding quite a few probs. If anyone out there in cyber land might have some advice I'd appreciate it. Like why won't my header image "size to fit" like before when adding photo????? Would appreciate any comments on that!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

"Atlantic Paddle Symposium"

A much looked forward to event by myself for a few reasons. Ihaven't paddled with  many of the club members in awhile. I look forward to paying my dues there...hopefully! Looking forward mostly to the Greenland attention and course offerings of Maligiaq Johnsen Padilla, Greenland born and the only person to win 4 Greenland National Kayaking Championships. My personal interst but there is much more for not only sea kayakers but whitewater as well.

The above link will give you all the information on who is coming, how to get here, where to stay and registration information. It is in a very beautiful part of Newfoundland in Glovertown and area. Definitely a place on the ocean where a river runs through it. What more could you ask for for white water and ocean paddling to accomodate all levels.

Although this is more course oriented you can be rest assured that there will be break off paddles in both the white water and sea kayaking crowds. I really like the logo as it incorporates both canoing and kayaking . I forgot to mention negligently that canoing is also included so I think there will be something for everyone. I am sure there will even be a bon-fire or two.

I've never been to a paddling symposium in the east. So it should be a real treat. Gonna have to shine up some of those old dings in Gullfeather and get her spiffy for the trip.

If some fellow bloggers were intersted in showing up before hand for some pre symposium paddling in my "backyard" (area around St. John's) so to speak, I wouldn't be adverse to billeting a few stragglers for a few days. If you have never been to Newfoundland you won't be disappointed when you come.
There are some excellent paddlers in this province and some excellent paddlers from out of province making their way here, maybe this is your year to be here. OOOps , I forgot to mention, the icebergs are around at that time too, but you probably wouldn't be interested in those!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

"Kayaking Dreamin"

'cause some days are just about that....aren't they?

Beginning of a paddling summer.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

"Quidi Vidi - New Year's Day"

More shots from our first paddle of the year.

Gerrard looking to St. John's Bay

Hanging outside The Gut.

Some paddlers making way for Quidi Vidi Harbour

Just soaking up some of the day

Tony setting up his camera I think

Alex and Gary sizing up the brewery at Quidi Vidi but I don't think it was open o this day.

Catching hazen in the soft afternnoon light

Mike, mulling about in a boat

Monday, January 03, 2011

"January 1st, St. John's Newfoundland"

Quidi Vidi village is a quaint spot in the heart of downtown St. John's. Every year it is host to our New Year's Day paddle. A tradition started by a prominent local paddler Jim Price. I believe Jim has made it to most if not all these new year beginnings and so it continues today. The Union Jack flying in this shot is testament to some of the local history.

The narrow entrance/exit between the rock in the upper part of the picture is what locals call The Gut. It is the point of entry to or exit from St. John's Bay. Today it is docile but many days it is not. Sometimes icebergs even get locked inside here and people fish for cod of the shores during the food fishery.

Bob readying his gear.

There is always an adventure to be had when you paddle with Alex. Alex is our past club Pres. and he and his wife put on one nice spread after the paddle today. Moose stew and chili with homemade buns and cheese platter with of course a shot of rum or glass of wine if you were so inclined. Thanks Alex.

Graig is our current club Pres. and he is surveying some of the 18-20 people that showed up for the record breaking participation. Worth a spot on the local station for sure.

Pete had his river boat out for today's paddle and was busy moving in and out of The Gut.

Marie and Colleen enjoying the splendid day. Nice weather small breeze that picked up towards the end but an excellent day for being on the water.

I'm not sure if Marie was taking a picture of me taking a picture of her or if she was eyeing that baby seal on the rocks that I was totally oblivious to.

Gary heading for the Gut

Mike Kay in his Perception heading for the open waters of St. John's Bay.

Pete coming in from St.John's Bay is dwarfed by the cliffs that surround Quidi Vidi.

Gerard in a borrowed Greenlander. I think Gerard's boat may have a few holes. Playing in the rocks again Buddy?

Pete and Dean heading in to Quidi Vidi harbour. All in all a great day. Will post more shots from my on water camera later.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

"St. John's Fireworks"

Happy New Year once again. Our fireworks were delayed New Year's eve because of technical difficulties so they held them the next evening at 7 pm in strong snow squalls. I personally didn't thick it would work.

They came out not bad considering I was gonna pack it in because of the snow melting on my camera. Glad I didn't though.

They were held in the center of town over a lake called Quid Vidi Lake. It would be Quidi Vidi Gut where we had our New Year's day paddle earlier in the day. Pictures from that I will post later. HAd a busy day yesterday and to top it all off I got called in to work for three hours. Go figure!