Monday, July 16, 2007

Bellevue Beach, July 2007

On saturday it was a beautiful day, a great day for the beach. Also a great time to take my friends Dmitry and Katrina for their first paddle. They came to Canada in September from Russia and were very eager to get out for their first paddle. Katrina was a little nervous at first, but after a few minutes she was comfortable and enjoying herself. We had a great day, the capelin were in, but unfortunately, no whales. We did see a few bald eagles though. After a BBQ, we went out again, this time Dmitry and his mom, Svetlana, in the double. She doesn't speak english, but was all smiles and gave me the thumbs up when we got back to the beach.

Cottlesville, June 2007

While getting a few touch ups done to my kayak in Cottlesville, home of Seaknife kayaks, I got to take in a paddle in the area with local paddler, Brian Searwar, who was nice enough to give me a tour of the region. After that I got to go for another paddle with Lindy Rideout, owner/operator of Seaknife Kayaks, and his dog. Lindy's service is second to none, and if anyone is in this area, drop by his house and he'd be happy to take you out for a paddle. We were very lucky with absolute perfect conditions, no wind, warm and a few icebergs in the area to boot!

Rock over London, Rock on Chicago

Friday, July 13, 2007

My homeland, Burnt Islands

When we landed in Port Aux Basques, we had some time to spare before driving back to Whitbourne, so we decided to drive down good ol' Route 470 to my hometown, Burnt Islands. In between Isle Aux Mortes and Rose Blanche, it doesn't show up on most maps or tour guides, however it does have a fantastic paddling area called Grandy Sound, about 1 km past the town. A salmon river feeds into a big estuary and into the ocean, and this is where we launched. Not a lot of beaches along the Southwest coast, so sometimes it can be hard to find a place to launch. This area is always sheltered, with protection from all the islands in the area. There are many islands and coves to explore, and even a small waterfall to check out. I wish we had more time to explore there.

Rock over London, Rock on Chicago

Kayaking in the Maritimes, July 2007

Its not Newfoundland, but I figure its worth posting a few pictures of. We did a quick 6 day trip through Nova Scotia, New Brunswick en route to PEI for a wedding. Got to do some paddling on the way:

Cascumpec Bay, PEI
Just a short paddle before the wedding.

What a paddle we had at the Hopewell Rocks, Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick. The weather
was pretty gnarly, winds at about 25 knots, 41 ft tide and pouring
rain. Most of the waves about 50 ft from shore were cresting over and
breaking at about 5-7 ft. It looked nasty! There is a kayak touring
company called Baymount Adventures that operate right in Hopewell
Rocks Park, and we were talking to them about going out for a paddle.
If you plan to go by yourself you have to sign a waiver with the park
and they will let you drive your car down to the beach that is
otherwise gated off. Anyhow, the guides were going to cancel the tours
for the day, due to the conditions, but there was a film crew from
Japan there to film some kayaking in the area, to help promote the
area, so 6 of the guides were going out anyways and they let us and a
few others tag along in their doubles. They didn't want us going out
in our fibreglass boats, because of all the submerged rocks. The water
is very brown and you can't see rocks that are hidden just below the
surface, and it can be a bit tangly, if you aren't familar with the
area. We went out right when the tide was at its highest point, which
amplifies the hieght of the waves.

We paddled around the world famous 'flower pot' rocks at Hopewell Cape
and surfed our way back for about 2-3 hrs. First time we had ever
surfed in a double, and it was amazing! The guides were fantastic, a
great bunch skilled paddlers.

Ingonish, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia

Rock over London, Rock on Chicago