Thursday, July 28, 2016

Tacks Beach!

We have had a trip to Tacks Beach planned now for well over a month and last week the time came to get the trip underway.  Thursday morning I checked and rechecked my gear to be sure I wasn't missing any key items.  When I was sure I had what I needed to get me through 4 days of camping I loaded my car and took off to our rendezvous point at the TCH Irving.  We left as a group to drive to Davis cove which took us about 3 hours.

Just driving past Swift Current.  I thought the scenery was great here so I took a quick pic on our way through.

After our long drive to Davis Cove we wasted no time loading our kayaks and getting them in the water.  There was no slipway in Davis Cove so we all teamed up and carried our boats down the bank into the water.  I volunteered to go down and tie them all together until we were all ready to go.

Making our crossing was one of my favorite parts of the trip, and that's not something I'll say too often about crossings.  The wind was up and so were the waves!  I think we all enjoyed the trip over but I had a blast climbing the bigger waves, catching a few small surf rides, and rolling all over the place.

After 12km and about 2 1/2 hours we arrived at Tacks Beach.
Our home for the next 4 days!

We pulled our boats up on the beach then everyone started their own routine for setting up camp.
First thing I did was change into some fresh clothes, then myself and Dean headed off to clear a spot to hang our Hammocks.

Yes hammocks are a little extra work to set up, but in my opinion that's part of the whole experience.
Besides that they are WAY more comfortable! ;-)
Here is a shot of my accommodations for the week.  My Hammock with my DIY underquilt which kept me plenty warm for my 3 night stay!

Once our fun was over setting up out hammocks, we just sat around to relax and enjoy a drink or two for a while before starting a small fire for cooking!
I had a New York steak grilled rare over the camp fire, and my god it was delicious!  The best steak I've had so far this year!

Here is a shot of some of the bys tents on the narrow strip of land between the North and South beaches.
Our Hammocks are just 30' up the trail behind those tents.  A local man told us on the 3rd day that the Caribou run down this trail all the time but considering I was furthest up the trail, Dean figured it was safe to stay one more night!

Always look forward to the huge camp fire, a few drinks, and the great laughs and stories!

Now this isn't the best picture because it was taken with my iPhone BUT, this was the best moonrise I have ever seen!!!
We were all just standing there watching the moon rise up over the hill top.  I saw the moon just start to peak over the hill so I pulled out my phone and turned it on, and by the time my phone was ready to take a picture the moon was already half way up over the hill top.
Definitely one of my favorite parts of camping is how clear the sky can get and how well you can see the moon and stars.

The morning routine was to set up my stove and cook my eggs, bacon, and hashbrowns all from the comfort of my hammock.

I like to eat a real breakfast when possible.  Oatmeal just doesn't do it for me. 
Delicious breakfast! 

After my breakfast was gone each morning I'd clean up, take my coffee, and head down to see how everyone was and how the day would shape up.
I didn't get many pictures on the second day, but I got one of our lunch stop by North Tilt Island.

The trip up was calm and easy paced but our trip back wasn't so easy.  We were paddling directly into the 30km/h wind funneling up between the Islands which certainly made for a bit of a workout!

Here is a shot of most of the group.  I believe its only myself and Ryan not in the picture.

Day 3 we took on the South end of the Islands leaving from Tacks Beach, heading in around Broad Cove and crossing over by South Tilt Island to head back up.
Our trip down wasn't too bad paddling into the wind because we were weaving in and around all the little islands giving us some shelter.  We found a little beach to pull in and have a stretch and a snack before heading back up.

Once we crossed over top of South Tilt Island to head back up to Best's Harbour, things got interesting, and by interesting I mean my favorite paddling part of the trip!
The wind was strong at our backs and the waves were big enough to catch some good surf rides.
I have a lot of fun crossing into big waves.  Having the occasional wave big enough to break on you, and playing around with some rolls was for sure the best part. 
Once we turned to make our way back it was all surf rides!  I got my Nordkapp RM up to 15.5 km/h.  There were rumors of Torngat owners getting up to speeds of almost 18/km/h but I think their GPS was faulty... 
A few of the guys went South of South Tilt Island and were well behind us.  The wind had pick up a lot since we got back and the few that took a longer adventure were probably close on 2 hours after us before they got back.
I would say with the conditions and the wind they had no trouble hitting 18km/h... even in their Torngat's and Victory's ;-)
Cathy also did her first roll in bigger conditions which was very impressive consider the size of some of the waves we were dealing with.  Good Job!
On our final day we got up and had our breakfast then everyone got into packing mode to get ready for the crossing back to Davis Cove.  We had fog in the morning so the more experienced guys broke out their map and compass and gave us a bearing to follow.  The conditions weren't quite as big as the way over but still a good bit of fun.  It was a whole new feeling for me to be out in the middle of the ocean and looking around all you can see is fog.  Different feeling for sure and I'm glad that was the situation we had to deal with, but not a situation I'd want to be in alone. lol

I was really looking forward to this trip and I loved every second of it!  For 4 days it was nothing but fun and stress free living!  To everyone who joined in on this trip, I had an awesome time with all of you!  Can't wait until our next trip to do it all over again!

I'll put together a short clip from the trip later this weekend and add the link here.
Thanks again guys!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Pinchgut Club Paddle

Sunday a club paddle was scheduled for Cape Broyle, but due to weather condition it was decided that Pinchgut would be a more appropriate option for a club paddle.
We all met up at the TCH Irving and hit the highway towards Colinet.

After about an hour and 20 minutes of driving we arrived at our put in, geared up and got on the water.
A few of us played around a bit until the group was all ready to get moving.

After we had our little pre game chat we decided to paddle up Colinet River to the falls to play around for a few minutes.
As we paddle up the river the Salmon were jumping all over the place.  That was the first time I've seen so many Salmon jumping like that clear out of the water.

We got up to the falls and had some fun playing around and trying out a few rolls then carried on back down the river.
We continued on out Colinet Arm about 3km then decided to stop for lunch before making our way across to Pinchgut.

We had a nice break for lunch, and Sue passed around some cookies that were delicious! (Thanks Sue)

After we had a rest and got some food into our bellies we made our crossing and continued on for another 4km or so before turning around making our trip total for the day around 18km!
Excellent paddle!
Thanks to all who joined in the fun!
And thanks to Dave and Hazen for putting the trip together!

After we got back to the beach Hazen, Dave, Ryan and myself decided to paddle back up the river to play around in the falls some more.
Here is a little clip of our fun:

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Beluga Whale! (Great Colinet Island)

Once a year it has been a tradition to do a club paddle at Pinchgut.  I started kayaking in time last year to join the fun but this year there was a slight change in plans.
Dean and Hazen always lead this trip and this year they decided to mix things up with a trip to Great Colinet Island.  Excellent choice and what an amazing trip!

Just getting on the water from Admirals Beach.

We made our way across the bay to Great Colinet Island and decided to paddle a kilometer or so around the North point to stop for lunch on the beach. 

My camera was acting up so I didn't get any pictures of the trip down to Wild Cove where we set up camp, but I got some good shots when we got there with my phone.

Like a lot of place we paddle this place has beautiful scenery.

We all decided to go for a walk up this long grassy hill once we got camp set up and settled away a bit.

Once we made it to the top of the hill this is what we saw...
As far as scenery goes this is my favorite picture.

I'm not the biggest fan of going for walks but this one was well worth it.  Absolutely gorgeous.

When we got back to camp a bunch of us just sat around down by the boats and layed down on the beach to relax soaking up the sunshine.
Soon supper time came along and Dean brought 3 bottles of moose chili for myself Dean and Hazen to share so we broke out our stoves and got to cooking!

We took our time enjoyed our delicious chili and when everything was gone and dishes cleaned up it was happy hour by the fire.

We had an awesome day on the water and a great bit of fun paddling down the shoreline in a little bit of wind and waves.
The walk up the top of the hill with everyone was perfect and when we got there the view was incredible.
I can't think of a better way to end the day than with a few drinks, a few friends, and big fire.
All of this was a perfect trip and everyone enjoyed the day, but I believe the highlight of the trip was at the beach where we left from.  We had a friend greet us who was very sociable and more than willing to play around with us! 

This little Beluga made the trip unbeatable.  Without a doubt the most incredible thing that has ever happened to me!
  I don't really know what to say here.  I was so blown away by this whole experience.
Just scroll down and enjoy the pictures of this rare encounter. 

As I said...More than willing to play around with us!

This would have been and excellent trip if our friend never came to visit us, but because he did it was the trip of a lifetime!
"It'll change your life"
Thanks to Hazen and Dean for putting this trip together and thanks to everyone who joined in.
A trip I'll never forget!
Here is a short video I put together of our friend: