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

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

2011: Post 21b – Long Island Trip – Day 2

I suggest you read entry 21a prior to reading this entry...

I slept better than the night before.  About 5:30 am I heard a longish ziiiiiip and then Tony’s voice saying “awesome” (sounding like ahhhhhh-sum).  Then a few seconds later I detected a camera flash through the screen of my tent door and wondered what it that was that was so awesome to Tony first thing this morning.  I got out and looked down the beach to see the horse looking at us and a sheep near it, half out of the woods.   Tony said there were several sheep there with the horse when he got out of his tent.  That is indeed an awesome sight to see first thing in the morning when you crawl out of your tent! 

Not a great pic but here is the horse.  The sheep was
gone by the time I got my camera.

Breakfast on Day 2

By about 7:30 am we had finished our breakfast, broke camp, repacked the kayaks and were leaving the beach.

From our campsite at Port Royal Cove it is about 7 km to get to Buffet Head, the southern end of Long Island.  Along the way there was one spot where we saw a couple eagles flying out of a little spot hidden to our view.  As we kept paddling more eagles kept flying out of the same spot.  By the time they stopped appearing Hazen said he had counted nine eagles.  It was exciting to see so many at the same time.  I pulled into the spot that they came out of and it was just sort of an indentation in the cliff.  Of course, with camera off to save on battery, there was no picture to be had of the eagles. 

We approached Buffet Head after about an hour of paddling into a bit of a headwind.   I was feeling a sense of accomplishment to have paddled the west side of Long Island from tip to tip; almost exactly 24 hours ago we had just been leaving Arnolds Cove! 

Clyde at Buffet Head with Iron Island behind him.

Tony and Hazen closer to the shore at Buffet Head.

As we rounded the head there were a lot of gulls in a bit of frenzy in a small cove.  We paddled over to see exactly what the fuss was about.  It was another treat to see schools of caplin under our hulls!  If we were so inclined we could have easily managed to get a meal. 

Not a clear shot, I submerged my camera and hoped for the best...
We rounded the head and continued up the coast.  The water became nearly flat calm again.  There were more eagles and I decided I just had to try to get a picture of one.  I turned on my camera and left it on for a while.  Before too long one flew out and I did get a shot. 

My only shot of one of the many eagles we seen over the weekend

We kept paddling in the calm water and entered Buffet Harbour by mid-morning by way through The Tickles. There was an old rusted ship beached across from the old community, where just cabins and remnants of the old building now stand.  You can get a sense of the size of the ship as Clyde paddles along the side of it.

Harbour Buffet was an interesting stop.  It is very sheltered from the Eastern Channel in Placentia Bay.  Tony went to visit the people that Hazen had visited the night before.  The rest of us walked down the beach and into the woods and came across a concrete foundation of a long ago house, which I found to be very interesting.  There is a concrete walkway leading from what must have been a path or little road at one time to the front of the building.  There are flower’s growing on one side (I believe Tony called them Paper Whites) where I imagine was a flower garden at one time, and there is a set of concrete steps on the same side, still intact.  On the other side of the building they had poured a concrete retaining wall with part of it curved.  The straight part of the retaining wall has been pushed out of plumb by the pressures of the earth behind it, but the curved portion is still dutifully doing its intended purpose.  We surmised the amount of work it must have taken to haul bags of cement from the water edge, gathering and hauling fresh water, sand and stone to the site, and then mixing and placing the concrete in the forms, the mixing likely done by hand at that time.   

Paper Whites growing in the garden...
Concrete steps still intact...
The concrete retaining wall on the other side of the
foundation...  the curve is a nice feature.
Standing where the front door would have been, here is
the concrete walkway leading away from the house
We heard Tony calling out for us after a while and we called him over to have a look at the foundation.  He told us the people he had visited had put on coffee for us if we wanted it.  The four of us walked a little farther and came to a little shack with a sign inside telling us the name of it was “The Possum Lodge.”

The Possum Lodge framed in de-barked logs...
Inside the lodge...
I wonder if Red Green ever comes to visit...
bow your heads for the man's prayer...

I'm a man,
but I can change,
if I have to,
I guess...

We went back to our kayaks and decided to go for that coffee.  As is always the case in little Newfoundland communities (even the cabin communities) people are always happy to have visitors drop by.  These people (I do not know their names) did not have a cabin but instead stayed on their boat while there. 

The Missus of the boat passing out greatly appreciated cups of coffee...

One fellow said there was a cabin in Hay Cove, told us it was unlocked, and we could go ahead and use it; I believe he may have owned it, or it belonged to his family...  We said our good-byes and paddled the 5 or 6 km to Hay Cove where we stopped for lunch. 

Hay Cove lunch spot

Cooking and eating lunch on the beach is just fine, but it was a comfort to be able to cook our lunch inside and sit on a chair at a table and eat. 

Clyde and Hazen really roughing it in comfort

Tony made up a batch of bannock and shared with us…. I joked he reminded me of my grandmother as he kneaded the dough; I wish I would have had an apron for him...

Grandma Tony kneading away...

Now I do not mind roughing it.  But it is nice to enjoy a little comfort now and then as you are roughing it.  This cabin at Hay Cove came complete with a traditional outhouse.  I don’t need to say any more about that topic.

A welcome site for a paddler...

Leaving Hay Cove we paddled another 9 km to Southwest Cove where we had another break on a beach.  When we got back on the water we paddled along the shore and as we got abreast of an island called Shag Roost we could see a hole in the middle of it and wondered if we could paddle through it. 

Clyde nears the hole in the island

We paddled over but the tide level was too low, maybe it could be done at higher tide.  So Hazen paddled around so we could at least get a shot of him through the hole. 

Clyde tried to get Hazen to get out of his kayak so
we could get a shot of him standing in the hole...

Tony, having a background in geology, pointed out how the striations of rock stopped on one side of where this hole is (about 3 or 4 meters each side of the hole) and then continued on the other side… there was some kind of fracture in the original rock eons ago that was filled in with a different material.  If you look closely you can see this formation in the picture... 

Geology lesson 101..  we often get to learn about
such things when Tony paddles with us 

From there it was only a couple more kilometers and we reached our destination of Haystack Harbour.  Hazen, Clyde, and I stopped to talk to some older people there who said they lived in the cove from March to November every year! 

Clyde saying hello to the inhabitants of Haystack Harbour

Tony continued to the beach at the end of the cove and scouted out a campsite, and we joined him a little while later.  I hit the beach and checked my GPS – 34.5 km for the day.  It was around supper time then.  Just as we got our tents set up it started to rain a little – the first rain of the weekend.  We tied up a tarp in the trees and had a nice dry place to cook our supper. 

Nice and dry under our tarp

Again we gathered up some wood for that night’s campfire.  We had misty rain but it did not dampen our spirits.  I broke out my storm cag and was warm and dry.  Tony held true to his campfire policy and we soon had another excellent blaze on the go.   

Tony looking for the next piece of fuel....
A couple drinks of rum for me and Clyde, scotch for Hazen, and wine for Tony, and then we turned in for the night after the fire burned down.  I slept very well, snug and warm in my tent.

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