Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Back in Action!

I haven't done many posts this year, mostly because I haven't done a whole lot of paddling worth writing about.  I got my instructors certification earlier in the year so myself and Dean spent the later half of the summer teaching level one on our free weekends.  The last 3 out of 4 weekends I've managed to get out camping.  Once was just myself and Dean car camping, then Neville joined us two weekends ago for another car camp, and finally we got a kayak camp in with Terry this past weekend.
Myself and Dean planned a Kayak trip to Wild Cove on Great Colinet Island this past weekend.  We emailed a few people to join but only Terry was interested.  Three of us met up at the TCH Irving and headed out to Admiral's Beach.

Getting all the gear loaded up.

It was a S wind so we had some fun waves to keep the crossing interesting.

Heading down the East side of Great Colinet Island towards Mosquito Cove.

We had a bit of work paddling into a 15kn wind, but I thought that made for more excitement!

Three of us hand railing the shoreline.

I always paddle as close to the shore as I can manage, the clapotis makes for the most fun!  

The conditions were a little more than expected so we decided to stop at Mosquito Cove and make a decision on where to camp for the night.  Wild Cove has unlimited fetch, so with the conditions we had we decided it was better to camp somewhere more sheltered than trying to land loaded boats in large dumping surf.

Terry has never been here so we went for a little tour and spotted a decent beach just south of Mosquito Cove that we could make our camp for the night.

We got to our campsite and had a quick look to see that we could hang our hammocks.  We managed to find a spot for two hammocks and a tent, so we changed out of our drysuits and set up.

Nice view from our camp.

A few weekends ago when myself and Dean went to Turk's Gut, he named me camp cook from now on.  I guess he liked my menu lol
This trip we decided on Salmon Steaks and Sweet Potato!  We did up the chopped sweet potatoes in tin foil and got those cooking.

A friend of mine gave me some moose sausage so I brought those along for an appetizer. 

I think the bys are enjoying the meal so far...

Next on the grill was the star of the show, Salmon Steaks!

Looks damn good for camp food!
I made this grill last year and its gotten a lot of use since then.  I looked around online and couldn't find a grill I really liked so I decided to design and make my own.  I'm in the process of making my 4th grill for someone now.  If I had to choose between a camp stove or my grill...the stove is staying home.

Bys finishing off the main course.

Dean brought Pumpkin Cake for desert.  I swear I eat better on our trips than at home!  While he was boiling the kettle to have some tea with dessert, I just sat back and took in the view.  I love this part of our trips, no worries, no stress, just relaxing and peaceful.

Ol' Deano


Nice relaxing night by the fire!  A little chilly at times but the stories and laughs were a good distraction.

Dean and Terry are the early birds in the group.  I have no issues sleeping in my hammock.  I stay warm and comfortable so I have no trouble sleeping until 8 or so.  I just started to wake up when Dean comes by and says breakfast is ready!  Haha Dean woke up to take a look at the water and when he looked down the beach Terry was down and had bacon and eggs cooked up.  I crawled out of my hammock and went down for a feed of oatmeal, bacon, and eggs!  Im not a morning person so this works out great, Ill cook dinner an supper, someone else cooks breakfast :)

We got everything packed and loaded, ready to head a little further down the shore.

Winds were a bit stronger today so it was a slow go but a whole lot of fun!  I can't remember the last time I paddle in some fun conditions like that so I was loving every minute. 

Terry and Dean!

Making our crossing back.  It's not a long crossing but us not having padded much the year, the wind and waves took a toll.

Good shot of Dean with the waves crashing!

We took our time heading back up to Admiral's Beach.  I love to cliff face going up this shoreline, looks awesome!

Dean and Terry taking their time having a chat while I explore a little closer

Had some pretty big surf breaking on the south end of Admiral's Beach.  Too bad it wasn't a sandy or pebble beach...would make for great surfing!

So we're back at the beach after a fun bit of paddling and and excellent night at camp with two of my buddies.  I'm guessing this will be the last kayak camp trip for the year, but who knows...

Terry sculling away in the chilly Atlantic.

Wasn't the longest of trips, but as Dean says, the point is to get out and enjoy camping for a night.  I'm not one for counting kms, I don't care if I paddle 5 kms or 50, the quality of the trip is what I look for.  5kms of choppy fun is worth more to me that 25 of flat calm.
I'm really looking forward to next summer with my paddling friends, and hopefully we'll get more of the good stuff in next year.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Tors Cove Solo

Around lunch time I got the itch to go for a good paddle.  It's been a while since I've paddled in some decent conditions and I'd had enough waiting.  I left work at 2:30 and headed home to collect my boat and gear.  I was having a hard time deciding where to go.  The toss up was between MIddle Cove-Flat Rock, or Tors Cove around the Islands.  Every time Ive been to Tors Cove there have been decent conditions out around the Islands so thats where I headed.

Fox Island.  Right now the Island is occupied by a flock of Sheep.  My pictures didn't turn out well.

Passing between the mainland and Fox Island is a shallow shelf where the swell rolls in and breaks.  Not much action today but if you come here with a bigger easterly swell it can be massive.

 Rounding Fox Island things got a bit more exciting.  Nothing extreme, but enough to keep me interested...just what I was looking for.

I took my time rounding Fox Island and headed over to Ship Island.  I took an instructor course with NKC this year and since then haven't touched a greenland paddle.  I really wanted to try and get a decent forward stroke with a euro paddle if I was going to be teaching, so I took the summer to work on it.  This was the first time I used my greenland all summer and I decided to use it today because it gives me a bit of extra confidence.  I find that with a Greenland paddle I have 100% faith in my roll.  Don't get me wrong I can roll with a euro paddle very well, but with a greenland I just feel that extra boost of confidence.

 At the tip of Great Island.

 Two large caves that are always fun to explore.

 It's a whole new feeling heading into one of these, wide open to the Atlantic, alone.

Inside looking out.  
Not gonna lie, I felt a little uneasy being in this cave out here by myself.  I didn't stay long lol.

The channel!  Most of my paddling buddies have gone through here at one point or another, but every time I've been out here it was not passable.  As much as I wanted to go through here today I decided being alone is not the time to try something like this.  Even tho today was calm for Tors Cove, this passage still was fairly tangly when the bigger swells would come through.

Rounding the Southern tip of Great Island.
This is where the fun really began.  I didn't take too many pictures along here because I needed both hands on my paddle.  The clapotis made this a really fun stretch and gave me that I came looking for.

It's a damn good adrenaline rush on this side of the island, and being alone only intensified things.

Looking back at the channel I was too nervous to go through.....Next time!

Once I got around the South end things calmed back down and it was a relaxed paddle for most of the way back.

I made a loop in around this little cove and wasn't really paying attention to the water.  There was a sinker just at the surface I didn't see.  As I was paddling by I was looking at the shoreline and I felt my boat drop a little.  When I looked to my left there was a small breaking wave looking me right in the face!  I quickly threw out a low brace as the wave slapped me in the face, and as luck would have it I stayed up and quickly moved along.  Good thing I did, because the next two waves would have no doubt side surfed me into the cliff.

 That's it for Great Island!

 Back over to Ship Island I go.

 Not too much to see here.  I thought about stopping for a little break on a beach on the West side of the Island but decided to hold off until I hit Robin's on the way home.

Bit of a long calm crossing back to Fox Island.

Thought this made for a good shot.  I need a new camera...

Back safe! 

I had a great afternoon paddling around the islands.  The East and South side of the Islands was a lot of fun and satisfied my craving for acton.  Although I'v been in much larger conditions around Tors Cove this was just the right amount of fun for a solo trip.
Looking forward to getting out into some bigger stuff with my buddies!