Current Time On The Rock

Thursday, May 02, 2019

They're Back.  This one was just down from my home in Petty Harbour. Wanted to get out and chisel off a few chunks for visitors coming this July. Wicked ice for drinks. Cubes last for a long time. Nice treat too to drink 10,000 year old water. The water was too rough around the berg. If I had another paddler willing to venture out, may have been able to do it. There are bergs now in Bonavista and Twillingate with more on the move.

Monday, April 22, 2019

I like to think we are paddling down the shore when paddling on the south coast of Newfoundland but locals call it "up the shore".....Tony right behind ya......heading up the shore....

Happy Kayaker.....Happy Life......In a locally made kayak here in Newfoundland.....The Makkovik

Lamanche suspension bridge
Some advancing....some in holding pattern.....

Checking out some shoreline enroute to Lamanche.

Getting ready to paddle from Tors Cove to Lamanche early Feb. 2019.

Paddling To Lamanche Newfoundland....

Saturday, February 02, 2019

Outside Cripple Cove

I’m starting this trip post in the middle. WE did about a 20km paddle, depending on who’s GPS you reference, on Saturday from Bauline Newfoundland to Pouch Cove Newfoundland. It was a mix of one or two sun breaks, with mostly RDF, what we like to call here in Newfoundland rain, drizzle, fog.

These images were outside Cripple Cove just before rounding the cape at Cape St. Francis. There is obviously some shoaling here and this area is normally mush more chaotic and turbulent as you would expect any shoal to be especially at a cape. Saturday had calm winds with little swell but still enough water activity to make this little spot an entertainment piece in itself. We pattered around here for about 30 mins or so and headed into Cripple Cove which is rarely accessible because it sits below the cliffs of the cape but was allowing entrance today.

Inside Cripple Cove looks quite innocuous 

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

 Out To Sea
 Heading To Maddox Cove NL
 On The Compass
 Petty Harbour Entrance
Waning Day

Friday, June 09, 2017

One thing is for sure about living in Petty Harbour, you never know what you might come home to. Today it was not the set of a movie well at least one that has not played out yet. I saw this "green hornet" down by the dock on the way home from work. Yeah, like I'm not gonna go check that out I says. Met Brian from Ireland and Joseph from Quebec. A couple of 4-5oo ocean paddlers from around the world, a unique group, that are attempting to paddle from St. John's to ...... Yup you guessed it.......France....oops I told you that.
Talked to Brian about the trip and sounds like one hell of a ride. Paddling the whole way for two months. One paddler at a time, two hours up and two hours down. Equipped with all the essentials, weather equipment, solar panels, desalination unit for fresh water, emergency equipment and a connection to live weather as they traverse the "pond". The weather will be broadcast from yup you guessed it again........ Ireland.
I could not pass the "Sassy " and sleek look of the craft that was engineered to be self-righting and able to endure , we hope, the waters of the North Atlantic. They will be leaving the area next week with laden bellies full of calories and brave hearts.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

"First Paddle Of The Year"

Though it was the first paddle of the year for me and for about a year actually, it sure was good to be back on the water. Gary here ready to go with gear organized boat ready. I was a little slow getting started today. Gasket gone in wrist of dry suit, forgot water at shuttle point, skeg cable busted (i knew this ahead of time), waterproof camera dead, battery in spare camera dead and the list went on. I had the essentials to paddle but man oh man I have some on shore work ahead of me to prepare for the next paddle.

Tobias a regular paddler with this group stopped by at the put-in with his daughter of 3 years to have a chat. Dean and Tony in the pic getting a shot of Tobias and daughter.

Had some good chats with Clyde along the way and made me reminisce about those nice ole kayak paddle chats that I have been missing for so long. With both cameras on the blink these were the only shots of the trip....the preparation before launch. 

It was nice to see all the gang again and to share in the camaraderie of a decent paddle. Brian is making his way to the waterfront and his craft. I believed he paddled one of his own fiberglass boats he made,  today. 

It was about a 19km paddle later told to me by Tony at our take-out in Quidi-Vidi. Lots of small caves along the way to explore and coastline that looked liked it was serrated with a band saw all the way along as the cliff's jagged edges etched to their bases appearing to grind the waters below.

We were also accompanied by Sean a glimpse of him in the header photo who paddled in a kayak crafted by his own hands as well. Lots of paddling talent not only in on water kayak skills but kayak construction as well.

We stopped and had a nice break at the Ocean Science Centre on our way to QV. It was an interesting landing spot with some as interesting launches after we ate. All in good humour and fun. All along the route I was lulled by the swell of the ocean and the good spirits of all on the trip, which reenforced even more vividly what I had been missing for sometime now.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

"I love Taking Lanscape Photos, I like shapes, Like Curves, Angles and Arches."

Well, where do I begin?  Though  I have not been kayaking I have been doing lots of hiking and photography on land. I sure do love to deviate as my passion and curiosity takes me. I've developed a love for this magnificent creature in our backyard during the summer months. The Humpback whale is an amazing docile sea my experience, and I have had some encounters that have yet to be topped by any human being I know. Awe we'll just put landscapes aside for now. I want to share some of the more intimate interactions over the last year or so.

 We rented zodiacs about four times last summer. 3 photographers, a kindling passion, a keen since of kinship and a love of pictures. This kindling passion ignites with a such a thunderous roar inside your chest the moment one breaks the surface you start to try and break your captivation so as to start shooting and sometimes I miss shots because I just want to see it all before it quickly disappears. Content to sail away knowing that i may not have a photo but I sure do have the image imprinted on my mind and I can go back to that anytime. But you do get shots. This fin is huge, some measure 6-8 feet or longer I've seen. I like the barnacles clinging to the outer edges glistening gold in the late evening sun.

 I was also captivated by this, lobbing! Humpbacks like to smack their tails on the surface sometimes and it is very loud. This went on for about 5-8 minutes and the columns of water being released by the tail flicking motion sprayed seawater for feet, into the air. We give them the right of way and our encounters are respectful. Our boat guide and learned captain keeps track of the whales that visit by collecting photos from people who shoot the whales and he identifies them individually ( based on their tail markings, much like they identify Orcas) to see which ones return each year. 

 This guy was so gorged from the kapelin they come to Newfoundland to feed on in summer months that I was surprised to see him setting up for a deep dive. You can tell he is going deep by the almost vertical angle of his tail. We never did find this fellow again. It was loppy. It is a whale tale though! The one that got away I guess  : ).

The Humpback in the foreground is a baby. You can tell by his smaller dorsal fins and blowhole and well just his obvious smaller size. He was jumping around frantically when we first encountered the three of them. Two parents I am assuming and the little one. I thought at first he was playing but when I got home I zoomed in on my shots and I saw that he was obviously attacked. There were literally huge chunks missing everywhere but he was a trooper and moved around with what looked like ease but a bit wildly and I am thinking that perhaps the air felt good on some of his wounds. When they were leaving the area they all merged together and majestically swam away into their briny world.

There had been Orca sitings all summer and no doubt they must have encountered one or more. We see the transient Orcas in this part of the world. The ones that travel the oceans in search of prey and feeding grounds.

One of the bigger Humpbacks had sizable bumps and dents. The family in tact they disappeared, but nature can be cruel when you see it in the wild. That, to me you have to understand for what it is in that world......survival of the fittest. It is still out there. Amazingly!!!
I hope to see that little fellow this year though. I have pictures where some of his biggest wounds were and some shots of his tail.......we'll see.

Tail shots are so beautiful when you can get the water flowing of the back fluke and reflecting the falling sun leaving this day. I textured this and tried to create some neat sharp edges on the water spray.

 Not much will beat a Humpback breach when you can see and experience it. I still do not have the one I'd like but the sound of them impacting the water when they fall back down is thunderous slapping as their thick outer skin meets the viscosity and surface tension of the ocean water below.

 Sometime they just do not want to fall back with a slap. They will jump spiral and do a shallow dive spraying water in a briny vortex, a miniature hurricane, around them it seems. The shear power and intensity is mammoth in proportion.

 And so every breach is followed by an absolute and unavoidable return even if it was to have a fleeting glimpse of the world above it's true domain.

 Blowholes on Humpbacks are huge and they kind of remind me of the tips of trunks on elephants. They appear very sensitive and very reactive and in motion lots especially , of course,  when surfacing and submerging back down under the water. Observing these holes can give you a little information on what they might be preparing to do next. Some will just come and swim by your boat and observe you for very long minutes at a time. Emerging perpendicular to their long form and spinning with their eyes just above the water.. .....staring at you! 
This was shot head on to a Humpback getting ready to dive with his blowhole closed. I cannot begin to explain to you how wide this whale was and gorged with food. This was shot at the end of their visit to Newfoundland. He was friggin'....friggin' big.

Of course when very close and feeling and smelling their blowhole spray landing all over and all around you, you become very aware of what their last meal was.

Everyone wants to feel safe when on the water. Right? We kayak. We know what it is like to paddle with someone else and in groups. We are very acute to the feeling of safety it brings. Or not. Some just like to paddle alone. 
I'm not sure if this Puffin was thinking safety as much as he may have been thinking near miss. I know that puffins are very familiar with humpbacks even though they seem to be traveling at Mach 1 to be familiar with anything would be nothing short of an accomplishment.
 They know Humpbacks have not much interest in them. Unless they enjoy them flying above their heads  in some natural harmony.

This remains one of my favorite shots of a Humpback as he is yet again about to dive. I have it enlarged in the hallway of our home. The sheath of water rolling off his back, that has to be less than millimeters thin, can be seen cascading down his sides as he goes under.  I just went to have a look again, and you can see the individual folds inside his blowhole that makes the hydro seal he needs upon entering his depths.

Well I had to dust the cobwebs of this blog somehow. 

Time for the water. It's time for the water.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

"Sea Weed Shoreline, Dildo Run, New World Island Newfoundland"

I love paddling at Low Tide. A lot of the shoreline is exposed and if you are as curious as I am then you like to explore what is revealed once the tides have subsided. It is also a chance to meander around rocks visible and submerged  and practice those nifty little turns that get you in and out of certain spots on a dime.......or not! I don't like the sound of rock on fiberglass but I'm over that now for the most part. I'm more on the other side of that thinking now. Soon got to get mine in for nick, lots of nicks repair.

The other thing I like about low tide is the smell. A low pressure tends to release all those odors hidden in amongst all that shoreline glitter.  But wait now, you gotta be careful, like all things, all that glitters is not necessarily gold. Though I visited many of the communities along the Twillingate, Fogo and New World Island coastlines on this trip, I noticed, many still have raw sewage pumping directly into their waters and in sheltered areas there is no escape. Tidal action can only do so much when the tidal differences are small. Storms help move the literal and figurative "sh&%" along but they too are limited in their action of renewal and recycling on sheltered areas like coves. Areas surrounded by many islands where fetches are small and even wind waves can't flush things out so to speak. Still I love low tide.

Sometimes when I'm out I like to see how well the GPS marking line up with the actual navigational aids on the water. Sometimes I'm amazed how close like this one, and other times they are not even on the GPS. 

Other times I just have questions like, "can I salvage a pot that has been sitting on a rock for what looks like eons?' without fear of the fisheries dudes roughing me up? " MAybe it is best to just leave them there at anyrate and let them decay naturally into the surrounding beauty like they were perhaps supposed to do anyway. Why would I want one? Well that is simple. Because!

Once again I am Canadian. Proud to be and ever so happy to be able to share it with others. If you never have been to Canada you will always be astounded by our beauty from coast to coast. I am always amazed when I go some where new how much land and water there is around us. I hope we keep it as clean as we can for all to share and respect all the creatures big and small we share it with and to that end, I hope you paddle hard and paddle safe.

Monday, June 25, 2012

"Dildo Run Provincial Park, New World Island Newfoundland"

 Thought I heard something outside my tent.

Took a trip two weekends ago to Twillingate and Fogo Island areas of Newfoundland for a photo shoot. Took my kayak but it really was not a kayak trip sadly enough because there is lots of excellent kayaking in the area. I did manage to get out one day. It was more of a soul searching trip for me and time needed for self. I guess I just need that sometimes.

 The only iceberg left in the area when I was there and this was at the causeway of Twillingate and New World Islands.

 On my one outing I did have a remarkable encounter with a couple of Osprey and their home. They were about 50 meters away and made me feel very much like prey as I figure I was agitating them with my presence.

I did something I would never usually do and that was find a rock full of seaweed about 5 feet in length which was exposed because of low tide. I got out of my kayak and laid down watching the birds and took out my good camera gear and started shooting off this little roost. One slippery move and $6000.00 worth of camera gear in the dunk. Though I couldn't resist on this outing I probably won't do it again. No wind, no waves no one around at 9am in the morning. It was after all wonderful for the soul.

My launching site in the park with my camp just behind the brush in front of the canoe. Sipping a coffee here reflecting.

A look at my camp with dry suit hanging on the tarp. I haven't kayaked in a while and not done so solo for even longer than not kayaking. It certainly was inspiring to get back at it. The guys are going to Ireland's Eye on a July1 st camping trip and man what a great group it would be to go with. My partner wants me to go to a wedding and then there is our grieving dog. Decisions, decisions. My profile in kayaking has been virtually nonexistent as of late as I have been preoccupied with other issues but I am sure longing to be posting again soon.

If you visit my blog thanks for doing so and look froward to some new material as my summer evolves.