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

Sunday, March 18, 2012

2012: Post 8 – Today's paddle

The wind forecast for today was calling for west 20 km for the morning, increasing to 40 km and gusting to 70 in the afternoon.  Five of us met at St. Philips this morning with the intention to paddle over to Bell Island and back before the wind picked up.  As a group we decided to be prudent and paddle to Topsail Beach instead. 

The tide was low and there was no wind or swell on the trip down to Topsail Beach. The wind did pick up on the way back but just enough to give us a little push...

A few pictures to share....

The start

Out of the cove and on our way

Gary and Dave




(This is my favorite picture of the day)


Looking  across the water at Bell Island

The sun was warming up the rocks...
you can see the steam rising off of them... 

We encountered some slob ice along the way

I do not know the name of this bird but it allowed me to get so close
that I did not even need to use the zoom.  We also seen a seal, an
otter, and an eagle today but I did not get any pics...

We pulled up on the beach at Topsail for a break before heading back

Make sure you check out Tony's pictures on his blog too.... Thanks for sharing the day guys.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

2012: Post 7 – A change of plans

Today there was supposed to be a bit of wind… Yesterday the forecast was calling for 30 km wind gusting to 50 km from the north.  We anticipated such wind would make for a good play day in the cove at St. Philips for a couple hours.  Five of us showed up this morning for some fun in the cove, but the promised wind did not materialize.  So the plan changed to an impromptu paddle up to Portugal Cove.

Some pics…

Gearing up

Tony was the first one to hit the water

Clyde, Lee, and Tony waiting in the cove for Brian to get on the water

We had some warm weather this past week and the
falls at Beachy Cove was flowing nicely....

Brian couldn't resist and had to see how far
up the little river he could get

Clyde following Lee into Portugal Cove
Lee using the rocks to pull himself along

Today was Brian's first paddle for this year...

So tell us what you think of kayaking when it's snowing, Tony...

Clyde, smiling as usual...

This is the spot we had our snack last week in
Portugal Cove.  If you look at the pic from
Post 6 you'll see quite a contrast...

Da boys heading back to St. Philips

As usual, we headed up the river to rinse off the
salt water off our kayaks and gear
I never get tired of the stretch of coast from St. Philips to Portugal Cove - it's such a fun little paddle. Thanks to Tony, Brian, Lee, and Clyde for showing up...

Monday, March 5, 2012

2012: Post 6 - Brocks Pond Falls

Saturday past four of us paddled from St. Philips to Brocks Pond Falls.  Tony has a write-up of this trip on his blog so I will divert you to it... 

I will add that that this was Dave's first paddle of 2012 and neither Dave nor Tobias had paddled to the falls before... 

Some pics of the paddle:

We put in on the beach since there were ice pans blocking the
slipway.  The motor boat that put in from the slipway while
we were ther even had a little trouble with the ice pans.

Dave has recently made and started using a
laminated Greenland paddle...

Tobais joined us in Portugal Cove and used his Euro blade
on the paddle to the falls...

The falls were ice and snow covered so we did not
see much of the flowing water....

Dave posing at the base of the falls.
Had to get proof he was there...

Tony getting a pic...

Tobias moved in for a closer inspection...

On the paddle back Tobias requested the use of my spare GP...
Just look at that smile!!!

Once back at Portugal Cove Tobias left our little group.
Dave, Tony, and I stopped on a beach at P. Cove
for a little snack and a stretch. 

The end of the piers at St. Philips were covered in ice...

The ice pans at the slipway had diminished when we arrived
back at St. Philips (we think compliments of the boat) and
so we were able to take out at the slipway.

A distence of 19.5 km completed.  Not bad for a fellows first paddle
of the year (and I think he said it was his first paddle since November).
Way to go Dave... keep it up and you'll be well conditioned by the
time the regular paddling season starts up.... 

Thanks Dave, Tobias, and Tony for another great day on the water.  I checked my log... the last time I did this paddle was Feb 10, 2011... here is Tony's blog entry of that trip

Friday, March 2, 2012

2012: Post 5 – A Newfoundland Artist

For those who follow my blog, you may notice I have added a new blog under "MY BLOG LIST".  It is the blog of Dwayne Lewis, a very talented Newfoundland artist that I have known and have worked with for the last 20 years. 

Some time ago I had him do a sketch of my father-in-law and then a couple years later another one of my mother-in-law, both were gifts to my spouse.  These he created from a few snapshots I gave him... 

The Old Skipper with his shed in the background...

The Old Skipper's wife, all dressed up...

I also have a print of his "Avalon Brown" painting hanging in my rec-room.  If you go to his web-site under Limited Edition Prints you will see this print and a bunch of his other paintings.  It is certainly worth a look through his web-site and blog.  His talent clearly shows in his art.

Dwayne is a very down to earth fellow, rather humble in regards to his artistic talents, loves the outdoors, and took up diving a little while ago (I believe he knows Neil and Ysebelle through diving).  Anyway, I thought I would add a plug for him and his web-site and his blog.  I am sure you could obtain a print or even commission him to create something for you if you so desired.

Okay, so since my blog is a kayaking blog I have to relate this entry back to kayaking...  Well, a while ago Dwayne told me he would like to try kayaking so maybe I will manage to get him out one day later on when it warms up a little... Being an outdoors kind of guy maybe he'll get hooked on the sport and it will allow him exposure to a part of Newfoundland that he can paint that is only able to be seen from the seat of a kayak...

Thursday, March 1, 2012

2012: Post 4 – Safe (motorized) boating

According to BOATsmart!® Canada:

If you operate any motorized recreational watercraft in Canada you are required to obtain a Pleasure Craft Operator Card, commonly known as a boat license. The boat Operator Card is required regardless of age, size of boat or engine horsepower. It's the law.

Although motorized, this is not a pleasure craft...

... but this is a motorized pleasure craft....
I expect the operator had his PCOC.

In order to obtain your PCOC, Transport Canada requires a minimum course of study and then an exam must be taken and passed.   I have known about this ‘boat license’ for some time now, but as a kayaker (non-motorized pleasure craft) I am not required to obtain it…

Last week I had a bit of downtime at work and so I got on-line to investigate exactly what was involved in obtaining the PCOC.  Turns out there are a lot of virtual schools that will allow you to do the course and take the exam from the comfort of your home.  Alternatively there are lots of places you can go to do the course in person.  I printed off the course manual from one of the sites and flipped through the pages.  Something about all that information (about 60 pages worth) caught my attention and I decided I would get my PCOC, irrespective of the fact it is not required for kayaking.

On Saturday morning past I woke up very early.  The weather was calling for a crappy day and I knew everyone in my house would not be up for a while.  So I made a cup tea, booted up the computer, found a Transport Canada accredited on-line school, paid my fee, and started the course.

The course I did is set up so that you can do one module of information (there were five of them), take the module quiz, log out, and then come back at a later date to do the next module.  I did not have to do it all at once, but I enjoyed progressing through the modules so much and just wanted to continue to the next module, and the next… After about four and a half hours, course modules and quizzes completed, and the Transport Canada exam passed, I printed out my temporary Pleasure Craft Operator Card.  My permanent card (which is good for life) will be mailed to me in a few weeks. 

So as a kayaker what was the point of getting my PCOC card?  Well, I figure as a person who spends time on the water any boating knowledge consumed must be beneficial.  Doing the course gave me a different perspective.  I now have at least some basic knowledge of what the motorized boaters are supposed to know; for instance the next time I paddle at night and I see those lights on a boat I will (hopefully) remember that the green one is on the starboard side, the red one is on the port side, and the white one is at the stern of the boat.  I also have a better upstanding of the rules of the (water) road…  By the way “all motorized crafts must take early and substantial action to stay clear of sailing crafts or active pleasure fishing crafts, paddle craft, canoes, and kayaks.” 

I still have no intention to own a motorized pleasure craft and most of the things I learned during the course are not directly applicable to my kayaking life.  But at least I have gained a little more knowledge of the boating world.  I just have to try to remember things I learned during the course and review the course manual periodically to refresh all that information that has been added to my mind.