If you just go for a paddle than you can stop thinking about wanting to go for a paddle.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

2019 - Post 1 - Starting off the paddling year

Generally, on the first day of the New Year, our local paddling club does their first years club event by meeting at Quidi Vidi Harbour for a little social float.  I did not see it advertised on the Calendar of Events, nor did I see it posted to the local paddling newsgroup.  However, yesterday Shane sent an email saying he was gonna paddle out of St. Philips at noon for the first day of the New Year in the afternoon and was looking for company.  Later he also suggested to meet at Pippy Park at 9:30 am for a little bike ride before the paddle...  A full day of things to do on the first day of the 2019...

We met at Pippy Park and Shane said he wasn't gonna paddle in the afternoon (it was a chilly day and he has issues with cold feet).  Hmm.. Psych me up and then let me down! 

After about an hour and a half of peddling around, we had enough and went for a coffee to warm up.  It was such a nice day - the sun was up and the wind was low - and I told Shane he probably would be sorry if he didn't paddle this afternoon.  He goes back to work the day after tomorrow, and tomorrow is gonna be a windy day and he would not be able to get out to paddle... The seed was planted and he finally came around.  The power of suggestion sometimes works very well.

Ashleigh was also interested in paddling but couldn't get free until 2 pm. So that gave us enough time to get home, get the gear ready, and head out to St. Philips.

I don't have any pics from our bike ride, but here's a few from this afternoon's little paddle...

Ashleigh's very first winter paddle


Shane

By the time we got back to St. Philips, Ashleigh had little icicles formed on the front of her cockpit...



Back at the slipway we had to re-negotiate the ice pans still hanging around in the boat basin...




After loading up our gear, Shane admitted that he was very happy he changed his mind and paddled.  Ashleigh said she had a great time paddling in the colder season.... And I was feeling quite contented, having spent the day doing a couple of activities I enjoy.  The only way to have made this day any better would have been to go for a little hike as well... but then there are 364 more days left in 2019...

Hope everyone else had a great first day of this New Year.

Monday, December 31, 2018

2018 - Post 3 - Seals in Bay Bulls

On Dec 29th, Shane and I did a short paddle in Bay Bulls.  When we arrived we discovered  a couple furry spectator's at the put-in....








It's always a treat to encounter wildlife of any kind when we adventure outdoors....


Sunday, December 30, 2018

2018 - Post 2 - Cape St. Mary's Trip in July


Per my last, and only, post for 2018, I promised to post the article I had written for the Ebb and Flow after it came out.  However, there has been an issue and the publication has been delayed!  So I have decided to go ahead and post the article on my blog now since it was a trip that happened in 2018 and I want it to be posted in 2018... 


Part One:  The Trip
(Pics courtesy of da guys... I forgot my camera)

On July 20, Brian, Clyde, Hazen and I drove out to Point Lance in the morning.  We unloaded and packed the kayaks, and then Brian and Clyde drove to the planned take-out at St. Brides, left a vehicle, and returned to the put-in. 

There was surf dumping on the beach at Point Lance as we each made our getaway.  




Hazen was the last one to leave the beach.  From my vantage point beyond the waves he looked like he had the worst of it.  At one point I could not see him at all for a little while and then his bow came over the last wave and he was out in the open sea with the rest of us.

There was little wind but there was swell, causing us to paddle out from the shoreline as we paddled toward the Cape.  When I was able to paddle closer to the cliffs I felt rather dwarfed by the height of them, but when I was further away I could take in the riveting panorama of the coastline. 





We followed the coast until we arrived at Golden Bay, where we would camp for the night.  The tide was getting close to high tide and there was far less surf than at Point Lance a couple hours earlier, and so the landing was fairly easy as long we watched the waves nearer the beach and timed our landing.

Drysuits and gear were laid out in the sun to dry, and our tents went up quickly in the field above the beach.  We set up our camp chairs on the beach and re-hydrated with cold beer that Clyde had packed in a soft cooler.   Life was good.  After a while Clyde and I got a cooking fire started, and we had another cold beer.  






With supper finished and dishes cleared, there was nothing left to do but keep the fire fed with the nearby abundance of driftwood, sit around chatting, and taking in the view. 

As the evening progressed, we noted how the waves increased in frequency and height as the tide lowered… much more intense then when we had landed at closer to high tide.  





We would be leaving the beach roughly twelve hours later and wondered if we would face the same waves in the morning that we were watching that evening.





Morning came and morning activities followed; have breakfast, clear up, brush teeth, take down the tents…   After the kayaks were loaded we left the beach one by one, having to paddle out through the surf.  Hazen was the first one out with a little help from Clyde.  I was the second one out and made it past the surf zone without incident.  




We sat waiting for the other two guys to paddle out. 

As we were waiting I think we might have drifted in closer to shore a little.  Brian was the next one out and paddled to where Hazen and I were.  




When Clyde left the beach I turned my bow outwards and could see a bigger wave coming.  I paddled to it and got over before it broke.  But right behind it was a much larger wave bearing down.  I dug in and paddled hard directly toward it.  Brian and Hazen were to my left but were further ahead.  The wave steepened and I knew I wasn’t going to make it.  It broke on me and pretty much stopped my forward motion.  “Shit, that was hard,” was the thought in my mind.  All I could see was the white of the churning water and, feeling the kayak rolling to port, I had to brace with intent.  Then the turmoil settled and I dug in to get myself moving to get myself further out.  I glanced down at my foredeck and noticed half my spare Euro paddle was missing and the other half was hanging on by one end under the bungee cord.  My pump was hanging over the other side of the kayak, with only the handle end nearest me under the bungee.  Then I noticed my apple, a fruit cup, and 2 bottles of water were no longer under my deck netting, and my GPS was poking halfway out of the net.  I called to Hazen to come over and had him secure the far end of the half paddle I still had, and the pump, as I could not reach forward far enough to secure them under the bungee myself. 

We hung around outside the surf zone, trying to see if we could see my half paddle floating around, but it was nowhere to be seen.  My initial instinct was to head back to the beach and wait for my half of paddle to wash ashore, but I began to reason the situation out in my mind. 

If I made a run to shore and got on the wrong side of one of the bigger waves near the shore I could damage my kayak or hurt myself.  One of the guys could hook on to my kayak to help prevent me from getting surfed in but with only a fifty foot tow rope that would put them right in the surf zone with me once I got to shore… but then several tow ropes could be secured together…

If I made it to shore safely, how long would I have to wait for the paddle to wash in?  Would it be there when I got there, or would it be an hour?  Two hours?  We had twenty kilometres to paddle to the take-out, plus the more than three hour drive home, plus time to get the vehicle at Lance Cove, and a stop to eat…  How long do I wait on the beach for it?  The tide would be dropping for another couple hours and these waves would likely intensify. 

Assuming I landed without incident, and found my half of paddle fairly quickly, then I would have to get back off the beach, running the risk of getting nailed by another wave, maybe loosing gear again, taking a swim, or dislocating a shoulder...  We were all currently sitting safely outside the surf, so why start taking chances.  Going back to the beach just might turn into one of those first of several cascading mistake’s leading to something much more severe than a piece of lost gear.   I decided that ‘Avoidance’ was the best tool at my disposal, given the conditions! 

My half of paddle wasn’t the only casualty of our trip.  Both Brian and Hazen were missing their watches, but were not certain if it they were lost while paddling out or if they forgot them on the shore, but it was not appealing to them either to land to look for a watch on the beach… We carried on...

It was a lovely day.  There was no wind and lots of birds to mesmerize us as we rounded the headland at Cape St. Mary’s.  





The sky seemed to be filled with birds and they seemed to be bothered by something.  As we were rounding the Cape, Brian said that it wouldn’t be a long walk from the Interpretation Centre to our campsite to have a look for the lost paddle.  The wheels started turning in my mind…  Further along we landed at Lears Cove on a rocky beach for a little stretch and a snack before continuing along the coast to the take-out location in St. Brides.

At St. Brides we unloaded the kayaks and piled gear and boats onto Brian’s trailer and drove back to Point lance to pick up Clyde’s truck, and then headed to Branch to have supper before driving back to town.



Part Two: The Rescue Mission
(Sorry, no pics for this portion)

I watched the weather during the week.  There weren’t any storms, nor was there any significant wind.  If my half of Euro paddle made it back on shore, and got pushed high enough up the beach it might be possible it would sit there for a while, waiting for someone to come along…  The weather for Cape St. Mary’s on Saturday called for sun and cloud, with a chance of showers.  I checked the tide for the area and low tide would be shortly after 3 pm.  Saturday would be a good day for a rescue mission.

I e-mailed the guys and told them I was planning on driving out to walk in to see if, per chance, my paddle was sitting pretty on the beach.  Brian replied that he was wondering if a “rescue mission” was gonna happen.  He said if I wanted the company he would like to go to see if his watch was left on the beach.  On the morning of July 28, a full week after we left the beach in Golden Bay, we headed back down the highway…

We arrived at Cape St. Mary’s in a blanket of drizzly fog.  It was supposed to have been sunny with clouds by then.  We donned our rain clothes and stretched rain covers over our day packs.  We thought it prudent to go into the Interpretation Centre to let them know what we were up to.  One of the staff workers said, “Oh, you’re the kayakers we seen last weekend…”  then she proceeded to tell us how the birds didn’t seem to be bothered by the motorized boats when they were near, but for some unknown reason they would take to wing and act up whenever kayakers were near the Cape…

A couple of the staff adamantly advised against us going to Golden Bay with the wet and foggy conditions of the day… “It’s best to come back tomorrow when the weather improves” they told us.  Part of the trail along the shoreline had been lost to erosion and we would have to bushwhack through the Tuckamore, and with the fog we could get ourselves lost since we had not done the trip before and did not know the way.  To hear them talk it was a ‘Mission: Impossible’ scenario.  I looked at Brian and told him I was fine with going and he said he was as well.  The staff said they could not prevent us from going but if we did they would surely end up calling in the search and rescue to come looking for us later that evening...  We let them know we were equipped with GPS, maps and compass, and had an InReach so we could contact someone if there was an issue.  And so, against the advice of the staff, we set off.

The assumed two-hour maximum hike to our campsite took us longer than anticipated.  Most of the trail is in the open and easy enough to follow if you pay attention.  At one point though the trail seemed to just go over the cliff where we assumed was where the shore had fallen away like the staff member had told us.  We had to push our way through the dense Tuckamore around this area, which really slowed down our progress.

We stopped a few times in the trees when there was an opening, and checked where we were relative to our anticipated path and we would adjust our direction to try to get back to it but the trees were so dense we just sort of meandered through what seemed to be the easiest parts in the general direction we wanted to go.  Sometimes we had to get on our knees and crawl close to the ground, and sometimes we just had to make like a moose and just force our bodies through.  At one point we were separated by only about eight feet but we could not see each other…  Finally we broke out to an open area above where the beach was and picked up a trail over the bog that seemed to go in the direction we needed to go.  Then we were back into the Tuckamore once again, and made a final push to get to the open field along the beach to the west of where we had camped. 

The tide was receding, as predicted, and so a lot of the beach was exposed.  If my paddle was here it should not be hard to spot as the blade has an amber colour.  At the beach where we had broken out of the trees Brian walked down onto the beach.  I stayed up on the field above so as to have a higher vantage point…  So as we walked along we were able to scan from both high and low as we ambled toward where we had landed and camped the week before.

Near the spot where we had launched our kayaks, I stopped and scanned the beach, and I spotted the amber of my paddle blade and called out to Brian and pointed to it… from his vantage he did not readily see it, but then did, and walked over and picket it up.  It was fully intact, no worse for wear.  Then he walked directly toward the beach and stooped over and picked up his missing watch!  He had obviously left it on a log when he was getting ready.  We walked around the beach and the tent site to see if we could find Hazen’s missing watch but it was nowhere to be seen, so we figured it must have been lost as he paddled out through the surf.  We even found one of my bottles of water… it would have been funny if we found my fruit cup and apple too!  With my half of paddle in hand, and the watch on the wrist of its owner, it went from a ‘Mission: Impossible’ scenario to a ‘Mission: Possible’ situation… all we had to do was hike back out without incident, but not before having some lunch…

We found a little spot out of the wind and ate, quite pleased with ourselves for finding our gear. We would have another story to add to our paddling adventures.  We didn’t hang around too long though as it was still a dank and foggy day, and we were wet form the hike in.  We packed up and walked back along the open grassy field to where we had come out of the Tuckamore.  There was a trail on the other side of where we had come out and decided we would follow this to see if it would by-pass some of the trees and save us some time bush-whacking. 

The new-to-us trail did indeed save bush-whacking time, but in places it ran dangerously close to the edge of the cliff.  The grass was wet and at times the terrain sloped toward the cliff… if one of us slipped there was absolutely nothing to stop us form a long fall down to the rocks or water below.  We had to be extra cautious along these areas, and eventually came out to where we had started our bush-whacking on the hike in.  The rest of the walk back to the Interpretation Centre was easy over the open bog and fields.

When we were close to the Interpretation Centre, Brian, who now had a watch again, checked and said it only took us an hour and a half coming back.  Later, at the car, I checked the total distance on my GPS:  the total distance there and back was 10.9 km, and to the lunch spot was 6.3 km, making the distance back out just 4.6 km.   The bush-whacking on the way in had really slowed us down!

We went directly into the Interpretation Centre to inform the staff that we were back, with our salvaged gear, and they would not have to send in the search teams to rescue us!   Back at the car we changed out of our wet clothes and had an uneventful drive back home, stopping at Fola’s Restaurant on Salmonier Line for supper.  With both of us back at home, safe and sound, I mused to myself that the rescue went from ‘Mission: Impossible’ at the Interpretation Centre, to ‘Mission: Possible’ sitting on the beach with our gear, to finally a ‘Mission: Accomplished’ standing in my basement with both halves of my Werner Shuna paddle in my hands.



Sunday, November 18, 2018

2018 - Post 1 – Holy Crap...

... it's been just about a year since I last posted!  My lack of posting has been mostly intentional, but not completely.

After my late November camp trip last year (see Post 20 of 2017), I intentionally decided to stop posting most of my kayak trips.  The reason:  Since I have so few readers of this blog, and since I was infrequently paddling in NEW places, I figured that I just didn't need to keep posting pictures and blogging about the same old, same old, and people just didn't need to keep reading about the same old, same old... and so I decided I would only add entries if I paddled someplace new... or if I did a paddle in a place that I had paddled before but something unique happened that I felt I wanted to share.

Well, I have been paddling in 2018, although not as much as some of my previous years; it seems we have had a lot of windy weekends again this year, and a lot of my regular paddling buddies have been spending more and more time on their fatbikes...  I have a fatbike as well, and do enjoy it, but I have taken to it much less than the others, meaning I have not gone OCD with that activity like I did when I took up kayaking...

My first kayak paddle this year was on Jan 20, and my last paddle to date was September 9... But I've had my butt in my kayaks thirty times between those dates.  That's actually pretty much the same as last year, but about ten times less than 2016, for the same period of time... Since my last paddle in September, I was on vacation for a month, then rolled my ankle on a hike the third week of October (limped around on it for nearly three weeks), and have had one of those hanger-on cold/flu's.  So I've been away from my outdoor pursuits for a while... 

Between my paddling activity, from January 1 to September 2, I have been on my fatbike twenty-seven times... To put that into perspective, in the month of January, one of my kayak/fatbike buddies nearly rode his bike that many times just during the month of January!!!  I did do another short ride on my fatbike a few days ago to see how my ankle felt... still a bit of discomfort, and pain when pushing harder like on an up-grade... so still gonna take a little more time to heal.  From January 11 to October 21, I have spent forty-five days hiking (as well as an additional eight times doing quasi-hikes while I was away on vacation).  I've also managed to fit in sixteen camping trips between January 13 and October 21; these have been a combination of hiking (8), paddling(3), biking (1), and car (4) camping trips...  I can add one more if I count driving out to my buddy's and sleeping in his camper...  

My buddy Shane issued a challenge earlier this year... I call it the 3-3-100 Challenge.  Over three consecutive days, in any order, do one activity per day - hike, bike, paddle - so that the total distance covered equals at least 100 km.  He set minimums for each activity.. 50 km on the fatbike, 30 km in the kayak, and 20 km hiking.  I decided to take on his challenge at the end of June.  On Day 1 I biked 51.4 km, Day 2 I hiked 26.6 km, and Day 3 I paddled 32.3 km.  I reported my challenge results to Shane and our other buddies in hopes to motivate others to do the challenge... but nobody else did - not even Shane!  It's not a competition of time, but rather a challenge to get active, but I am still waiting to get some type of reward as the only one to actually take on Shane's challenge in 2018!!!  Of course, we still have time left in the year for others to add their names to the list of 2018 participants.

So I have been very busy this year... 

Now getting back on topic of kayaking... In July, four of us did an overnight trip from Point Lance to St. Brides.  This is the only place this year that I have paddled that was new for me!  I wrote up a blog entry and was going to post it, but our local kayaking magazine (Ebb and Flow) put out a call for articles and I decided to submit it to them instead of posting it right away.  I have been waiting for this falls magazine to come out, and then I will post the article on my blog so that anyone who does not receive our publication will be able to read about the little adventure... Anyway, here's a pic from that trip... 




As soon as the Ebb and Flow comes out I will post my article along with some pics....


Monday, November 27, 2017

2017 - Post 20 – A late year kayak camp trip

Kayak camp trips this year have been few.   So Shane and I decided to get in one last trip, despite the wind that was forecast.  We managed to entice Terry to come along.

We drove out to Admirals Beach on Saturday morning for the put-in...

Shane has been taking every opportunity to seal launch lately...


... he has ordered a new fiberglass kayak and figures his seal launching days will be over when it arrives next year.

From the put-in we paddled over to Great Colinet Island.  We had the southerly wind in our face, which required a little bit of slogging as we followed the shoreline down the bay. 




The hope during the planning was to camp at Wild Cove if the conditions would allow.  But before we got to Mosquito Cove we decided that with the increasing south wind the landing at Wild Cove could be dicey, and the wind was forecasted to increase during the evening and even more overnight.  

Wild Cove is open to the South, with virtually unlimited fetch.  We are not paddling fools and so we opted for the safer Mosquito Cove as our destination for the night.  When we arrived we pulled up on the beach and got out to look around for a campsite. 




With our site selected, we got back in our kayaks and moved further down the cove.  We pulled up on the beach and contemplated going for a little paddle down the shore after we set up camp.  It was close to 1 pm by then and we decided by the time we had camp set up, paddled, then came back and collected firewood we would be eating in the dark.  And we had not had lunch either.

We peeled off the drysuits and proceeded to set up camp.





We all pitched in and made quick work of gathering up some firewood.  The first order of business was to get a cooking fire on the go.  Sweet potatoes went on the grille first...




We cut up moose sausage links, 



grilled them,

and then ate them as a pre-supper snack... we figured we needed sustenance to be able to consume our forthcoming supper. 



When our salmon steaks were cooked we ate our supper...



and then boiled the kettle for tea and had pumpkin cake to top off our meal.  It was getting near dark by then and so we moved our evening fire further down the beach and settled in for a chilly evening.



The evenings are long now and so by 10:30 pm Shane and I were in our hammocks and Terry was in his tent.  Minutes later I heard Shane declare "there's something running around under my hammock... I think it's a #$@^ rat!."   I laughed to myself... thinking it was more likely a rabbit as there were runs around.   

As was forecast, the wind picked up during the night and I slept very little.  When I crawled out of my hammock in the morning I walked around a little and then went down to check on the kayaks and gear on the beach.  Terry was up and cooking scrambled eggs and toast for everybody.  I ate mine and then rousted Shane out of his hammock to get his.  Then we had oatmeal to chase the eggs and toast down.

We broke camp after we straightened away breakfast dishes...




... and packed up the kayaks.



I think it was about 9:15 am when we launched.



We decided to paddle a little way south down the island before crossing over.  I didn't take any pictures during the crossing.  It was windy and bumpy and about halfway over I discovered just how out of paddling shape I have become this year. I was getting tired and my shoulder was bothering me.  I decided to turn on the autopilot, letting the wind and waves push me north as I completed the crossing... 

I was happy to reach the other side where we had protection from the southeast wind.  I took a little video of Shane trying to get a good picture of the waves crashing against the shore.






We only had about a kilometer or so to paddle to reach Admirals Beach.  When we arrived I headed for the beach and pulled my kayak up to the car. I could see Terry and Shane playing in the bit of waves to the left of the take-out.  I had some of my gear unloaded as they came in.  

This is the latest in the year that I've kayak camped.  This time of year the days are short and the evenings are long, and the nights are chilly.  It just might be the last camping trip of any kind for this year... but we shall see.

Monday, November 13, 2017

2017: Post 19 – Catching up

My last post was two months ago, on September 11!!!  I was on vacation the latter half of September.  On Oct 7th and 8th I helped out Shane on his fourth Level 1 Sea Kayaking course but I neglected to post on that weekend.  

The next time I paddled after Shane's course was on Oct 21 when Shane, Tony, and I went out to St. Philips to play in the wind one morning... I only took one pic, preferring to keep my hands on my paddle... but click here to see Tony's pics of the morning.  

Tony

Between paddles I've been hitting the trails to get in more hiking, and got in a couple rides on my new bike.  I bought a Fat Bike 2.0 from Moose Bicycles... it was on sale (and still is until the end of November) and seemed like a good product at a good price... click here if you want to see the spec's.  I think I'm gonna have a bit of fun on this bike.

Shane and I did an overnight car-camping trip a couple weekends ago while the rest of the guys paddled in Cape Broyle..  Shane couldn't get away to do the paddle and my shoulder was bothering me so I passed on the paddle.  So we drove out to Turk's Gut later in the afternoon and set up our tents.  Shane nominated himself as camp cook, or maybe I did the nominating... but either way I told Shane that if he cooked it I would eat it... 

Supper

Breakfast

Today is the November 11th holiday so those of us who work were off.  The forecast called for low wind and so Tony got on the ball and organized a paddle in Bay Bulls.  I checked my log book and the last time I paddled there was in May of last year!  Can't believe it's been that long; it's a great place for a close to home paddle.  Anyway, here's some pics from the day....








It was a grand day.  It was chilly but sunny, and there was just enough swell to keep things interesting.  It was good to paddle with some of my 'ol paddling buddies.  But most especially it was good to get back on the water with North Cape Jenny.  I think she missed me as much as I missed her.

Monday, September 11, 2017

2017: Post 18 – If it's not raining, it's not training

This weekend past would be the last one in September that Shane would be available to do another Sea Kayaking Level 1 course.   Like his first course, he only had three students, (Shane, Emily, and Mark) and he asked me to come help out once again.  

Unlike Shane's other courses, I decided I would attend the theory portion of the course on Saturday morning.  It was an information refresher for myself, and I added a few pennies worth of comments here and there.  What I found was that it gave me a chance to meet the students and for us to get to know each other a little before getting on the pond in the afternoon. If Shane asks me to help him out on future courses I plan to attend the theory session portion again... I think it has a positive effect on the group dynamic rather then if I just show up at the pond in the afternoon.   

At the pond the first order of business was to show people how to properly carry their kayaks and then to get kayaks and gear ready.


All three students had wetsuits as is generally the case with newer paddlers, and Shane and I were a little concerned about them getting chilled in the forecasted afternoon rain.  But we tried to keep them moving between learning things to stay warm.

Wet-exits and basic T-rescues were taught near the shore, and then we moved out into deep water to do them all over again...



... and again, and again...


... until they could both be the rescuer and the rescuee to Shane's satisfaction.  They also did the paddle float self-rescue as well.  Just when I thought Shane was done with the rescues  he had them all do it one more time, and then we headed to shore for a stretch and a break from sitting in the kayaks.  But it wasn't a rest from learning.  I sat on the shore with my string and shovel handle and explained and demonstrated the forward stroke..   I prefer to sit on land to demonstrate and break down the forward stroke, and then get into the kayaks to learn it on the water... 





The afternoon went quickly.  Although all of the intended strokes had not been covered, Shane was thinking maybe it was time to call it a day so the students could get into some dry clothes and get warmed up, but they all said they were okay to go another while.  So Shane continued on with his instruction, and I think it was 5:30 when we finally called it a day.  At one point Student Shane commented that "if it's not raining, it's not training..."  i thought that was a great attitude, which all three students seemed to share.

The forecast called for more rain on Sunday and the wind was to be at the high end of Level 1 from the Northeast; this would be perfect for the day.  We  drove to the put-in at Conception Harbour, had a little discussion, and then got on the water...



We paddled down to the shipwreck, had a little on-water discussion about what to do in the event of a salt water capsize, and the importance of sticking together and watching out for each other.

Using our best forward stroke, we paddled over to Middle Cove where Shane went over low and high bracing, and then he had me demonstrate and explain sweep strokes and edging...


We handrailed the shore, stopping here and there to continue to work on things taught, and learning new things like contact tows, stopping, and stern rudders... 

In Gasters Bay there was a following sea going to Broad Cove and the students had to use paddle stern rudders to keep their kayaks going straight.

Before we arrived at Broad Cove one of the students unintentionally capsized and we watched the other two students spring into action... Emily was the first person to reach Mark and put her training to work.  Student Shane was on standby to help out and I think he misplaced a paddle stroke and he unintentionally capsized as well.  So Instructor Shane went into rescue mode while I sat on standby for whomever may need me, snapping a couple pics and a short video.... 



I like when these things happen unintentionally on the ocean during courses; it emphasizes to students that something like a double capsize really does happen, and how important it is to have sufficient knowledge and competent paddling partners.  It really nails home why we need to learn and practice what you have been taught so you are prepared to deal with a situation like this. 

Before we got on the beach I went over on-water communication using paddle, hand/arm, and whistle signals. 

On the beach Shane got out his tarp to put up so we could have lunch out of the rain.  Water was boiled for a cup of tea to have after our lunch.  



We didn't hang around too long after lunch before getting back on the water... 


We handrailed back along the shore...




... until we arrived at the little cove just before Ballyhack Point where the students could have a little rest and Shane gave a little more on-water instruction.  



Once we rounded Ballyhack point we were in full protection from the Northeast wind.  The rain had stopped and it was a rather pleasant afternoon.  We paddled our way down the shore a little and then made the small crossing over to and around Middle point  where Shane had everyone line up, stern to the shore.  The instruction was to use good forward stroke and paddle as fast as they could over to the shipwreck to see who could get there first... it's always a fun way to end the day.




Back at the cars I took the class photo and Shane had a little chat with his students to get feedback.  Student feedback (both good and bad) helps on future courses.  We got into dry clothes and then went over boat design... Shane would normally do this after lunch but we figured it best not to be standing on the shore in the wind and he decided to wait until we got back to the cars.

The students....

Mark

Emily

Shane

And the photo of Shane's third Level 1 class...

Instructor Shane       Mark        Emily      Student Shane    
Emily, Student Shane, and Mark... you guys rock!  You guys really embraced the suck factor over the weekend with the poor weather Mother Nature gave us.  With the weather we had, and the amount of time you guys spent in the water I would rate the course as more like Type 2 fun... kind of sucks to be doing it but you will reflect back on it and decide it was well worth it... I know at times you guys had to be chilly but you were all smiling and seemed to be having a good time.  

This is likely the last Level 1 course Shane will teach this year as he is tied up with his non-kayak life for the rest of September and in October the ponds are cooling off and the air temperature is getting colder.  Most students taking this course have wetsuits and in the colder months it is much better to have a drysuit if you are going to spend any amount of time in and out of the water.  However, Shane did say if someone comes to him to do an October course he would consider it if they have a drysuit.

I had more fun than I thought I would helping out on the courses Shane offered this year since he become a Certified Level 1 Kayak Instructor.  I feel that twelve kayakers in this province received high quality instruction from Shane.  I picked up on some little things that will help make me a better kayaker than I was before... there are always things to learn no matter how long you have been kayaking.  Good job to all of Shane's students he had this year, you all progressed and I think you are better kayakers for taking the Level 1 course.  I hope everybody stays safe out there....