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

Sunday, July 7, 2019

2019 - Post 10 - PNL Club Paddle: Cape Broyle

Yesterday (July 6) we had our annual club paddle in Cape Broyle, led by Ron...  I took nearly eighty pictures hoping to get a few good ones... Here are the ones I've selected to share..

Double kayaks like to do a little rock-hopping too

Cooling off

This one is not my pic; Clyde sent it
to me so I've taken the liberty to include it

The caplin were rolling on our lunch beach

Some people do beach lunches in style

It was a very good day with, I believe, twelve paddlers in eleven kayaks....

Monday, July 1, 2019

2019 - Post 9 - PNL Overnighter

Last year our overnighter was cancelled as a club event due to high winds, although some of us did the trip regardless... This past weekend (June 29th and 30th) the weather was perfect and so nine of us drove to Colinet for the put-in and paddled down to Pinchgut.

Once we were in the tickle we pulled up on the shore to have our lunch.

We took our time after filling our bellies and paddled the remaining few kilometres to our campsite.  Tents went up and camp was made ready.  We lounged around for a couple hours and then it was time for supper.

Some people went for a walk but a few of us lounged around some more at the waters edge.  We later gathered up some firewood and as darkness drew near the fire was lit.

We awoke to a beautiful morning.

There was no hurry and we took our time getting breakfast and packing up. 

Once on the water we paddled around the south end of Pinchgut Island and followed it's shore back up into the bottom of the bay.

Per usual, we paddled up the river to the falls where there were a few salmon jumping now and then.

We hung around the falls for a while and then headed back over to the cars.  It was another great PNL overnighter enjoyed by all.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

2019 - Post 8 - Three shall there be...

I woke up this morning to low wind and sunshine.  A good day to paddle.  I sent an email to a few of my paddling friends.  Only Shane and Ashleigh showed up;  Tony seen the email too late, and others responded saying they could not make it... it was short notice, I know.

I picked up a coffee on the drive out Thorburn Road.  The further I drove the foggier it became.  

I sat in St. Phillips waiting, sipping, and thinking it's been a long time since I paddled on a foggy day and looked forward to it.

It wasn't long and the three of us were on the water.  Shane suggested a run to Portugal Cove as they were a limited on time... It was a good plan.

Further along the shore we had a little swell, just enough to have a little fun here and there.

Ashleigh is a newer paddler and asked for some guidance on her forward stroke... Well now, Shane and I don't need much persuading to help out any paddler that asks... and often, perhaps too often, we offer help without any occurrence of an ask...  

At Portugal Cove, we pulled up on the closest beach for a little stretch and snack.  I watched Ashleigh drag her kayak up the beach when she landed and I knew she had rocks in the skeg box... the beach was full of little stones.  I got my knife out and went to work, but once we had it freed up we discovered she likely has a kinked cable.  I suggested she drill a hole and put a pull-line on her skeg.  Then Shane said he still hadn't put one on his.  I thought Shane was fully trained by now!!

Shane has the newer version of the Nordkapp and I spent a litle time looking at the differences between his and mine, seeing as they were side-by-side.  Then I discovered his deck line was pinched under his front hatch cover.  Yep.  The training isn't quite over.  In truth, it never is for any of us.

Somewhere on the way back Shane went inside a rock.  The water sucked out and the wave rushed in.  It knocked him over, with his beam transverse to the water, and he executed a textbook high brace, hung there for a partial second, righted himself, and paddled on.  I wish I would of had it on video.

By the time we got back to St. Phillips the fog was starting to dissipate.

It was short paddle, but it was a great day on the water.  We had a good bit of fun.  Thanks Ashleigh and Shane for sharing the foggy paddle with me.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

2019 - Post 7 - Tors Cove, where shit happened

Ron, Clyde and I drove down to Tors Cove for a paddle to La Manche yesterday....  

There was some swell running and we had a little fun following the coast line down to The Shadies.

There was an iceberg off of Great Island...

There was another iceberg near Cape Neddick and we decided to paddle the couple kilometres across La Manche Bay to get a closer look…

From the berg we followed the coast along Money Cove and then Bluff Head Cove to La Manche.  There was confused water along these coves as the swell came into the coves and rebounded back out.   I felt a tippy-ness in my Nordkapp – a feeling I had not felt in a long time.  I attributed the feeling to the fact that I have not been paddling much this year (this was only my tenth time) and it has been a long time since I paddled in any amount of confused water.   As soon as I rounded Herring Cove Point the confused water disappeared and my hull felt normal again.   A thought came into my mind... “I am not the paddler I was a year ago….

We took out at La Manche and had our lunch, discussing kayak things, and watching the many hikers going about the trail.

Without anyone saying “let’s go” we all just started gathering up our items and heading for our kayaks.  It was chilly and we were anxious to get moving.  

I didn't take any more pictures...

We paddled out of the cove into a headwind of about twenty kilometres.  I had on my neoprene gloves but my hands were really cold in the wind.  I wished I had on my paddling mitts.   Once we rounded Shady Point our headwind turned into a beam wind…  The next kilometre or two was bouncy until we started to get protection from the wind inside the islands. 

I was ahead of the other guys when I got to Pee Pee Island so I floated about, waiting for them.  They had stopped so Ron could put on his neoprene gloves.  His bare hands must have been pretty cold as mine had been quite cold with my gloves on.

When they caught up we carried on but I had to pee… must of hung around Pee Pee Island too long!  I landed on the north end of the beach at Saint Michael’s to do my business.  When I got back into my kayak I was backing out and the water sucked out and then rushed in and swamped me.  I dealt with the water and got going.  When I rounded the little headland Clyde was waiting for me but Ron had continued on. 

Clyde and I took our time, playing along the shore where the swell made things a little fun here and there.  There was a spot somewhere around Burnt Cove Island where the shit happened.

Clyde was ahead and paddled into this little ‘spot’.  When he cleared I took my turn but as soon as I went in the water sucked out, dropped maybe three feet, and seconds later the wave came in to get me.  I did a little side-surf, turned my bow to paddle out, but the water sucked back out again and the next wave got me.  It pushed me back in and my hull was on some rocks.  I went over and braced and seemed to hang there for a second.  I think the water was still moving out and I was suddenly under my kayak.  This is how I remember the events that followed over the next few minutes…

The last time I rolled was the first week in September last year, but my instinct took over and I set up.  I was nearly up but in the turmoil I went over again.  Everything was white.  My Greenland paddle was twisted and so my hands were 'backward'.  Rather than take the time to slice the paddle around in the water I simply switched my left and right hand positions and made another attempt.  Clyde later said he thought I had another go at it but I do not remember.  Regardless, I was over again and sucked in some water; I guess I forgot I couldn't breathe down there.  I popped the skirt and surfaced.  I was coughing a bit and kinda felt like I might puke.

I actually had my feet planted on the bottom a couple times but then the water would come back in and float me.  At one point I could feel the seaweed caught around my foot and the thought came into my mind that if the water came in high enough and the seaweed had a good hold of me… well, I wondered if I could hold my breathe seeing as I was doing a little coughing after swallowing some water….  I kicked my leg to get if freed…

It’s funny how time seems to slow down when you’re getting pushed around like that in the water.  It seemed like I was out of my kayak for a good minute by the time Clyde seen my predicament and got turned around to help out…

He had his tow rope out and threw it to me, but the end wasn’t sufficiently weighted and it did not reach me.  My sunglasses came off and I grabbed them before they sank.  Clyde made a second attempt with the rope and it seemed closer but I could not reach it. 

I thought to try to scramble up on the rocks but I didn’t relish getting on the inside of my kayak to do it.  I flipped my kayak upright and grabbed the bow toggle and started kicking to swim it out of the spot I was in.  It got knocked over though and so I kept kicking and then tucked one end of my paddle behind my back and used it as an extension to my arm to move the upturned kayak along while I continued to kick my legs.  Then I got a friggin’ cramp in my calf!  Jesus, what else was going to happen!!!  Then I realized I did not have my hat and figured I would have to go back in for it when I got back in my kayak.

After a few strokes I was out far enough for Clyde to come alongside.  I held on to his kayak and mine and he paddled and I kicked as best I could with my cramp to move us further out.  I remember saying to him that I had lost my hat... I really like that hat.  "I got your hat" he told me.  When I asked how he managed to get my hat he said it was just floating there and he grabbed it.  That made me happy.  "Did you get any pictures?" I asked...

I held onto his bow as he started to perform a standard T-rescue.  I came up along the outside of my kayak and, perhaps being chilly and tired from my swim, I had a hard time grabbing the deck line on his bow.  I finally got hold of it, sunk back down into the water, hooked my heel into my cockpit and pulled myself up on my back deck, lying on my stomach.  I took a couple seconds and tried to spit up the ‘lump’ in my chest as I hung my face between the kayaks, and then rolled into the cockpit. 

There was a small bit of water in my cockpit and Clyde grabbed a pump and pumped it out for me; I guess I looked beat out to him.  I got my skirt on and then I held Clyde’s kayak while he stowed his tow line away.  I was chilled and tired.  We stayed rafter up for a while, discussing the event and what we might have done better… we decided we should both start carrying our throw bags along with our tow ropes… a throw bag would have really come in handy in that spot.  In my opinion, I thought the rescue went rather well, considering it's been a long time since either of us had done any rescue practice.

We got going after I felt I had sufficient rest, but I was thankful my swim occurred close to the cars so I didn’t have to far to paddle.  Ron was on the beach when we arrived and we gave him a precis of the event. 

It was a great day for a paddle, despite my swim... We had sunshine, an iceberg, a nice lunch spot, some confused water, some headwind, some beam seas, and some rougher water swim and rescue practice.

Ron headed home but Clyde and I stopped for a coffee on the way to warm up.