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

Saturday, September 20, 2014

2014: Post 33 – St Philips

The weatherman called for wind today, so a few of us went to St. Philips to try to catch some surf rides this afternoon.  

Instead of pictures, here's a couple video clips to share...

After a couple hours of playing around the cove we went to the nearby restaurant for a coffee and a chat. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

2014: Post 32 – Aquaforte Club Paddle

Yesterday was the annual Aquaforte Club Paddle.... I thought I heard someone say they had counted twenty-two kayaks, but my count was only twenty-one... Sure hope we didn't lose anyone yesterday!!    

Here's a few pics of the day...

Group chat before heading out

It was high tide and going up the nearby river was very easy

After the river excursion we floated for another
group chat before heading out the harbour


Hhazen in front of another waterfall!!!


Heading in to the beach for lunch

Fueling up 

Some of us paddled up just a little farther around the headland

Lev, Julie, and Terry

I had not planned to attend but then made a decision later Friday night to make the drive down.  I was glad I went... it was a relaxed paddle and the weather was very cooperative, making it another great day to be on the water. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

2014: Post 31 – Update of the Foam Seat Replacement

I installed a foam seat in my Nordkapp a while ago (click here for my post).  After I had glued the velcro pieces to the hull of the cockpit I let it sit for a week in my shed waiting for the marine goop to cure.  It didn't fully dry during that week though.  

I do not know if it was the humidity or if I just put too much goop on, but each day I would go to the shed to check on things and I would roll a piece of broom handle over the pieces to keep squeezing out the excess goop that just did not seem to want to dry.

By Friday I had some ridges that had formed...

But I figured there was enough of it that was dry so I stuck the seat down to mate the two velcro pieces and went on the Friday night paddle.  

Things did not feel quite comfortable when I was paddling around waiting for the others, so I made some adjustments to the foot pegs and the back band.  It felt better, but not quite right.

The next day I moved the seat forward about a half inch or so and readjusted the back band.  The next time I paddled (click here) it felt very comfortable.  One thing I did notice on that paddle was how warm the seat was.  It is solid foam so obviously will provide a warmer platform for the butt as compared to the thinner plastic seat that came out of the kayak.... and sitting on the cool ocean water this is an advantage.  I look forward to paddling with this seat under me on winter days.

I paddled a couple more times after re-positioning the seat forward, one of them in some decent swell and waves (click here for that paddle) and things seemed to be staying in place.  One thing I really noticed was that I was able to drop my butt into the seat and more easily swing my legs into the cockpit.  The original seat that came with my Nordkapp was higher than the foam seat and this height difference made for a little more room when getting in and out of the cockpit.  

You can see how much lower the foam seat is (on the
right) compared to the original ABS seat (on the left)

Then came the first camping trip that would really give the foam seat a good test; three consecutive paddling days in Placentia Bay  (click here for Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3).

Like most people, when packing for a kayak trip, I put things in front of my foot pegs and behind my seat.  Compared to the original ABS seat, the foam seat has a smaller footprint, as you can see from the  following pics...

A side-by-side comparison of the original ABS seat
and the foam seat.  As well as smaller, the foam
seat is noticeably lighter as well
The outer markings show the extent of the
original seat and the inner markings
show the smaller size of the foam seat

With the foam seat my foot pegs are closer by one notch form the position I had them in with the original seat, but yet there is still me more space behind the seat and back-band to store camping supplies...  another decisive advantage of the foam seat.

Here's a shot of the foam seat and back-band in place. 

So am I a happy paddler?  Well, I was always a happy paddler.  But now with this foam seat I am even more happier than I was before...  this foam seat is smaller, lighter, warmer, and more comfortable.... And if you want to talk dollars, the foam seat is about one-fifth the cost of the ABS replacement seat (based on prices I was able to find at the time of $45.00 US for the foam seat and $227.50 US for the ABS replacement seat).  

What is there to not be happy about?

Saturday, September 6, 2014

2014: Post 30 – The Julie Show

I had ordered a new drytop (Koatat Hydrus 3L Stoke) and it had showed up a couple days ago.  I wanted to try it out so last night I was half-contemplating a short paddle out of St. Philips this morning.  The wind was forecast to be low in the morning, picking up in the afternoon, increasing in the evening.  

When I checked the local paddling newsgroup, Julie had put on a post to see if anyone was interested in a short paddle in the morning before the wind came up.  Well that was the little kick I needed to make up my mind.  So I e-mailed her I was interested.

The plan was to meet at St. Philips at 9:30 am.  I had everything ready to go by 8:30 and a few minutes later my cell phone rang.  It was Julie.  I thought she was going to cancel. She said she was all ready to go and wanted to know if I was interested in getting on the go earlier than planned... As I was going out the door I thought to myself, "yep, she's a kayakoholic too..." 

I guess nobody else responded to her posting because only I showed up for the paddle... so most of my pictures have Julie in them.  Along the way I said that since there was only her to take pictures of that today's paddling episode was The Julie Show...  

We paddled from St. Philips to Topsail Beach in calm waters and just as we started back the wind picked up a little to give us a push from behind.

Some pics to share...

The put-in at St. Philips

Take-out at Topsail Beach

Back at St. Philips

Here's a short video I took on the way back to St. Philips of the star of The Julie Show...

Thanks Julie, for sharing the water this morning.  

Thursday, September 4, 2014

2014: Post 29c – Club Camping Trip - Day 3

I did not sleep any better during the night; I rarely do when camping.  Actually, I am thinking about buying another air mattress.  I hear the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir pads are supposed to be pretty good... but I digress.

The rain stopped sometime in the morning.  I was awake a long time listening to it bounce off my tent.  I heard someone stirring around at the kayaks.  I stuffed my sleeping bag into it's drysack, deflated and rolled up my sleeping pad, and organized the other few things in my tent to get ready to be packed into the hatches.

When I got out of my tent I found that Julie was the early riser this morning; she had not slept well either.  Soon the others were up and we each prepared our breakfast and busied ourselves with packing up our gear.  

There was really no current to speak of when we left Gulch Pond...

We paddled back to Gulch Head and then crossed over to Barhaven Island...

From Carroll Point we mad a bee-line to the gap between Woody Island and Little Woody Island...

Somewhere along Woody Island we encountered an eagle....

When we arrived at Back Cove (Woody Island) we stopped and had lunch on the beach, and then we went to have a look at the abandoned house of Randy Lieb....

The tree growing out of the roof is still standing firm

From Back Cove we crossed over to Sound Island and hand-railed up the outside of the island all the way up to Sheppard Point before crossing over to Placentia Man's Point. From there it was just a short paddle to the take-out at Garden Cove...

After the kayaks were unloaded and the cars were packed up, we headed off to a nearby restaurant for a feed of fish and chips before heading back to the big city...

I think this year's second annual Level 2 Club Paddle was a success... at least from my perspective.  I know some of us that participated were challenged at times during our three day venture, but this was anticipated, and was part of the reason that Old Wobbly and I decided to make sure this trip happened again this year.  

From Hazen and I, we say a BIG THANKS to Julie, Ron, Lee, and Tony for coming along to share the experience with us.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

2014: Post 29b – Club Camping Trip - Day 2

Morning came to Gulch Pond.  It was overcast and a little chilly so I pulled on my cag.  It wasn't long and people were up and on the go with breakfast.  

We had a little chat about our options for the day.  In the end we decided that we would leave the tents where they were and would paddle a few kilometres into the wind to Great Sandy Harbour.  Hazen and I had been there on a previous trip (click here) but the others in our group had not been there before. 

The tide was ebbing and we had a little morning workout to paddle out of Gulch Pond before carrying on down the coast.  Lee was the first one out and I shot a little video...


We pulled up on a grassy spot for a stretch just before the falls where Sandy Harbour River spills into Great Sandy Harbour.  It was close enough to noon and so we decided to have lunch before checking out the little falls....

You can see the falls in the background

Ron and Lee



Yep, Old Wobbly pleaded with me to take yet
another picture of him in front of the falls...

Hazen and Lee

On the way from the entrance of Great Sandy Harbour, toward Jigging Point, I took a little video.  I have listened to it several times and still can't pick out whatever it was that Julie asked me as she went by...

As we paddled back up to Gulch Pond the wind was behind us.  Julie and I paddled together near the shoreline while the other guys moved off to take advantage of the following sea, and to try to get some surf rides.  As we paddled along we seen three or four adult sea otters scramble up the bank and then two juvenile otters start to follow.  I guess the young otters were more curious than scared because they turned around and sat on a rock and watched us for a bit.  By the time I got my camera out and turned on they were in the water...

Julie and I were in no particular hurry and took our time paddling along the shore and chatting.  The other guys were at the camp a while before we got there.  It was a little early and so we had some leisure time before getting supper on the go...

Tony and Julie

Not sure what Julie was making but I think on future
trips we should nominate her as camp cook... I do not
believe she ate one single thing that required a can opener

Ron, Lee, Tony, and Hazen taking it easy after supper  

Some time after meals were eaten and dishes were straightened away, we had Happy Hour.  It started to rain and we mulled around under Big Yellow hoping for the rain to stop, but it just kept on steadily raining.  After a while we decided there would be no fire tonight with the continuous rainfall.  

When we did our Merasheen trip in 2012, Neville produced some Jiffy Pop popcorn on our last night  (click here); we've had it on most of our trips since then.  It was such a great treat that Old Wobbly and I figured we would do the same on this trip.  So after a while Hazen started up his stove and the Jiffy Pop came out. We had some fun discussion about the proper methods of making the popcorn; Hazen favored shaking it back and forth but I thought it should be moved in a circular motion over the flame. I think there was some discussion about clockwise or counter-wise direction, but it no longer mattered once the kernels began to pop...

Pop corn is such an easy and wonderful little treat when camping

Hazen and Ron

Later, when it was darker, we popped up some more popcorn, had a few drinks, and some laughs.  People started to head off to their tents and before long the rest us did too.

The rain fell steady throughout the night.