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

Thursday, June 15, 2017

2017: Post 10 – My first camping trip for the year

On the weekend of June 3rd and 4th a few of us spent some time at the Ruins in Terra Nova River.  We paddled Sat afternoon, camped for the night, and then paddled again on Sunday morning.... 

A couple pics of the guys...


Brian and Shane

The walk back to the cars from the take-out

Our campfire for the evening
A few video's of the guys taking turns surfing on a little wave...





I've had a Scarp1 Tarptent for several years now and have been very happy with it.  So when I decided to get a new backpacking tent earlier this year I went back to Tarptent and decided on the Notch.  I brought it to use for the first time on this  particular paddling trip.

My new  Notch
After I set up the tent I went around it tightening things up and heard a "rrrrrip."  The corner of the inner nest had torn!!  I think if the tent was another brand I may have been pissed about it, but I knew that somehow, in some way, Henry Shires (the owner of Tarptent) would take care of me.

On Monday afternoon last week, after the trip, I e-mailed Tarptent and this was the response from Henry Shires... 

"That’s not good. I’ve never seen a tear like that on a Notch corner but maybe the fabric was just too perforated. In any event, I’m sending you another one.  When it arrives would you please post the one back (regular mail) and we’ll reimburse you for the cost."

From the time I initially e-mailed Tarptent on Monday afternoon to when I received a notification that the package was in the U.S. mail, slightly more than two and a half hours had passed!!!  The package showed up at the end of last week. 

Why did I order another Tarptent product when I went looking for a backpacking tent?  The answer is because I have enjoyed my Scarp1 and found it to be a very good product.  Why will I buy another Tarptent product in the future if I buy another tent.  The answer is that I know the Notch will be equally enjoyed as has been the Scarp1, and will prove to be another great product, but now I have also experienced first-hand the customer service that Henry Shires provides to his customers, and how he stands behind his products.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

2017: Post 9 – Iceberg

Hazen proposed we meet at St. Philips and go check out the iceberg near Kelley's Island.  So we congregated at the suggested time but Hazen didn't show up.  We figured he was running late so we just took our time and paddled to the berg and figured he would catch up.  

A few pics of the iceberg...

While we were hanging around Hazen finally showed up; he was just running a little late.  We hung around the berg a little while longer and then took our time and headed back.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

2017: Post 8 – More fun in our short boats

On Saturday past some of us spent the day at the Ruins (see previous post).  We had a lot of fun.  At last night's Wednesday evening practice, Shane, Brian and I got back in our short boats for some more fun at St. Philips...

Some pics and video clips to share...




We all enjoy doing a little rock-hopping in our long kayaks, but in these short boats the maneuverability just makes the experience so much more fun... 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

2017: Post 7 – The other kind of whitewater

I don't think anyone in my kayak circle of friends considers themselves to be a 'whitewater kayaker' but a lot of us tend to seek out the ocean whitewater spots when sea kayaking... and so, over the last couple years, some of us have bought crossover kayaks so we can have more fun in the ocean whitewater.  Now and then we do decide to get on the river to have some fun in the "other kind of whitewater" and to get a truer whitewater experience.  Yesterday was one of those days...

The clubs annual retreat is occurring this weekend and three of my buddies (Shane, Clyde, and Hazen) decided to sign up to take advantage of the instruction on the Terra Nova River near the Ruins... none of them have spent time on a river before, although they've spent plenty of time in ocean current and rock gardens.

Brian and I figured it would be fun to watch our buddies on the river for the first time, and so we decided to drive out and spend the day on the river.   

There were fifteen boats, with several canoes in the mix, and a full range of whitewater skills.  Personally, my whitewater skills are on the low end, but I think the time I have spent, and instruction I have received, on the river have helped to make me a better sea kayaker...

Anyway, I didn't really take a lot of pictures or video clips, but here are a few to share...


A couple of the 'real' whitewater guys ran 'The Ledge', making it look too easy...



I would have liked to have ran the ledge but I just don't have enough skill, or confidence in the little bit of skill I have, and so I remained content to watch the guys who know what they are doing... 

Although my buddy Shane would have loved to take a run at the ledge, he had to be content with a much safer alternative...


So what kind of day did we have yesterday?  I think this pic of Shane answers that question...


Here's a pic Hazen took that he named "River Boys".... 

Clyde, me, Shane, and Brian

Sunday, April 30, 2017

2017: Post 6 – The Young and the Wobbly

Shane, Hazen and I did a little paddle in the relative safety of Conception Harbour.  I checked Shane's blog this morning and he has already posted his pictures and account of the day. Here is a link to his blog entry... click HERE.

Here's a few of my own pics to add to Shane's...

Getting ready at the slipway

The Young (Shane) and the Wobbly (Hazen) getting out
for a stretch after only a couple kilometres.
(both of these guys are having sciatic issues)

Just before we got to Salmon Cove Point I had to pee (I really should give up drinking coffee before paddles).  I found a little nook and didn't want Jenny bouncing around on the rocks as the water was ebbing and flowing.  So I pushed Jenny out for Shane to hold on to her for me.  I took a little video of how well he was taking care of 'ol Jenny...




Sometimes there just aren't any
pretty, sandy beaches to take out on...

Our lunch spot

Da boys having a chat... probably about their ailments!!

Conception Harbour might not have towering cliffs and an abundance of wildlife to look at when paddling, and it is a little bit of a drive out and back from town.  However, I always seem to enjoy whenever we do a paddle there.  Thanks to Shane for organizing and leading yesterday's paddle.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

2017: Post 5 – Still some ice around

On Sunday past a few of us met at St. Philips to do a little paddling with the ice that is still hanging around. 

We spent some time paddling around the ice right in the cove at St. Philips....

Eventually we decided to head to Portugal Cove and see what ice there was to see along the way...

When we arrived at Portugal Cove we were stymied by a little field of ice...

We could have paddled around the ice field to get into the cove but instead decided to float there for a while before heading back to St. Philips...


It was just another short paddle but it was a good to get out with my kayaking buddies again.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

2017: Post 4 – Off the Kayak Wagon!!

I've been on the kayakoholic wagon for just over two months.  The last time I paddled was Feb 12th!!  Every night since then I have been attending meetings trying to get the paddle monkey off my back...

"Hi.  My name is Dean and I am a kayakoholic..."
"Hi Dean!"
"For me, it all started back in June of 2008..." (sniff, sniff, sob)
"It's okay Dean.  You're among friends here.  Take your time."

This morning I put my garbage out and it was quite chilly.  I went out to my shed and got the city-imposed mandatory net to put over the garbage at then end of the driveway.  There was Jenny.  I swear she winked at me.  I avoided eye contact and went back in the house. 

I figured I'd have a cup of tea and find my sweater.  Surf the internet; check my e-mails.  Then the desire began to come over me.  Poor thing; out in the shed half the winter... I knew I should not have glanced at her when I was out there.  Temptress.

I could go for just one little paddle.  Just one won't hurt a bit.

I e-mailed a couple of the guys to let them know I was gonna be at St. Philips in an hour's time if anyone was interested.  Only Terry showed up.  

We had a good bit of pack ice around the last while.  Most of it is gone now, but there were enough remnants of it left around between St. Philips and Portugal Cove to make the paddle enjoyable.

Some pics...

... and a little video clip...


Well, what can I say about this little stumble on my road to kayak sobriety?  I guess I'll start going to meetings again and start all over.  See if it sticks this time.