Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Inland Paddling, Whitbourne

With a forecast for SW winds blowing 40-70 km/h and 10mm of rain, me and Trent decided it was time for the inland paddle that I was planning all winter. There are a series of ponds that are connected by rivers near my house in Whitbourne, that looked like it might make a nice evening paddle sometime. With the winds as they were, and me being way to wimpy to get out on the ocean in those conditions, we hit the fresh water yesterday evening around 7pm. We planned to start on hodge river as it leads into Beothunes Pond, and end up back at the town council building on Junction Pond, which used to be the old train station. The paddle was about 6kms and took about 1.5 hrs so we got back to the car not too long before dark. Even with the conditions it was a really fun paddle, with 3 short river runs. We saw a few beavers, a bald eagle, and several loons. A highlight was having to jump a beaver damn that blocked the entrance from one pond to another. They are industrious little creatures. It was absolutely pouring rain most of the time so a lot of my pictures came out really blurry, but here are a few that came out ok.

Rock over London, Rock on Chicago


Map from Google Earth of our route

Launching on Hodge River

Going down the river

Out on Beothunes Pond

On another small brook

A beaver lodge

The beaver dam, it was about a foot high

Narrows between second pond and Junction Pond

On Junction Pond, looking at Whitbourne

Trent with the old hospital in the background

Heading toward the car with the wind at our back

Another fun paddle!

Old CN Train station and train, now the town council building

Thursday, May 15, 2008

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Another non kayaking post. I got back from Cuba a week ago, and have not seen teh sunshine since. Its been cold, wet and windy, with no end in sight. So I have to think about other things to get me by until the weather clears. Last summer, I had the opportunity to paddle in Notre Dame bay with Brian Searwar, from Gander, and we got to chatting about travel, and he mentioned to me how he likes to visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites around the world, and that got me thinking it was a good idea. So I started to take stock of where I'd been so far, and how many there are for me to see, and there are a lot! Now when I plan my holidays, I try to take in one or two, depending on where I go. The website for UNESCO is, have a look for yourelf, and start your list. We have 2 here in Newfoundand & Labrador, Gros Morne National Park, and the viking site at L'anse Aux Meadows. I also hear the Basque whaling site in Red Bay is close to getting UNESCO world heritage status. I highly recommend to everyone to go out and see all of these you can see. Here is my list so far:

1. Gros Morne National Park, NL Canada

2. L'anse Aux Meadows National Historic Site, NL Canada

3. Old Lunenberg, NS Canada

4. Canadian Rocky Mountain National Parks (photo not mine, it was taken from the moraine lake website. I was there before digital cameras were around)
5. Belize Barrier Reef System. Angie and her parents looking out over the rail of a cruise ship at the reef. I didn't get to snorkel there, just floated over it in a motorboat :-(

6. Westminster Abbey, London UK

7. Tower of London, UK

8. Banks of Seine River, Paris France

9. Old Havana, Cuba

Rock over London, Rock on Chicago

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Snorkeling in Cuba

Not kayaking, but still in the sea :-)

This past week Angie and I spent a week in Varadero, Cuba, to get a way from this horrible weather we've been having. We got to take a catamaran tour that took us snorkeling on a coral reef just off shore. It was fantastic, and I took a lot of photos with my GoPro Hero waterproof digital camera. I also took a bunch of video, but I'm still trying to figure out how to post it.

Here are a few shots.