Monday, August 30, 2010

Marble Zipline

Last weekend, me and a few friends did the Zipline tour at Marble Mountain in Steady Brook, Newfoundland.

What a rush! There were 8 zips, which took us about 1.5hrs altogether. The highest zip is over 300ft high, and the longest one is 1800ft, where you hit speeds up to 80 km/hr.

The third zip takes you right over a 200ft waterfall. It was amazing!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Isle Aux Morts

During our visit to my home, we got on the water for a few hours around Isle Aux Morts, about 8kms up the coast from Burnt Islands. Even though I grew up very near here, I had never been around here by boat, so I was really looking forward to finally exploring all the nooks and crannies in the area.

Isle Aux Morts translates to "Island of the Dead" and was so named because of all the shipwrecks that have happened over the years around here. The Harvey Trail, in the community describes some of these wrecks, and if you click the link above, you can see what it can look like around here on a bad day. Today we could hear the constant roar of the swells breaking on the rocks and sunkers outside, but it was flat calm inside.

The coastline around Isle Aux Morts. Islands, rocks and sunkers everywhere

There aren't too many great spots on launch around here, although there is a government wharf with a concrete slipway on the other side of the community. We chose the old slipway, where everyone hauls up their boats, and if I'm not mistaken, its the only place that has a TravelLift (for lifting boats out of the water) on this coast. Right after I took the above pic I manged to drive a rusty nail through my foot. Nice way to start the trip. Luckily for me, I had a tetanus shot less than a year ago. I was just glad I didn't have my drysuit on at that point.

So with a new hole in my foot we headed out past the old fish plant. I remember the lovely smell of fish meal that used to come from that place when I was a kid. What a stink!

Heading out through the eastern passage. I didn't take long before we could feel the swells from outside.

Going around Potato Island. We were able to catch a few waves along the way, where Potato Island was closest to Little White Island. We could have stayed there surfing all day, but we wanted to explore, so off we went.

Potato Island to the left, Little White Island to the right

Facing towards Margaree

Poking about all the small islands

One of the very few beaches between Rose Blanche and Port Aux Basques. I didn't even know this one existed. If you look VERY VERY closely to the right above Angie's shoulder, the Caribou is passing by, arriving from Nova Scotia. Even from that far off, we could still hear its engines.

It looked like a great place to camp, but I don't think there's much beach left at high tide. We stopped here for a short break and a lunch.

There is a certain smell attached to this type of landscape in the summer time. I can't put my finger on it, but I wish I could bottle it up and take it back to the east coast with me.

A small channel between two islands

The water was absolutely still


Where Isle Aux Morts River meets the sea. Someone has a really nice cabin built in the perfect location. I'm jealous.

Me with slipway and TravelLift in the background.

Another short but very nice paddle.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The West Coast Rocks!

I won't deny that the East Coast of the island has a better coastline for kayaking, especially the Avalon peninsula.........but you can't beat the West Coast for the landscape.

Me and Ang hiked the Starlite trail on the Table Top Mountains in Codroy Valley while we were back home........the view just can't be beat.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

An Evening Paddle in Burnt Islands

With the Come Home Year festivities in full swing in my hometown, Burnt Islands, waaaaaay down on the SW Coast of Newfoundland, my wife and I squeezed in an evening paddle from behind my dad's house, in God Bay........seriously, its called God Bay, look on the map.

Anyway, the coast down there is pretty exposed, and there have been an awful lot of shipwrecks over the years in this area. There are sunkers EVERYWHERE. Inside the Colombier Islands (called Glumsy Islands back home) its usually pretty sheltered, but you can always hear the roar of the swells breaking up outside.

On this particular evening, we paddled around the community for a few hours, out around the Island and back. It was real nice.

The SW Coast of Newfoundland, between Isle Aux Mortes and Burnt Islands

One of the few sensible places to launch along Route 470

Heading out of God Bay

Angie paddling past "The Island", which was connected to the mainland by a causeway in 1969

The site of the old fishplant, it was here in the 1950's

These are called the Colombier Islands on the map, but everyone home calls the Glumsy Islands, I guess "Colombier" slowly got bastardized to "Glumsy" over the years, haha.

Happy to be home

Flat calm inside God Bay

Under the bridge. I spent a lot of time down here as a kid, it was nice to see it again.