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

Saturday, April 21, 2012

2012: Post 12 – A new Bell Island paddler

The weather called for a nice day with low wind.  But it seemed we could not quite get people's schedule to coincide.  But Neville and I managed to connect and we met at St. Philips for a paddle over to Bell Island.  I have paddled across the tickle to the island several times, but Neville told me had never been to Bell Island before, let alone paddle over to it….

Heading over

At Dominion Pier

Dwarfed by the cliffs

Getting a look at the ferry that has just backed in

A very vertical cliff

One of the handfull of waterfalls to be seen

There is a cave at the north end of the island that has an exit at the other end (so I guess I really should call it a tunnel).  The last time I was here the water was more active and I did not go into the cave.  Today with the calm water I thought I might be able to pass through, but the tide was too low.  I did sit at the other end for a while hoping that a large enough swell might come in enough that would allow me to shoot through the rocks in my plastic kayak; I almost made an attempt at one point but decided to turn around and go back and then Neville came in to have a look…

The view from outside

Passage denied

We encountered an iceberg as we rounded the end of the island.  If I wasn’t under a time restraint to be back home we might have paddled over to get a closer look.  Instead we wnet to have a look at the other end of the cave (tunnel) before turning back…

I guessed it was about a 20 minute paddle to the iceberg,
but like Neville said, it is hard to judge the distence

The other end of the tunnel

By the time we got back to The Beach it was time to get out of our kayaks for a stretch.  There is a restaurant there and Neville graciously offered to buy me lunch...

What are we having, buddy?

Duh, fish and chips!!!  Did you think we
paddled over here for a sandwich?

We ate our lunch and lounged for a little bit in the sun before getting back in our kayaks for the trip back.  We paddled along the shore almost to Dominion Pier before turning to make the crossing back to St. Philips.

The view from our lunch spot

Heading back to St. Philips

Of course, we washed up in the river once we got back, loaded up the kayaks and gear, and then headed to the nearest Tim Horton’s for a coffee to finish off the day.

What a day for a paddle!  Thanks Neville, and thanks for the grub.  I'll bet the rest of the guys wished they had come along...

Thursday, April 19, 2012

2012: Post 11 – Risky Business

There is an article about two guys who climbed an iceberg near Quidi Vidi.  I read the article and then read some of the comments.  Some people thought it was a cool thing to do and then there were those who thought it was a fool thing to do.  I guess everyone has their own opinion.  Here is mine…

Every activity that people do carries a risk.  Yes, some things are riskier than others.   But with proper training and some preparation the risks can be mitigated to acceptable levels.  And yes, no matter how skilled and prepared, some people do things that go bad that ends up costing taxpayer’s money to send in the SAR to save them or recover their bodies.  What is the alternative - just sit on our couches and do nothing?

Let’s not take our family camping because one of the kids might fall down a ravine.  Let’s not go to the gym because we might hurt ourselves and have to go to the hospital.  Don’t drive a car because you might cause an accident.  Instead, let’s all just sit in our houses, safe and sound.  But wait, we shouldn’t have a house because the people who build houses might injure themselves while constructing it….  Okay, then let’s just huddle together in the woods and hope we do not die of pneumonia…  Okay, okay, now I’m just getting a little bit silly, but you get my point.  The fact is every activity we do carries risk and sometimes the costs for our activities is carried by the taxpayer.

Now, I think that people should not go out and do things they have not prepared for.  I have no climbing skills so I have no business climbing icebergs – the risk to me and the cost to others for my stupidity are far too high. But I was taught to walk a long time ago and have a lot of experience walking so why shouldn’t I walk across the road after looking both ways…  If a car hit’s me in doing so and its costs the taxpayers to have the police and ambulance come to the accident scene then was I wrong to have tried to cross the road?  And if I die of my injuries, well… like John Wayne said in one of his westerns…“everybody gets dead.”

Even the guy who sits on his couch all his life will likely have to go to the hospital at some point, probably from a heart attack due to inactivity, and that will cost the taxpayer’s money.  And sitting on the couch all your life will likely be what will kill you anyway.

I say, get out there and explore some of the things life has to offer; go camping, take a drive, or walk across the road.  Just keep an eye on the kids while camping, take a driving course and get your licence before you take that drive, and look both ways before you walk cross the road…

Kind a close, there Tony!!!

I can guarantee that no matter how careful you are, and no matter how much the risks are mitigated, we are all going to die and we are all going to pay taxes while we live, and the taxes collected will definitely be spent on something anyway.

I remember reading this line somewhere once... "life is a terminal disease and nobody's getting out of this act alive."  Pay your taxes.  Mitigate the risky business.  But do have some fun.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

2012: Post 10 – Cape Broyle paddle

I did not have to work today.  So Tony and I drove down to Cape Broyle to enjoy the promised weather.  It was calling for sunshine, 16 C, and south 30 km wind gusting to 50.  Well we certainly got the warm temperature and the sunshine.  But we were protected by the south winds as we paddled along the southern side of Cape Broyle.

A few pictures of the day...

The view looking out Cape Broyle Harbour

Getting a close view of the falls

Don't paddle into the light!!!

Another falls to play under

cringing from the cold fresh water...

The beach where we had lunch had plenty of sand...

... and plenty of sand the other way too.

When we got to Church Cove we felt the first effects of
the forecasted winds...

... and were pleasantly surprised to see a little
iceberg in the bottom of Church Cove.

Of course we had to check out Cathedral Cave
just past Church Cove before turning back.

A little high there, Tony...

... and a little tangled up too.

What happened to your kayak, buddy?
Some of the guys were in Cape Broyle a while ago but I wasn't able to make it.  I checked my log book and the last time I was there was March 5, 2011.  Where does the time go? 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

2012: Post 9 – Bergs

There were several icebergs outside of Quidi Vidi.  So yesterday seven of us met to paddle to them and have a look. 

These were my first iceberg encounters since I started paddling in June 2008...

Quidi Vidi slipway

Icebergs just a couple kilometres outside of Quidi Vidi



Clyde and Gerard

Clyde commented this one looked like an elephant



Four of the guys decided they would paddle on to Logy Bay, but Gary, Tobias, and I cut the day short and headed back to Quidi Vidi...

...  picturesque Quidi Vidi