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

Sunday, June 24, 2012

2012: Post 20 – A bunch of 'firsts’

Today was our first paddle of the official summer season (summer beginning on June 21st).   It was the first time that Clyde used his new Greenland paddle in the ocean and the first time that I used one of my Greenland paddles that I had made last year.  Unless my memory has failed me, it was the first time I have seen Gary try a Greenland paddle and it was the first time I have seen Tony decide to give a Greenland paddle a really good try.  And it was the first time I have seen Gerard’s new kevlar Nordkapp LV….sweeet!

The pics:

The put-in

Gerard's new kayak

Clyde's new Greenland paddle

Kelly's Island was enveloped in fog about
about three and a half kilometres straight ahead

Clyde and Tony

Although we did not paddle a long distance it was noon by
the time we got to Martin's Cove.  By the time we finished
lunch the fog had lifted.

We climbed up to look down on Martin's Cove
(Bell Island is in the distance).

Getting back on the water.


Tony switched between the GP and his Euro during the trip


We had pulled up on the beach just as we rounded the
west end of the island and climbed up for a look...

Just chillin'...

When we came back down Clyde decided to give Gerard's new
kayak a little spin.  I think he was both impressed and envious.

Tony talking to the sailboat owner's.

Gary trying Gerard's carbon fibre GP 

GP cowboys riding their kayaks back to the beach..

You have to admit guys, it was such a GP (great paddle)....

Friday, June 22, 2012

2012: Post 19 – Death of my Greenland Paddle

I sometimes say that “if you do not capsize now and then you just aren’t trying hard enough...”  I guess I can now say that “if you do not break a paddle now and then you just aren’t trying hard enough...”  I guess I tried hard enough at last night’s St. Philips Thursday evening get-together because I finally broke a GP.

I made this particular GP over two years ago and have been using it exclusively for all my paddles, pools sessions, and Thursday practices.  That would put it at more than 200 times used.  Not bad for a paddle that cost less than thirty dollars in materials and about eight hours of rather enjoyable labour.

This is what more than two years worth of wear looks like

A couple months ago I started hearing little cracking sounds in the loom, especially when digging in a little harder when paddling.  There were a couple little cracks in the loom, one of them being nearly vertical.  I decided that it would be prudent to start carrying my spare when going to the Thursday practices (often I do not as we just mostly just stay in the cove).

As I do not see the vertical crack any more, I believe the location
of the break was where the vertical crack was 

Last night I brought my spare but decided to leave it in the car… note to self and others, treat Thursday practices the same as a paddle, take the darn spare!  Anyway, when I practice high braces I will do them with both non-extended and extended paddle positions.  Well, I guess I did just one extended paddle high brace too many, and my GP decided it had had enough of that kind of abuse. It broke in two pieces, with the longer piece floating away. 

It’s funny the things you think about in times like that.  My first thought was “can I roll with half a paddle.”  I wish I would have tried to, but I had not succeeded in half-paddle rolling when I was using a Euro paddle and, never having half a GP before, I have never practiced that particular skill…

My second thought was “I should have taken my spare”. In the event that I ever lost my paddle during a capsize, I have practiced tipping over without a paddle in my hands and simply pulling my spare GP off my front deck and rolling with it…

So then my final thought was to just bail.  The other guys were alongside me and they would rescue me from the perils of the deep...  

After I was back in my kayak (thanks for the rescue, Brian) I was offered the use of one of the guy’s spare Euro paddles.  A Euro paddle now feels odd in my hands, and I just couldn’t get my mind around having to use one with my spare GP only a few hundred metres away.  So, I opted to paddle back to the car with a half GP paddle to get my spare, after which everything felt perfect again in my kayak world.

So now I have to choose one of my other GP’s to use as my main paddle.  I have two paddles out on loan and four more sitting in the basement, one of which has never been used (made last spring).  I tell people that you should have a minimum of three GP’s on hand… one to paddle with… one that you carry as your spare while you paddle… and one left at home in case you break one while paddling… and then the one at home becomes your spare while you busy yourself making a replacement... Of course, with a few extra GP’s you can loan them out to your Euro paddling buddies in an effort to coerce them over to the wonderful world of the GP!!!

GP forever, man!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

2012: Post 18 – Waves and Whales

Anyone want to go to Middle Cove to check out the iceberg?  That was the hook Tony used in his e-mail a couple days ago.  So three of us took the bait and we met in Middle Cove this morning.

Well, the iceberg that was there had moved off.  But the water was active and we could see humpbacks spouting from the shore.  Excitement took over at the prospect of seeing some whales.

A few pics from the day:

Tony was the first one off the beach

Tobias heading toward Tor Bay

Clyde likes to get in close

But there were areas that you had to keep your distance 

Look! A whale!

The guys waiting for another whale appearance
There's one!
Look, another!

Tony in a trough

Torbay Point

Heading into Outer Cove
We had a snack on this little beach in Outer Cove

Almost back to Middle Cove

Today was this year's first whale encounter for me.... Thanks guys for another exciting day...

Check out Tony's blog entry on today

Monday, June 4, 2012

2012: Post 17 – Great Sandy Harbour

This past weekend four of us went on our first camping trip for this year.   The forecast for the Placentia Bay area was for sun and clouds, but no rain, although there would be wind from the northwest.  The plan was to drive to Davis Cove in Placentia Bay and paddle up to Gulch Pond to camp for the night.  Along the way we would go into Great Sandy Harbour and maybe try our hand at a few sea run trout while there. 

It was about 10 am when we pulled into Davis Cove and we had the kayaks loaded and were on the water about an hour later... 

Clyde decided he would use a Greenland Paddle for the weekend so he could give it a really good test…

Our first stop was at Prowseton... 

We sat behind one of the little sheds there to stay out of the wind... 

Before getting back in our kayaks we decided we would find somewhere in Great Sandy Harbour to camp instead of continuing to Gulch Pond.  The day was moving along and we figured by the time we explored Great Sandy Harbour (our main goal of the trip) it would be about time to set up camp... 

Clyde and Neville
Once in Great Sandy Harbour we followed the shoreline (north side) and looked for possible camping sites along the way...  

We got all the way to the falls and did not find anywhere suitable for camping.  We hung around the falls for a while…



Then we followed, and scouted, along the south shore of the harbour until we found a place that would be suitable for four tents, but we would not be sheltered from the wind.  It was about 5:30 pm then so we decided we would paddle the few kilometers along the shoreline and chance we would find a suitable place to set up camp in Little Sandy Harbour. The distance to Gulch Pond would have been farther and we would have had to paddle into the wind as well. So off we went with our decision made…

Along the beach in Little Sandy Harbour Neville spotted a couple places that, if we removed some branches, would make a suitable spot for the tents.  Although we had paddle approximately 25 kilometers at this point, Clyde decided he would continue further along just to see if there was anywhere else for camping; I think he was just in GP mode and found it hard to stop... When he returned he reported there wasn’t anywhere further along but he did come across a moose.  So Neville and Hazen broke out their saws and quickly cleared away a couple spots for the tents...

This spot would become the location for mine and Clyde's tents

Before too long we had the tents up and supper on the go... 

Clyde and I are canned food campers - beans for Clyde, chicken and rice soup for me... just open the can, warm up the contents and you’re eating within minutes... I think Hazen and Neville like to eat a whole lot better though….



After our late supper Hazen made some Irish coffee…


… and then we got a fire on the go... 

... and had a few drinks…

Neville produced some jiffy-pop popcorn and soon had it ready... 

Clyde checked the time.  It was 2 am.  Time for some sleep.  We woke up to a blue sky and sunshine.  The wind was still blowing but we were protected from it...  

We did not have far to paddle back to Davis Cove and so we took our time with breakfast and breaking camp…

We left the beach at about 10 am to head back to Davis Cove, a short paddle away.  Once we paddled far enough from the beach the wind was in our back and really pushed us toward Dunn Cove where Clyde jumped out to look at another potential camping spot.  We rounded Nan Point and the wind continued to help push us along...

Hazen and Clyde


At one spot along the way Neville asked me if I could see the eagle sitting in the trees.  I could not.  He told me where to look but I just could not see it.  He finally gave up and told me I would be no good to take hunting.  Well, good thing I am not a hunter.

I think the eagle was somewhere along this area...

Before very long we were rounding Calls Point into Davis Cove.  Again we had the wind in our face and had a last little push before we were back at our starting point...

The guys before reaching Calls Point

Before long we were all packed up and back on the road heading for home...  

Thanks for another great kayak camping trip guys.  I look forward to the next one.