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

Sunday, September 23, 2012

2012: Post 28 - Bell Island, the long way...

During my second summer of paddling I paddled around Bell Island with Brian, Tony, and Derrick.   I remember that paddle well... I was a paddling newbie then and was not efficient in my forward stroke, nor my paddling skills in general.  But they invited me and I went... We took the ferry over, paddled around the island, and then took the ferry back.  It's the day I sometimes jokingly refer to as "the day they tried to kill me..."   

For a while we have talked about paddling around Bell Island again.  But instead of taking the ferry over and back, we would do it by leaving St. Philips, paddle over, do a complete circumnavigation, and then back to St. Philips.  Tony, Brian, Hazen, and I met yesterday morning in St. Philips to paddle around Bell island, the long way...

Pictures to share...

Brian checking out Bell Island 

The island from St. Philips

The conditions allowed us to do the crossing in under 40 minutes

We took out on a beach at Dominion Pier for a few minutes and decided on a clockwise circumnavigation of the island...

The view just past The Beach
Hazen was left high and dry while trying to get
through a cave/tunnel at Eastern Head

Tony has a geology degree and must find
this a very interesting paddle to do

Hazen and Brian

The other three guys must have stopped to chat or something because I found myself a little ahead of them by the time I reached the caves in the above picture.  I contemplated getting out of my kayak but the rocks looked slippery.  So I continued past them and when I came around a little stack there was a tunnel in the face of the cliff.  The other guys were back a way so I decided to get out and check it out... 

The tunnel was built complete with protection from falling rocks...

View from the tunnel entrance 

I walked about halfway through the tunnel to the point where the wooden supports/roof stopped.  There was an opening at the other end.  I was thinking that without the wooden structure in place to prevent rocks from falling from the tunnel roof maybe it would not be wise to continue through... so I turned and went back...

The light at the end of the tunnel...

The guys were still not in view; they had stopped at the caves where Tony had gotten out for a look.  I got back on the water and paddled further to have a look at the other end of the tunnel.  At the other end there were a bunch of people in hard hats and safety vests on the beach.  They must have been very interested in the something because I paddled by them, turned on my camera, took a couple pictures of them, and floated there for a couple minutes until the the other guys came along.  Not once did they look in my direction... When Tony seen them he headed right for the beach, got out and had a chat to them... they were geology students on a field trip...

Students so engrossed in their findings that they
did not notice a guy in a yellow kayak paddling by... 

We paddled onward and then finally The Bell of Bell Island was in site...lunch was close at hand...

Tony and The Bell

Lunch beach just past The Bell

We had the wind on our beam as we paddled across the western end of Bell island...

Brian and Hazen
When we arrived at Dominion Pier we took out on the same beach we had taken out on earlier in the morning.  Our circumnavigation of the island was complete... We rested for a while and then made the crossing back to St. Philips.

Thanks guys for another great paddling adventure.


  1. Excellent paddle and an excellent feed of fish & chips after.

    I had a chat with the field trip leader and she told me they were looking for micro-fossils. I've got to see if I can get more info on them.

    Tony :-)

  2. Very nice paddle - I'll have to do this sometime... What was the total distance for the day?

  3. Tobias, it was 36 km according to Tony's GPS... crossing over and back adds about 10 km, maybe slightly more depending on how straight you paddle and where you land on the island... I think we left St. Philips a little before 9 am and it was about 4 pm when we got back...

  4. That's a fair distance, but I guess if you take your time with proper breaks that makes a big difference - that and a GP ;)