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

Sunday, May 29, 2011

2011: Post 17 - Tors Cove to La Manche

We paddled today.  It was a paddle destination offered by our ever present paddling buddy Tony (we refer to him as Tony R).  We agreed to meet at Bay Bulls at 9 am.  Tony said we would wait around if anyone was late.  9 am came and went and there was no sign of Tony.  It was not like him to be late.  Clyde made a call to his house and his wife said he had left at about 8 am.  We joked his car must have broken down; his 'kayakmobile' is an older car and I believe has upward of 300 thousand kilometers.   A few minutes later he called back.  He had indeed had car trouble and would not be joining us today... 

So thanks for the paddle Tony R.  You were not there in body and kayak, but you were thought of during the day.  Here's some shots to show you a little of what you missed ...

The put-in.... last time we were here there was surf dumping on the beach and one of our crew snapped of a paddle...

Todays starting line-up...




Most of the paddle was fairly tame.  But we found a couple of spots that were shoal and combined with the swell and low tide these spots made for some great play time and great photo opportunities....

Clyde and Lev catch a ride
None of us had paddled with Lev before but he quickly
demonstrated his skills honed from years of whitewater paddling

Yee haw, Lev

Of course Clyde never shy's away from some surf...

Get in there, Clyde

Clyde is happiest in the rougher stuff, but this will do...

We've watched Tobias develop his paddling skills since joining our Thursday practices a couple years ago.  But today we watched him take his game to a higher level.  I do not mind admitting that he has far surpassed me when it comes to getting into the rough stuff we seen today.  I said he was fearless today and he simply said he was watching what Lev was doing in the waves and he just went for it...  Here's Tobias like we have not quite  seen him before....

Let me at it....

up and over...

just missed this one...


still waiting....

caught one...

Whoa, baby.... I think it caught me!

You still in there, Tobias?

Oh, yeah!  That was great.
Out of my way, I gotta try that again!

We started off the day at about 7 C and by the time we got back to the cars it was 20 C (according to the temp gauge on my car).  We paddled a total of just over 19 km, with a total time of 6 hours.  Thanks for a memorable day guys.  I just know we'll see you on the next paddle, Tony......

Monday, May 23, 2011

2011: Post 16 – Atlantic Paddling Symposium 2011

This weekend I attended the Paddling Symposium.  This is the first time the Symposium has been held here in Newfoundland.  I may stand to be corrected, but it is my understanding that this year’s number of participants was the highest so far with about one-hundred and ten enthusiastic participants plus another couple dozen or so instructors.  Whether you enjoy paddling on a river, canoeing, or sea kayaking, there was something for everybody. 

My sole interest in this Symposium was in the Greenland Paddling and Rolling sessions with Maligiaq Padilla as the instructor.  He is a well accomplished Greenland Kayaking Champion who has been paddling Greenland style for 20 years (about two-thirds of his life).  For the small, but growing, group of paddlers that use a Greenland paddle here in Newfoundland this was a great opportunity to receive instruction from one of the best.

On Saturday morning I took part in the Traditional Greenlandic Paddling session and then in the afternoon we did Greenlandic Rolling.  I enjoyed the day so much that I decided to skip the other sessions I had signed up for on Sunday and went back and did the Greenland sessions over again. 

Our instructor, Maligiaq Padilla, always seemed to smiling

Waiting for the day to get started

Receiving some on-shore instruction

Malcome has been using a GP for some time now.
His paddle of choice is a carbon fibre GP.

Stan has been a regular GP user for a while now.
He also uses a carbon fibre GP.

Neville does not paddle with a GP, but has played around with them
enough that he decided borrow one of Sean's paddles and take in
the morning session.   Look how happy he is to have a
GP in his hands... you'll be converted yet, buddy...

Gerard is a recent GP convert.  Like me, he did the sessions on both
Sat and Sun.  Towards the end of the second day he
proclaimed he did not even want his CF Euro paddles in his home...

Dennis has been using the GP for a just short time but has taken
to it nicely.  I believe he has one of Sean's paddles...

Sean is an avid GP user and maker.  He has made a dozen or more
wood GP's, some of them crafted as well, or better, as any you
are likely to put your hands on.  He regularly loans out his paddles
to those intested in trying them.  Some of us attribute him as a
a big part in our conversion over to the GP (myself included).

Karen has also recently joined the ranks of GP users.  She
borrowed one of mine for the day...

Some rescue practice.... 

Neil, another avid GP user, aids Maligiaq in demostrating
a rescue technique.
Ysabelle has a go at the demonstrated rescue...

Sometimes there are casualties!  This GP died when Maligiaq
 used it to do the rescue on Gerard.  If you don't break a paddle
now and then you just aren't trying hard enough....
(My camera was a little bit foggy after some rolling in the chilly water)

In the afternoons we did the rolling session...  Most people there could roll using a paddle.  Maligiaq spent a lot of the time in the chilly water helping people to work on balance bracing, hand rolling, and rolling with a norsaq.  When I got my one-on-one time with him he initially asked to see my paddle roll and told me it was fine, so I was pleased with that.  Then he worked on the hand roll with me for a while, but I could only do it with the aid of the paddle float.  He told me I was close to getting it though.... my shoulder is dropping so I have to work on that...   

Dennis gets some one-on-one instruction from Maligiaq

Meligiaq giving Karen instruction.

Karen under the watchful eyes of the instructor. 

Sean is not exactly shabby in the rolling department...  but
he is going in for his turn on some instruction from the master.

Maligiaq demonstrating a balance brace. 
He makes it look rather easy. 

Here he is doing some rolling demonstration. 
Again he makes it all look so easy...

I happened to be near Maligiaq and decided to snap a picture.  Without me asking he stood and posed with his hand on my bow.  I am sure he just held my bow to steady my kayak, but to me he sort of looks like he might be doing some kind of Greenlandic blessing on my kayak.... 

The kayak below is one that Sean made this spring.  Meligiaq asked Sean if he could try it out.  When he came back to the beach he remarked how fast the kayak was.  Rightfully so, I think Sean was a little proud of that remark - he did do a nice job on it.  But I did have to remind Sean that Maligiaq was using one of the wood GP's that I made to paddle his kayak.... but Sean promply reminded me how Maligiaq only commented on the kayak and not the paddle! Touché, buddy.

And of course, I had to get my picture taken with the teacher....

It was an enjoyable couple of days.  I am glad I took the time and went.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

2011: Post 15 – My second one-way paddle for this year

We left town at about 9 am and drove to the bottom of Colliers Bay where we dropped off our kayaks and gear and left Tony on guard.  I, Clyde, and Hazen drove up to the predetermined take-out location, left two of the cars there, and came back to the put-in.  It was 11 am by the time we got on the water, and so we had our lunch at Turks Gut after just an hour on the water. 

With fuel in our bellies we set out again and continued up to South Point and then did a small crossing across Brigus Bay over to North Head.  From there we made our way to Grassy Point where we had a little break out of our boats and scouted around for potential future campsites.

From there we continued around the headland at Burnt Point and had a lot of fun playing in the swell at The Arch and then continued down to Cupids.

My paddling partners today:


With about 4.5 hours on the water and another hour of stopped time there was lots of opportunity to take pictures.  I actually managed to snap off 98 of them.  Here's some of them:


After you Hazen

Wait for us Hazen

Hazen Looking rather relaxed

No, you go first and I'll take your picture

Time to cool off a little

Oh yeah!
It's all behind you, Tony

Clyde in his element

... maybe a little too much element...
...I'm outta here!
Okay just a little more...

The smile says it all
Tony at The Arch
Nice spot to rest a while
Here's the guys checking out a potential campsite...

Clyde and Tony staking their tent locations
Clyde and Hazen

What a day we had.  The pictures don't really do it justice.