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

Sunday, June 30, 2013

2013: Post 31e – New World Island - Day Five

See 'Post 31d' for Day Four..

I opened my eyes and stared up at the tent.  Brian had set the alarm on his phone for 4:30 am as planned, and it must have awakened me since his tent was not far from mine.  He called out to see if everyone was awake...

We all made quick work of breaking down the tents and loading up the kayaks.  There would be no breakfast for a couple hours so I ate a granola bar to hold me until then. We carried the the heavy kayaks down to he water and were leaving the beach by 5:30.  

The winds were low and the paddling was easy.  We  made our way across to Western Head, passing Morton's Harbour Head, Pomley Cove, and Pearce Harbour.

Brian and Hazen

We turned our bows south and headed down the coast until we came to Little Bridgeport Harbour.  This would be our breakfast location.  I was hungry and tired from the lack of breakfast and the early rise and my oatmeal and tea tasted especially good.

With breakfast finished we decide to take a run into the outer part of Bridgeport harbour...



There were fishing boats tied up at the wharf... I always seem to think of the song "Little Boats of Newfoundland" when I see images like this...


Brian getting the weather report for
the next day from this fisherman


From Bridgeport Harbour we carried on down to Puzzle Bay, passing between Cottle's Island and Knowles Island and could see some of the houses of Cottlesville. This was a place I was keen on seeing.  About 12 year's ago we had Juniper wood flooring installed in our house and Cottlesville is from where the flooring came.

Cottlesville, well part of it anyway

We passed this lovely little stage... I think if I owned it I might spend a lot of time there, at least when I wasn't paddling...

We passed along the inside of Cottle's Island and then across Cottle's Bay and made our way to Intricate Harbour where we believed we could find somewhere to camp during our pre-planning before the trip.  We looked around and found a spot in a little cove that would be very good for camping, plenty of wood around and a nice sheltered area up in the trees.  We had paddled twenty-seven kilometres since leaving Roses Harbour early in the morning and it was only about 11 am... The wind/weather was supposed to be the same the next day and high tide was around 1 pmish.  We believed we could ride the falling tide under the causeway and out Dildo Run towards the park.  So the decision was made to continue the rest of the way to the park (about another 20 kilometres if paddling in straight lines) and camp there for the night and then drive home the next morning.  But not before having lunch...

With lunch finished up we got back in our kayaks and paddled out of Intricate Harbour, around Farmer Head, and into Summerford Arm.  Below is the last picture I would take until we reached the park.  It is of Tony somewhere around Farmers Head, I believe it is just as we are going into Summerford Arm and that Island behind him is Farmers Island.... 

We were handrailing up the northern side of Summerford Arm.  A couple of kilometers up the shore Tony and I crossed over toward Farmers Island but Brian, Neville, and Hazen decided to continue handrailing.  Eventually we all met up just before Curtis Causeway.  It was then we realized the tide was running against us and would not carry us under the causeway.  We all seemed to believe it ran the other way when it was falling.  

Anyway, long story made short, we all managed to get our kayaks on the other side of the causeway and carried on.  At this time we had surpassed the 40 kilometer mark for the day.  I had done a couple 37 kilometre paddles previously and had told Tony I wanted to do a 40 kilometre paddle this year.  So that goal had been reached, but we were still about eight or nine kilometers from the park!! 

By this time I was tired, my feet hurt from pushing on the foot pegs, I had an ache in my big toe, the muscle in my right shoulder was sore, and I had had enough of paddling into the wind for the day.  A non-paddling buddy of mine use to say when you are tired and fed up doing something to "just dig deep."  I always remember this when paddling (and doing other things) when I get tired.  I put the aches out of my mind and I dug in deeper. 

Eventually we rounded an island and the park was in site.  The wind was now behind us and we paddled in.  When we hit the beach the tide was low and we had to carry the heavy kayaks the extra distance up the beach.  This paddle was done and I was glad for it to be over.

This was the very last picture I had taken

The guys got the vehicles and we unpacked the kayaks and re-loaded the gear into the vehicles and the kayaks onto the roofs.  Hazen straightened up with a couple campsites and we pitched our tents, Brian decided he would just sleep in his car.

We all headed to the showers to clean up and then drove to a restaurant in Twillingate for supper.  The lady there said it was closing time but they still had some customers finishing up and she let us come on in... she said she doesn't turn any customers away.  As we were sitting down, waiting for our food, the realization of how tired I was came over me.  When we got back to the park we all just crawled into our tents, no campfire, no drinks... It was the best night's sleep I had during this trip!

The next morning we packed away our tents and headed for home.  We stopped in Gander for breakfast and at Clarenville for coffee...

Here's an overall map of New World and Twillingate Islands showing our direction of travel and campsite locations:

                                  X = started the trip at Dildo Provincial Park Sunday morning
                                 C1 = Cobbs Arm, campsite end of Day One, paddled ~ 25 km
                                 C2 = Sleepy Cove, campsite end of Day Two, paddled ~ 31.5 km
                                 C3 = Black Island Harbour, campsite end of Day Three, paddled ~ 20 km
                                 C4 = Roses Harbour, campsite end of Day Four, paddled ~ 23.5 km
                                 X = ended the trip at the start point Thursday evening, paddled ~ 50 km

It was another great trip.  Brian, Tony, Neville, and Hazen are an excellent bunch of guys to paddle and camp with.  Like each trip I do, I learned a few things along the way and I had a few good laughs. My tally for the distance we covered was just a couple hundred metres shy of 150 kilometers. I enjoyed the first four days immensely, even when it was chilly on days three and four.  The last day was enjoyable too, but those last few kilometres were demanding.  In hindsight I wish we had stayed in Intricate Harbour and finished up the paddle the next day.  But the long day on the water was a good test of paddling stamina, but I think it may have been at my upper limits for a day.

I wonder where the next big paddling trip will be?

(See Tony's blog entry for morning of Day 5 and afternoon of Day 5

2013: Post 31d – New World Island - Day Four

See 'Post 31c' for Day Three...

It rained during the night.  As I listened to it bouncing off my tent I hoped for some sun the next day so things could dry out, or at least warmer temperatures.  Breaking camp was routine now - breakfast, clean up dishes, take down tents, pack up the kayaks...

We paddled on the eastern side of Black Island, taking our time... 

Tony and Hazen

... and then crossed over to the Trump Islands, following the northern side of the islands.

Brian and Neville

Before we reached the end of North Trump Island we pulled up on a little beach for a rest.  We decided we would cross to the community of Tizzard's Harbour but changed the plan as we rounded the end of the island.  We instead pointed our bows toward Tizzard's Harbour Head and the Toadasses...  

The Toadasses
(where do the names comes from I wonder?)

From there we were in the lee of the wind and passed on the east side of Berry Island and then crossed Webber Bight and then into Wild Bight for a look.  There was a nest perched upon a rock stack...  

The original plan had been to camp in Wild Bight but we were ahead of schedule and so we kept on paddling. The wind was coming in from the northeast and sea state made paddling around Baker Point more interesting.  We pulled up onto Beach Cove to scout for a camp site and decided it would do.  We then decided we would paddle into Morton's Harbour for a look and come back for the night, but would look for other spots to camp along the way.  Just past Beachy Cove there was Roses Harbour and we went in there to look.  it was a much better location for camping, very well protected.  

We continued on to Morton's Harbour.  When we arrived there a couple of the guys knocked on the door of someone's house to see if they could get some water.  The lady was quite obliging but seemed to me to be a little bewildered to have these five oddly dressed characters standing on her porch.  We asked her name... I think it was Lou Anne... 

The face of hospitality

Looking out of Morton's Harbour

When we left the protection of Morton's Harbour we had to paddle into an increased wind and sea state to get back to Roses Harbour.  It was only over a kilometre in distance but you had to watch the waves and pay attention.  At one point I took a quick look over my shoulder to see if all hands were okay and a wave caused me to have to brace a little aggressively.  With loaded kayaks this was not the place or time to have to see if the roll was still working or to end up out of the kayak forcing the others to come to your rescue; a rescue in these waves would take much longer than one or two minutes!!!  I wanted to take a couple pics but thought better of it...

When we pulled into Roses Harbour we were well protected... 

The view looking out

We pitched our tents among the trees...

The other guys had gone off up through the trees looking for cell phone reception and I was on the beach by myself.  I started gathering up a bit of firewood for the evening fire.  Hazen showed up before too long and so we sat down on the beach and shared a drink of rum and had a little chat...

That rum a little too strong for you, Hazen?

When the guys came back they had good news and not so good news.  Tony's daughter had had a baby and Tony was a brand new Grandfather.  Then they told us the wind was forecasted to pick up the next day from the east.  We hatched the plan.  We would pack the kayaks as much as possible the night before, get up at 4:30 am, finish packing in the remaining gear, and get on the water early.  Once we were around Western Head we would be in the lee of the east winds and could take our time and find somewhere to have breakfast. 

The evening campfire...

We all turned in earlier then usual due to the impending early rise....

(See Tony's blog entry on Day Four)

2013: Post 31c – New World Island - Day Three

See 'Post 31b' for Day Two...

Sleepy Cove is aptly named, for I slept through the night, only waking a couple times to turn over to try to get a little more comfortable.

It was a chilly morning.  Since we were a day ahead we had changed our route plans a little.  Originally we were going to cross from somewhere around Bluff's Head to the Toadassess, cutting out Black and Trump Islands.  Today we would continue along the shore past Bluff Head, Moses Point, and on toward Black Island where we would camp for the night.

Morning time in Sleepy Cove

I only had on one layer under my drysuit and it was a cool morning.  As soon as I started I wished I had put on an extra layer but figured as I got moving I would warm up and the air temp would warm up as the morning passed.  We we protected from the northeast wind forecasted for the day but it remained chilly. 

I only took one picture between Sleepy Cove and Twillingate.  I do not remember where I took it, but it seemed interesting to me for the graveyard to be so close to the shoreline, exposed to the elements...

A few kilometres before arriving at the community of Twillingate, I was still finding it chilly and wanted to pull on my cag but decided to wait until we stopped.  We pulled up onto the slipway and decided to really rough it.  We went into the nearby restaurant and ordered up some coffee. Boy, was it nice and warm in there...

We had not said we wanted the coffee to go but the lady brought them to us in paper cups and trays.  It seemed to suggest they would prefer us not to sit in their booths,  dripping salt water all over the place.  We sat at the tables outside and enjoyed the coffee...

I pulled on my cag before leaving the slipway and was almost instantly cozy with the extra protection it provided.  I should have pulled it on earlier! 

From Twillingate to Black Island I only took the following two pictures, but again I cannot remember where.

Brian and Hazen


We pulled into Black Island Harbour and found a place to camp for the night.  Before long we had set up the tents and put up some tarps for our camp kitchen.

Tony looking spiffy in his new zebra boots and cag
that he purchased specifically for this trip


Tony giving Brian a geology lesson
We had gathered up some wood and got our fire started a little early...

I lay in my sleeping bag with my wool hat pulled down over my ears, thinking our trip was only half over to this point; three paddling days passed, three more paddling days to go... 

(See Tony's blog entry for Day Three)

2013: Post 31b – New World Island - Day Two

See 'Post 31a' for Day One...

I had another restless sleep; it generally takes me two or three nights before I can sleep well when out camping.  I woke to the pretty sound of a bird calling... tweet, tweet.... a pause then tweet, tweet, tweet.  It repeated this over and over.  I dug out my watch from my drybag.  It was a little after four am.  I closed my eyes and tried to go back to sleep.  That darn bird just would not shut up!  It was very nice to hear but I had not slept well the last two nights and it started getting to me.  After a while I checked the time again - almost 5 am.  Just as well to get up.  I rolled up my thermarest pad and stuffed my sleeping bag into the drybag.  Then I took down my tent and carried it all down to my kayak.  

I was the only one up and had this view all to myself for a little while...

It wasn't long and the guys came to life.  We had breakfast, packed up, and were on the water before 8 am.

Tony, Hazen, and Neville



Our route took us to Pikes Arm where we crossed under the bridge..

We crossed over to Ship Island, through Gut Arm, and then through Gut Tickle...


We pulled up on one of the islands for a break before crossing over to Little Harbour Bight.  The original plan was to camp in Little Harbour but the forecast for the next day was calling for a stiff northeast wind.  So we had decided then to have lunch in Codjack Cove and would carry on to get around Devil's Cove Head so we would be in the lee of next day's forecasted wind.

Lunch beach in Codjack Cove
With stomach's refueled we carried on up around Clam Rock Point, Spillers Point, and then French Head.  Then we paddled across Burnt Island Tickle and landed on a beach before Handkerchief Cove Head (on Burnt Island) where we took a little break.  Then we crossed over to Horney Head and made our way along the shore to Devils Cove Head.  Some pics along the way....


Tourists out for a ride

Devils Cove Head where we stood a couple days before

Just another kilometer or so and we pulled into Sleepy Cove where we would camp for the second night.  This was supposed to be the camp spot for night three.  So we were now a full day ahead of schedule.


Funny story...  After all five of us pitched our tents on the beach Hazen brought up the question of how high the tide might come up the beach.  So Tony checked the charts he had and there would be about another 1.2 metres above where it was at the time.   We sized it up and decided to be safe and carried our tents up to the grassy spot higher up.

It was a good decision. Hazen had his tent right in the spot in the picture below where the pool of water is and so would have received the worst of it, but we would all have had our tents wet!!!  

Hazen knew that Grant Cudmore (one of our paddle club's central reps) was in the area and so he called him and he brought some cold beer to our camp site for us.  Now that was a very well appreciated treat!!  

There wasn't a lot of wood around but we managed to scrounge up enough to have a nice little fire to go along with a couple drinks... 

I was tired when I crawled into my tent....

(See Tony's blog entry for morning and the afternoon of Day Two)