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

Sunday, July 26, 2015

2015: Post 35 – Bell Island

Later last night Tony suggested a longish paddle from St. Philips to Bauline and back. I looked at the map, looked at the weather... it would be about thirty kilometers with the first half into a forecasted fifteen kilometer northerly wind.  

I was feeling lazy after the drive out and back for the club paddle on Saturday, and the almost twenty-two  kilometer long paddle, and my initial thought was that I'd prefer a shorter paddle.  My next thought was "I must be be getting old and lazy..."  Okay, enough of that line of thought and I checked on my car availability... yep, good to go there.  I e-mailed Tony and let him know I was in.

Tony was already there when I arrived at St. Philips.  As I was getting ready he suggested we change our plans and paddle around Bell Island.  He had done this paddle a couple weeks ago by himself in a clockwise direction, and he suggested we do it in the other direction today.

I did a mental calculation...  it would be only a few kilometers longer than going up to Bauline, and we would paddle the outside, and more exposed, of the island against the bit of wind and waves. With just the two of us we could set a good pace (I wanted to be home by 3:30ish) and the outside should be a bit of fun paddling.  Okay, let's do it...

We were in the cockpits and pulling away from the bank of the river by the bridge at 8:20 am.  Out in the cove we put Bell island in our sites.

We made the crossing over to Dominion Pier where I laid my hand on one of the old piles. 

Then we proceeded clockwise around the island.  

We did not get out of our kayaks until 12:22 pm (25.4 kms per my GPS) when we pulled up on a little beach to have a lunch stop.

Tony (the geologist) found a rock with fossils on it and proceeded to give me a little lesson.

Just after we had got back on the water, Tony realized he had forgotten his cap and so he had to go back for it.  I shot a clip of him going back on the beach, but had to cut it short for fear I would get myself knocked over in the bit of surf with only one hand on my paddle...

This is a very important cap by the way, and Tony has had to rescue it a few times in the past while kayaking... not sure if he would rescue me or his beloved cap first if we were both in the water at the same time;  I'm thinking I might have to swim for a couple minutes, or he he may rescue me first and then send me in for his cap!!!

With his cap back on his head we paddled back to Dominion pier.

I stopped long enough to put my hand back on the same pile, thus confirming a true circumnavigation of the island in my mind.  Then we turned our bows toward St. Philips for the crossing back to the cars.

When we arrived at St. Philips we sat and waited for a motorized boat to enter the marina, even though we were clearly there ahead of the boat and did have the right to enter first.  

I rinsed off in the river and when I walked up the bank to the car I looked at the time... it was 14:20... exactly six hours after we started our 35.7 km (per my GPS) paddle. 

Another splendid day on the water... glad I got my "old and lazy" self into gear.


  1. Dean, I had a closer look at that rock when I got home. There are worm castings as I pointed out on the beach. There are also, IMHO, trilobite tracks. Trilobites are the most recognizable fossils from the Cambrian Period starting at 542 million years ago and they lived for some 270 million years. I'm gonna take the rock into MUN and confirm that with the paleoantology prof.

    Tony :-)

  2. Funny but we biked on Bell Island last week and came across rocks with the exact same markings. One of the guys, a professional (but retired) geologist told us that they were trilobite tracks. The beach (on the back side of the island) was full of such rocks.