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

Sunday, May 26, 2013

2013: Post 23 – A fine day on the water

In the interest of staying close to home, Neville and I decided we would take another run up to Topsail Beach this morning. Julie was looking for some water time in her new kayak and decided to come along.  Then Hazen decided a close to home paddle would work just fine for him today as well.  So the four of us met early in St. Philips and off we went, taking our time, enjoying the day.

Some pics…


Neville, again

A very nice day on the water

Hazen, Julie, and Neville

Julie in her new NDK Pilgram (carbon-kevlar)

Hazen hiding out in the rocks


Topsail Beach

Relaxing after a little snack 

Cleaning up in the river at St. Philips

It was sunny and warm, and the wind was low.  Just another very relaxing paddle, close to home.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

2013: Post 22 – Bay Bulls

This morning Clyde, Tobias and I met in Bay Bulls.  We hand-railed the north side of the shore out to North Head, then decided to carry on a little bit further to Freshwater Cove before turning around and heading back.

Some pics...

The pictures tell the story of the day, well most of it anyway.  Three of us left the beach (all with Greenland paddles I have to add) and three of us came back.  It was another good day on the water.

Note to self... stop following Clyde!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

2013: Post 21 – Looking back in time

After yesterdays paddle Tony said he had things to do on Saturday, so no paddling.  We were planning to paddle on Sunday anyway...  But after I got home, put my gear away, and had some supper, the phone rang...  I didn't get to it in time and then checked the message on the answering machine… it was Tony… “call me when you get this….”  

Someone had seen a post from Tony about paddling in St. Philips on Saturday.  Trouble was it was a post from April but the guy thought it was current.  He was looking for some water time and was “ready to go…”  Tony didn't want to leave the guy hanging.  It must of took Tony about an hour on the phone, begging and pleading, but I mustered up the required intestinal fortitude and agreed to get on the water next day.  

We met Darryl this morning at St. Philips and we had a little chat on the slipway.  He had done a kayaking course last year (or was it the year before) but had not spent much time in his kayak… only half a dozen times last summer.  Today would be his first time in his kayak this year.  And so we paddled around a bit and then paddled directly into the wind for a little way.  He said he was cautious about turning around with the waves hitting him from the side… I remembered how intimidated I was when turning in waves back when I started my kayaking life… and how intimidating all aspects of kayaking were to me when I began.

Over the next couple hours we paddled around a bit or just floated and chatted.  By the time we were ready to head back in Darryl said he was feeling more comfortable.  That’s the thing of it… the more time you spend in your kayak the more comfortable you become, and the more skill you develop.  You start off knowing next to nothing about it,  and wonder what you've gotten yourself into the first time you’re in a kayak.  Those six-inch waves might look really big, but then they start to become smaller and are replaced by those big one-foot waves.  You learn how to brace and how to roll, and how to rescue somebody...  Later those one-foot waves are replaced by big two-foot waves...  After enough time four-foot waves do not feel big at all and you start to really enjoy the paddling.  Along the way you may not have even realized that you started to forget to think about things like torso rotation, or leaning your kayak into the waves as it approaches your beam.  You just started to do those things automatically, and then the wonderful world of kayaking really starts to open up before you…

Next thing you know you’re in a cove with a relative newcomer to the sport of kayaking.  They’re telling you about how intimidating the waves are when they are hitting the side of their kayak as they are trying to turn around.  It’s like looking back in time at yourself…

Here’s some pics from this morning…

Darryl and Tony having a chat



Two thumbs up!

Some more chatting...

Rinsing off the salt water in the river

I don’t think you really ever forget about when you started kayaking, or the journey you've had from when you started to wherever it is you are now in your development as a kayaker.  But it’s interesting to be reminded now and then of what it was like in the beginning... and then to wonder about where this kayaking obsession just might take you…

Friday, May 17, 2013

2013: Post 20 – A run up to Topsail Beach

This afternoon Tony and I took a run up to Topsail beach from St. Philips. 

Some pics to share....  

It was very calm on the way up and we took our time

We got into most of the nooks and crannies  along the way

Some spots were a little tight

We took out at Topsail Beach and Tony produced some
extremely tasty homemade oatmeal cookies for a snack.

On the way back we met Barb, a fellow kayaker.  She has not been doing much paddling and expressed interest to get back into it.  So we suggested perhaps she could start coming to the Thursday practices to help get back into kayak mode.   She told us she had thought about coming before but felt intimidated as all the guys there were far more experienced than her!!

Well, she certainly has the wrong impression of our Thursday practices and we attempted to assure her these practices are as much for novices as they are for more experienced paddlers.  There is no agenda as to what to do.  It is a chance to get (and keep) those kayaking muscles in paddling shape, to practice skills previously learned, learn some new skills, or maybe teach some things you know to others.  The weekly practices serve as a way to socialize with other people who share the kayaking passion.  You can just sit in your kayak and float all evening, have a chat to catch up with others, paddle in circles, tow someone across the cove, or jump out and let someone practice rescuing you.  Mostly we just goof around and have a bit of fun.

Sitting on the beach enjoying a nice Friday evening is just great.
But I would much prefer to be the person in a kayak talking to
the person on the shore...  Hope to see you on Thursdays, Barb.
We continued hand-railing down the shore...

And you know, despite the size of the ocean, sometimes there just isn't enough water under your hull...


Well, that was another fun, relaxing paddle down to familiar Topsail Beach...

Sunday, May 12, 2013

2013: Post 19 – A first ‘real’ ocean paddle

After spending all winter going to the pool sessions, young Jacob has been faithfully coming to the St. Philips Thursday evening practices for the last month or so.  He’s got his first salt water roll (and subsequent ones) out of the way.  He’s been doing assisted rescues and practicing his forward stroke, and paddling into the wind and waves.  Brian had him on a paddle from St. Philips to Topsail beach a couple weeks ago (about a 13 km paddle).  About a week ago Jacob showed up with his very own brand new drysuit.  The next logical step seemed to be to bring him on a ‘real’ ocean paddle when the conditions were right.  Today the conditions were right enough and so Brian picked him up and four more of us met up in Bay Bulls.  Off we went to Tors Cove.

Map of the area of today's paddle
 Pictures to share…
The put-in at Tors Cove
We decided to paddle outside Fox Island, then over to, and outside Ship Island... 

Peter and Jacob
Looking down the outside of Ship Island

When we arrived at Southern Head we crossed over to Great Island....

 Soon we arrived at Cribby Rocks...


We paddled on the outside of Great Island and checked out the caves along the way... 

A view from inside one of the caves on the outside of Great Island

Brian heading into one of the other caves at Great Island

Before Southern Cove, at the end of Great Island, there is a tunnel.  The couple other times I have been here the conditions did not allow safe passage.... but today Poseidon must have been in a good mood... for we were able to paddle through.  I cannot speak for the other guys, but paddling through this tunnel was a first for both myself and Jacob... 

Peter lead the way, followed by Gary, Jacob, Brian, me, and then Tony...

The guys paddling along Southern Cove

I knew Tony was behind me so I tried a behind-the-shoulder-shot...
It turned out well enough to post...
We rounded the end of Great Island and crossed over toward Bauline South, and then headed along the shoreline toward LaManche...

Tony, Gary, and Peter

Brian and Jacob
We took out for lunch at Lamanche...

It was warm in LaManche, up above the
water, and my camera had fogged up...

Looking out toward LaManche Bay
After lunch we followed the shoreline back to Tors Cove.  I must have been too full from lunch or was enjoying the paddling because I didn't take any more pictures until we arrived back in Tors Cove...

Thanks to all hands for today's paddle... be sure to check out Tony's entry of today's paddle... And happy Mother's Day to all the mother's out there - those who paddle and those who do not... 

Jacob, if you are reading this, my first 'real' ocean paddle was also to LaManche, although it was a shorter and more direct route getting there… and I was about two and a half decades older than you are now!!!  You did well today, Jake.  Keep up the practicing and the paddling.  Keep safety a priority when your out there, and you'll go a long way in your kayak...