Current Time On The Rock

Thursday, April 21, 2011

“ Mentalling"

Well this may be a ‘stanism’ …….”mentalling” …. but because this is my blog I figure I can have my own ‘ism’s’. Well of course there is mentoring but in my context you need the mentoring to get the ‘mentalling’. When you paddle with those who have been before, you are very apt to get something out of the experience and more oft than not it is one of those wisdom gems that seem to make you wonder why the heck you hadn’t figured it out already. Courses do that too.

Someone once told me that river boating was for the younger crowd. Well my file footage bags to differ. Now I remember Des saying when we hit terra firma that it feels a bit more cramped in there, but lets face it, we never seem to stop growing. This is Des on the Terra Nova River in Newfoundland during one of our kayaking retreats. Appears as at home surfing here as he would on the ocean which I believe is his preference. Though I cannot speak for him.

Malcolm shown here with Des, his constant paddling partner, is one of those mentors whom can relieve some of those ‘mentalling' issues. Has on various occasions offered a few gems of advice that have enabled me to approach something differently and most likely and importantly more effectively or efficiently. Mostly to do with paddle strokes and combinations and when various ones are effective when used together. He may not remember or I may have received it at one of his presentations but my point is  that it has helped me around the mental struggle with a concept.

So we know as kayakers that skill development is ongoing like it is in most activities. Brian Smith seen here with MArk Dykeman taught me a very simple thing this day we were on the river at Terra Nova for a lesson and I was able to apply it to sea kayaking as well. It simply was to exert pressure on the thigh braces for good contact and then RELAX. You can’t imagine how significantly that simple piece of advice has changed my comfort level in river kayaking and sea kayaking conditions. It is very easy to tense up and try to control the boat all the time but sometimes it is good to let the boat do what its design was engineered for. Loose lips may sink ships but loose hips, I believe, keep them afloat. 

So now when I find myself getting way too tense in conditions, I loosen up and let the boat do some of the work if not all while allowing myself the ability to exercise further control when  I need to. Not only does this make for a comfortable paddle but it reduces injuries do to over exertion and tension. From me simply, paddle hard, paddle safe!

Oh yes did I mention there is an iceberg not to far from this spot on the ocean side. Well there may be more when we return here next month. I also mentioned in the last post that all our snow was gone. Well it returned overnight. I think a bunch of kayakers have to get together to exorcise winter.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


That is just a marker in time…’Yesteryear’! Nothing definitive or too descriptive but more a reference than anything else.  Just a spot you don’t necessarily have to assign too much metadata to. A good memory marker however.

I remember this photo from the NL 2008 kayaking retreat because Alison and I thought about going over to that berg and breaking off from the group. Ohh we were bad! We use to have huge discussions at our board meeting about people breaking off from organized paddles. I was notorious for this. My adventurist side always got the best of me and it was great paddling with Alison because I always had a partner in crime. There are probably more cons than pros when you do this and I don’t even want to discuss the merits of it here but I was more reminiscing about paddling near bergs, which we will not get to do again this year.....maybe I hear there is one in Bonavista a patient told me today.. 

This is Alison again as we haven’t seen her white kayak in some time now but hoping she will have some presence on the water this year as we bob along our coast. You got to like looking back at file footage. It always inspires me to get back on the water. It is still cool here in NL but all our snow is gone and we are looking so forward to our Kayaking Symposium in May and the good times to be had with it.

Friday, April 15, 2011

“Catching The Wave"

A bit of a different header image but he was looking so tired and kind-a-neat to pass up.

Last year we did very little surfing or at least I did very little surfing.  I fear we missed a lot of good waves. There is never a shortage here in Newfoundland. I think this year I’ll be able to convince a few of the gang, I’d dare say all of the gang, to embark on a couple surf sessions. Always fun, they are to me, and I always seem to learn something new.

So as I start to think and prepare, I’d like to imagine the wave for me.

Now there are many, many that know a hell of a lot more about waves than me, I’m thinking of our Malcolm here from our club, but I figure if we’re  going to play in waves we best do it safely.

One cannot underestimate the ferocity, the power and the energy a wave is all to willing to impart. We also know that when anything imparts energy on something else there is usually damage unless it is harnessed in some way.

Hmmmmm….I wonder where and when or exactly what our waves will be like. Well that new helmut might come in handy. If you need one, The Outfitters on Water Street has a 'Sweet' line down there.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

“Where Are The Bergs?"

I’m not sure!

I’ve been checking our Iceberg finder  and can’t seem to pick any up. It may be early but usually there is some indication by now as to how they may be lining up for their trek down iceberg alley. In the distance we are looking at some berg bits. Remnants and break-aways from a much bigger berg. Paddling near the Dungeon Sea Cave in the apply named park a few years back in the month of May. We are approaching May and our Symposium and no bergs. Not that we need bergs to have a May or a Symposium but it wouldn’t hurt. Maligiaq Padilla will be a guest this year so maybe the bergs will follow him from Greenland. A lot to ask for I know but they are so beautiful when they do decide to come to our waters.