Current Time On The Rock

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

“It’s About Favourites Today"

One of my favourite pictures I ever took was the above picture of Tony on the slipway at Bauline  Newfoundland in his boat just preparing and adjusting gear before we set off. It was just one of those isolated transcendent moments when all things seemed aligned. I’m not feeling much of that way today.

This is one of my favourites I never took. It is a shot of me paddling in the Tickle of Conception Bay with Bell Island to the left and Portugal Cove to the right. This is my best profile by the way. I asked Gerard to take this shot one day and with a bit of cropping his work was art to me. A couple of cool shots, a couple of cool guys, on a couple of different days, in a couple of nice boats doing what has become a mainstay I think in both our lives and that of our friends. 

So as spring nears and my schedule seems to be getting busy I am looking forward to getting on the water with friends………. Whenever that may be. The whales are on their way here now, the birds are gearing up I’m sure for their flight to our ecological reserves around the island and there is that hint of seasonal change. Hopefully some overnighters this year and more of them to try and stretch those longer days even longer.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

“Rocky Roost"

Seeking a bit of shelter during our Witless Bay paddle. While the guys played in the waves I took a few snaps from shore.

Clyde in the distance is seen digging in the surf. This was actually a neat little spot to stop because of the shelter from the wind and the swell. Right now we are in the middle of a snow storm of sorts. It was miserable all day and it seemed to me that it sure was the longest time taken to accumulate 5 cm of snow and forecasts do not look too promising for the weekend. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

"Spring and Maintenance"

Spring cleaning I guess you would say. Out with the salt and sand of winter and in with the scraping and raking sounds of renewal and color. Just have to get rid of all that white.

Spring reminds me of not only the household chores and yard chores right around the corner but my boat chores. The regular maintenance I give to my kayak every year. Tightening all the deck screws, ensuring my deck-lines are not frayed, tightening my seat, checking for cracks or leaks, wear and tear, and any issues I may discover when I do a VSBE (visual surveillance of boat extremities). My boat this year is also going to need some serious buffing of the outer deck and hull as I have accumulated many nicks and slight discolouration's from use over the last few years. Hopefully It will be done before our First PAddle Symposium in MAy.

That is not to say we shouldn’t be checking our boat for these things each and every time we put our boat in the water but spring just makes me a bit more thorough because I will be doing more paddling in the coming months than I did in the previous 4.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

"Side By Each"

When I was a waiter in the days of old I had an old timer come in one morning in the restaurant I was working in and order breakfast. He said,” I’ll have a pair of eggs side by each, and a pair of bacon parallel to each other.” He kind of caught me off guard so I asked if he was having four pi geometry coffee. In Nuclear Medicine we use a Dose Calibrator to assay our radiation before we inject it. It’s measuring chamber almost approaches 4 pi which makes it fairly accurate. (kinda mug shaped). However when I was laying out his utensils I definitely made sure they were nice and straight and lined up with the straight edges of the table sides.

This photo just reminded me of that, the parallel to each other part anyway. Probably just a long winded way of saying not much of anything to post a pic. 

Clyde is washing the back of his deck here I believe. The good thing about the low profile of a Nordkapp is that the waves will wash right over rather than wash you over and as Clyde is demonstrating it is essential to brace into the wave rather than the sometimes instinctive opposite no matter how small or big the wave, to prevent capsize.

Friday, March 18, 2011


Ya know what? Sometimes you just break out in a sweat watching these crazy adrenalin junkies on TV or in magazines. Sometimes you just break out in a sweat putting your snowshoes on. Other times you’re sweating because your anxiety is so beyond control your body has a hard time dealing with its situation and its reality whatever that may be at the time.

More often than not I hope you break into a sweat because you truly earned it. That is, you exerted your body’s potential to a max or near max or maybe just to your rev zone.  The area where your muscles and your breathing are peaking in unison and lactic acid buildup is beginning to cramp and taunt your muscles for just a mere break, just a pittance of time to cycle some glucose and feed those  pains. Then slide down off that wave and wait for the next one and grip the surface breaking the tension between blade and ocean getting purchase and accelerating through the stroke as you ride the trough to the crest and descend the face bringing salt and spray and brow sweat flying with every feeling of excitement and exhilaration as you release into the calm of the outer  flow of the wave cycle and brace for the next ride. Hell you earned it! You Sweat!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

“Isn’t It True Though…..?"

Isn’t it true that when you are doing something you enjoy the passage of time feels as though it wasn’t even there in the first place save for the markers of time passage like day to night, sunrise to sunset, small belly to big belly for some, big muscles to small muscles for others or wrinkles!

So isn’t it true that we associate wrinkles with aging and thus by association or perhaps even still because of, the passage of time. Isn’t it also true that we as kayakers treat our boats sometimes like a second skin. You really have to feel it, to get the most out of it, that is for sure. It is kept reasonably clean by all the exposure to waters.  It is fairly easy to accessorize. God knows we like to do that to her.

But sometimes just like our own skin, our boat “skin” gets the equivalent of “wrinkles”. They come in the form of stress fractures, dings, nicks, scrapes, bumps, rubs, slaps, chafes and well just about anything else. Even the color may start to fade a bit as the “boat skin" takes on its older more mature pallor. Like other skins it comes in all colors and I tend to like all colors equally well, well most. Robin Egg Blue is not one of my favourites but it is the color most easily seen from the air when looking down on the water. That is a fact. 

So whatever color your boat skin may be it sure looks good on the water to me. I really am not to concerned about the number or presence of wrinkles in your boat skin or mine for that matter nor the passage of time. Somethings just are and will just always be. But you gotta like that feeling of realization when you discover geez! I’ve been on the water for 5 hours, where does the time go? Absorbed in good times and fun with friends I guess, better to be on the water then, than anywhere else. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

“Three Amigos"

Three different brands, three different boats. Perception Eclipse on the far left, Current Designs Siroco in the middle I believe and Valley Aquanaut far right.

Neville, Dean and Gerard embarking in a flotilla of yellow. The sunshine on a cloudy day!

Refuelling the engine.

Maintaining the peace.

Monday, March 14, 2011

“Having A Time"

I love being on the water. It seems some force just takes right over as soon as I get into my boat. I really don’t want to get out. It just feels good knowing I got all my gear safely stowed and could be self sufficient if need be. It makes me want to roam. Getting there sometimes is difficult. I may be tired and not motivated, planning something else, weather could be real crappy(a blizzard/ storm as I type), or I just too involved in taking photos on land.

When I do get to the waters edge I am always delighted that I made the trek. Good company makes it that much better of course. Being involved in the pre-paddle work up through email exchanges and AMEC weather forecasts posts from members of our club and friends certainly helps with getting your butt out there.

Catching up on all the news since the last meeting, well, is all part of the fare. Even taking pictures of people taking pictures is a blast. Most of us have blogs and paddle on the same trips typically so it is pure fun to check in on how the other guys saw the paddle and review their take of the trip.

Coming into Camel Beach I believe for a mug up. Not sandy by no means here. The Avalon is mostly rock and when you paddle the coast you will be accustomed to this.

I’ve started bringing my other camera. It is certainly better than the Olympus one i use on the water and those shots are starting to degrade as the many immersions in the dunk are taking their ware on the quality. The only problem with my Nikon is that I have to be out of my boat. I certainly won’t use it on the water in any condition but I may get one I can..and a waterproof case. I am becoming more interested in getting the on water image of kayak out there to everyone or anyone willing to look at photos or maybe video. Quality is an issue with me. I want more of it.

Clyde playing on the waves. I actually have some real cool ones of Clyde and some of the guys but the were sent of for possible publishing. If not they’ll end up here. They all, always do!

Clyde just loves that stuff. Me too. I had a most excellent time this paddle. It was full of energy and fun rather than just straight line destination traverses. Not that many of our traverses are ever straight. All of our guys like to explore. There are at least 5-8 Christopher Columbus’s whenever we are out there. We love it.

Of course paddling this time of the year allows for a shoreline display of frozen water falls that very few get to see, especially close up. Some are neat but all are unique in their surroundings and contrast starkly with the deadfall of the land,  the shore rocks and cliffs that the frozen monoliths cling to.

One thing I always forget to take with me is a dry cloth to clean of the lens while on the water. A lot of these shots reveal streaks etc. I lost a lot of good ones to these instances. Thanks Gary for being patient. The smudges on the lens were less than desirable which made for some less than stellar cropping. lol What a day though.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

“Scratching The Surface"

A paddle out of Witless Bay yesterday to Camel Beach and Witless Bay Head saw for quite a bit of excitement on the water. This was not our sometimes typical paddle to a destination and return trip. This was:  Hey! We’re on the water, lets play.

Put-in in Witless Bay. You always need these shots. We still have snow but it was about 5 degrees Celsius. Not bad.

  • 1675, the population of Whittlless Bay is 34.
  • 1700s, Irish fishing servants begin arriving in the area and quickly start to outnumber the English
  • 1755, as Roman Catholicism is still outlawed in Newfoundland, priests disguised as fishermen, minister to the spiritual needs of the community.
  • 1836, the first official census of Newfoundland puts the population at 542, of which 540 were Roman Catholic.
  • 1845, Roman Catholic Church opens.
  • 1860, the Presentation Sisters open a convent and a school for girls.
  • 1871, population reaches 928.
  • 1960s, people are re-settled from Gallows Cove at the southern headland of Witless Bay to the community of Witless Bay.
  • 1986, Witless Bay is incorporated
  • 2006 Census Population: 1070 

Oh that preparation. 

Getting out to the ocean is as  fun as being there sometimes.

Some fog of Gull Island. Oh that’s OK , we’re not going there anyway. We have more compasses on our persons than Richie!

Gerard and Gary travelling out of the Bay. Today like so many days was or at least seemed about waves.  
I guess because we are not only constantly on them but in them and enjoying them, playing in them, studying them and their effects on our boats before getting the line, the nerve, to indulge them.

Just a high ride sometimes. Believe me! There is altitude at sea level.

I turned around to face the guys behind me when we hit Witless Point. Out here the waves had intensified as did the wind. We were exposed and though not visible here Green Island was behind my right shoulder. Why is this significant? It’s not! Just that Gull Island and Green Island are part of the ecological bird sanctuaries in Witless Bay and soon they will be making their way here once again.

The headland in the distance behind these boys is South Head even though it is pretty much due north. Or Mutton Cove.  Waving it up and waving it down.

Sometimes being on a roller coaster is as entertaining as……well….being on a roller coaster, that’s what this kind of felt like, but much more gentle. Tony is heading down in the distance while I am going up out of the trough.

After a bit of lunch and energized. We are ready for play. But that will be another post. I have to stick with my wave thingy.

Some of them were rolling in and some seemed like they were rolling out. Clyde here got his eyes on this one.

And like so many things, sometimes it is not the quantity but the quality that delights. You know we got a good bunch of paddlers here and good friends, and always the coffee and tales afterward.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

“Paddle Days"

Some days are paddle days and of course others are not. Sometimes you just have to make do with what you have and that includes the elements. So as I try to interpret the weather forecasts around the world I am left thinking, just take it as it comes because if you really want to get out there you will.

Ralph is seen here paddling in a squall we got caught in coming from Portugal Cove a few years back. Ya gotta do what ya gotta do! Not sure where Ralph is now though? 

Thursday, March 03, 2011

“Dreamin’ Again"

Well I certainly had my eyes to the heavens last evening trying to get a glimpse of the Milky Way.

This time of year in the Northern Hemisphere the drink to satiate the celestial palette is somewhat, watered down. The summer months allow us to view the nucleus of the Milky Way. That dramatic part who’s density in stars is so captivating and encompassing across the sky that it is hard to miss whether you know what you are looking at or not. In the winter months in the Northern Hemisphere we see the tails of the spirals of the outer reaches of the milky broth. It is our alignment thus. It is still awe inspiring to me to see clusters of stars in the sky and pay at the very least, acknowledgement to our ancestry. I mean after all,  we were part of some star at one time. Perhaps when the big bang was just a twinkle in………………… something/someone’s eye.

This was shot last evening during a hike in Butterpot Park at about 2230h. What a beautiful night to be star gazing.