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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

“Traversing The Tickle"

As always the ferry crosses the Tickle of Conception Bay between Bell Island and Portugal Cove.

Experimenting with some filters shows Tony sharing the waters on our outing on Saturday past.

Monday, February 21, 2011

"Portugal Cove Newfoundlland"

Saturday saw six of us head for a paddle to some falls about an hours paddle past Portugal cove. The winds were fair about 10-15knots, the skies were overcast but there was lots of swell in some unexpected places at that. 

We were all in our spaces as it seems to be when paddling and I was tagging a bit behind because I was taking pictures and hadn’t been on the water in about a month and a half. So I got to watch other bob around and observe their boats under conditions. Here I was watching Clyde go in and out of troughs but also that big wave forming and coming just to the left of him. It looks like nothing in this shot but it was a big one. Clyde veered left with time to spare and we watched that wave pass by. Could have ridden it I guess but wasn’t sure about when it would break and with waters like this, it was play it safe.

Approaching Portugal Cove we are awed by the snow covered hills and look upon the community from the rise and falling of our boats wondering what many are doing just this second.

Because of the storm surges that have been happening in the area there was lots of floatsam accompanying us on our travel. Not really a hazard to us but it was everywhere. Dean looks on as I snap this shot.

On the outskirts of the cove.

It wasn’t snowing or just a bit and it didn’t look like this when it was. I just added this effect to see what the result would be. Neat! If you click on the image you can see it too!

This time of year there is lots of frozen run offs exiting the hills that line the coast along this stretch of Conception Bay on the southeast side.

Having reached our objective, this huge stream that runs down near/at Big Freshwater Cove and then      we decided to head back and enjoy the swell that would coast us back towards Portugal Cove once again.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

“Getting Out"

Can I ever think of lots of ways not to paddle in this kind of weather, I mean slack reasons for not putting in the effort to get out there! I got there early yesterday to St. Philips for a paddle to the falls two hours away.

Apparently or, maybe not, to those unfamiliar with St. Philips, our put-in was awash. It was said that the combination of some fly by comet, a full moon and various other celestial and earthly events may be contributing to the unusually high waters. Also the recent storm surges pushing water into enclosed places like this harbour and bay can’t be dismissed.

Whatever the contributing factors one thing was certain, the water was pushing the bottom of the bay well up to and beyond the seawall built to help contain these sorts of phenomenon. There is usually about 5 feet of retaining wall visible along this beach. Today barely a foot and in some places none because the rocks were washed over it right on to the dock behind.

Not only rocks came a knocking. Check out the various pieces of log scattered around our put-in. I think it snowed too.

Oh well, time to be moving on.There’s a paddle happening!

Just have to get through this pesky little harbour channel……….

…whooaaa! Without going over the top of course. The tide was higher than normal and did I mention a comet, well whatever was going on was surging the water up beyond the ramparts of the dock. Clyde here seems to be enjoying the lift as he is taken for a ride.

Now we are off to Portugal Cove and the falls beyond. Tomorrow the trip.

Friday, February 18, 2011

“Speaking Of Under the Sea…"

Prehistoric oceans would have been interesting to paddle in. The animals in prehistory just seem so vicious. I’m not sure how long a kayak or kayaker would have survived on the surface with creatures like this beneath them.

This gigantic prehistoric ’turtle’ took up half the ceiling of this museum room. This was a very big museum room at the Museum of Natural History in Ottawa. I don’t know if it is a relative to an Ocean Sea Turtle and by the size of the monster I would just say it ate all the other turtles…..all the other things in general. The flippers on that were two of me and I’m 6ft 1in. Niccccccee turtle.

I don’t know but anything with a long neck like this underwater prehistoric something or other just scares me. I Don’t know what it is about long necks but they always seem to have sharp teeth at the end of them. Ok, maybe Giraffes aren’t so bad but they don’t swim either. This guy stretched into two rooms including his tail. Yup, he swam!! Some serious paddling going on with this under your hull I bet. No jiggin’ for this laddy O’!

You all know this fellow. BIG AND BAD looking but not a whole lot of teeth. He/she  can be a paddling buddy. This one took up two full rooms and you’ve guessed it, A Blue Whale skeleton. Very big still by prehistoric standards. He could be a Jurassic spin off if you ask me, minus the viciousness!

Now just in case it wouldn’t bother you having those creatures above swimming freely under your hull imagine the beautiful prehistoric gulls on top. This isn’t a gull. It looks like it could run on top of water to me and then once it had its way with your hatch covers and cockpits and the soft bits inside…then fly away licking and cleaning it’s nails, ahh daggers,  ah spikes, ah razors or whatever those taloned winged and legged things are. Another long neck with teeth. Now imagine about a 100 or so of these coming at ya. This definitely brings new meaning to the word ”flock”. Like I’d be flocking off!!! I’m thinkin’ maybe an inboard-outboard in the hull might be more appropriate for back then.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Well you can call it walking on frozen water, I guess, but no matter how you cut it, snowshoeing is a blast.

I may be like some but I don't like myself in pictures. Just the way it is! For all the good weather we had up to the end of January we've more than made up for it with recent storms and snow falls. I figure if I can't paddle in it right now I might as well walk on it. LAst weekend I was on call so I decided to do a bit of snowshoeing with some photo shooting. Went to Seal Cove where this shot is taken, on to the Holyrood Golf Course and then up to Butterpot Park for some fading light snowshoeing and some quick jaunts in between if I saw something to snap a pic of.

I was lugging quite a bit of gear to see how I would hold up in the deep stuff and faired far better than I would have thought. You can see part of my trail to the left as I hiked around this stream that rolls down from a hilltop. I drove to the top and crawled under a water conduit and stomped my way to the bottom and back up. Got my heart rate going!! 

Maybe kayaking this weekend with Tony and the bye's.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

"I'm Saving Mine"

Well this is a poor attempt at framing but I think you'll get the feelings I have when I explain.

I love taking photos. I especially love taking photos when kayaking. A lot of times I seek no recognition than what I give myself on my blog as far as kayaking goes. Narcissistic say some, yeah  ok, I'm fine with that. I really enjoy looking at photos. I certainly look at perhaps hundreds in a week and most of them are not mine. You have to love flickr for showing you the talent that is truly out there.

This one on the cover of Ocean Paddler Magazine is mine. It is in the latest issue. I really enjoy this mag, well, even more, but it is a wonderfully insightful magazine on Ocean Paddling. It is well worth the money you spend for a subscription or the odd copy. (My Plug and it certainly doesn't need it).

So I am further encouraged to continue snapping at every chance and you never know where a shot of mine may pop up from time to time. Thanks for your support Richard  @ OP.

Friday, February 11, 2011

"Orca and The Sky"

Above the Grand Hall at the Museum of Civilization on level 2 is this carving of an Orca directly below a skylight. It is a Haida carving from British Columbia and the skylight above cast a very nice light on the revered mammal below. Though this was a tranquil mood and beautiful art I couldn't help be taken back to this past summer when Orcas visited our area and fed on whales. Some of those sessions were caught on tape by tourists on tour boats looking to observe the mammals in the wild. May have gotten more than they bargained for but it was some unbelievable "wildness" as shards of whale flesh was being strewn about the waters. 

Orcas are an amazing animal on our planet, and their is no doubt, by most on this I am sure. They are mystical and magical to a few cultures around the world and they continue to awe us as they slice through the waters in perfect formation in their pods. Their fine form and sleek anatomy lends itself to the marvels of harmonious biological architecture and body ratios that make it a killing machine. We've seen this time and again even in captivity, maybe, especially in captivity.

I've seen them in pods, up close and from a distance in British Columbia. If last year is any indication, they may be regularly making their way, at least the transients, to this part of the world. Their were I believe at least two separate pods identified here maybe more. Unlike Humpbacks that frequent our waters every year I feel a bit more trepidation if I were to paddle near a pod of Killers. : D

I'd still be in awe and admiration, because I don't think they attack kayakers or kayaks, but a little less reluctant to stick my hand under water for that underwater approach shot.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

"The Rideau Canal Skateway"

The Rideau Canal in our nation's capital Ottawa is normally flowing with water in summer months. They drain it when the weather gets cold to produce the largest skating rink in the world. I often wondered if I would ever get a chance to skate it's surface. Well, last weekend I did just that. The frozen canal is about 7.8 km long and stretches from just beneath the Parliament Buildings to Dows Lake.

The Sunday of my departure I took a stroll down to the canal once again, having skated for about two hours the previous night with a nice dinner in a restaurant just off the canal bank afterwards. The Friday of Feb. 4th was the beginning of the Winterlude Festival with open air concerts, ice sculpturing and the beautiful canal skating with entertainment and events along its length. I'll post some ice sculptures in another post, they were amazing as were the four museums I got to visit while there. The War Museum was simply spectacular as was The Museum of Nature. The Museum of Civilization in Gatineau (Hull) Quebec was a wonderful experience with some beautiful displays like The Great Hall where Haidi Totem poles reach to the rafters. I can't help but feel they should be with the Haidi in BC if indeed they are real. I also visited The National Museum of Art and saw an amazing show with a theme called, "It Is What It Is". 

Some very interesting pieces were available for viewing in different media. Though I went to the city in the winter I can only imagine its beauty in the summer months as there are lots of green spaces and parks and open air markets.

The Rideau Canal the night of our skate.

Truly a beautiful sight is the canal and a wonderful time. I couldn't help imagining paddling down here in the spring and summer. Ahh Ha! That's an idea. Not sure if you would be permitted though. Would be fun going through the locks up by the Parliament Buildings for sure.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

"It's Up In The Air...ahh?? In The Water?"

Every year since I've been in Newfoundland I wonder when and if the Icebergs will flow to St. John's area. I look forward to that with great expectation every season as the bergs flow down Iceberg Alley.

This one was from a few seasons ago. It was grounded in  Blackhead Cove region of St. John's. It was a beautiful site and even more so with light shining on and around it. I paddled out to this one but it was connecting two pillars, huge pillars I might add under water and didn't look too stable. Of course you know I thought what if you could shoot through the center of the thing. It was a fleeting thought. This one stuck around for some time so eveyone got to enjoy it's presence. Last year none made it to St. John's so some years are hit and miss and up in the air I guess. I would have thought with the big chunks breaking off the Greenland Glaciers, there would be more flowing with global warming and all?? The Labrador current and the Gulf Stream from the south have their influence as well. Two years ago the Coast Guard was tracking 948 big bergs and maybe this year we can top that. Even if we don't I'd settle for one or two.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

"Old Eclipse"

My plastic Perception Eclipse in sunnier days. This boat feels like freighter now compared to my Nordkapp. 

I was looking through some old shots and couldn't help but think on the fun I had in this boat. So many stories locked up in such a small picture. I kind of liked the perspective on this one and the sun reflecting off the water. Sliding down the face of a wave at the beginning of spring and once again I am reminded that it  is only 2 months away. Now that is hard to wrap your head around considering the weather outside with the current storm sweeping the east coast of North America. That's why you need to keep a good kayaking library as you never know when you might just need that extra boost to get you through cold, snowy and sometimes dreary days.