Sunday, July 23, 2017

Intro to Kayak Camping

Each year Dean and Hazen do an Intro to Kayak Camping trip open to all club members.  This year Hazen was out of the province and Dean was fighting a shoulder injury and couldn't fully commit to going, so he asked me if I wanted to take over this year.  I had already cancelled a club paddle earlier in the month so I said yes to try to make up for the lost paddle.

I asked Dean, Brian, and Ron for their advice leading up to, and during the trip because this was my first time leading a club paddle.  When I paddle with my regular group we paddle in whatever the conditions are that day.  We haven't hit the point (YET) where we decided to stay home or on the beach.  Its a lot more to think about when your doing this stuff with people you don't regularly paddle with.  The wind was hitting the top end of level 1, but myself, Brian, and Ron thought it would be manageable and we had a back up if the weather got worse.

We all Met at the TCH Irving and headed to Admiral's Beach from there.  
We got the boats loaded and our gear on and took off to Great Colinet Island.

 Crossing over to the Island.

 I saw Gary head closer to shore to play around a few rocks and I just couldn't help myself...I had to follow.

On our way to Mosquito Cove. 

Mosquito Cove!  Very nice little beach!

We got to Mosquito Cove and stopped for a good half hour for some lunch and just to lounge on the beach.

We expected a bit of wind and waves and we got closer to Wild Cove and turning into Wild Cove but we got a bit more than expected.

A good number of the people on this trip were level 1 paddlers, a few new to the sport, but I was amazed at how well they all handled the unexpected conditions!  I think I was more nervous than anyone else....

Anyway we all made it around the point and after dealing with a small bit of surf we were happily on the beach.  Brian stepped up here and made things happen pretty smoothly!

It was time to set up camp and I went to my regular spot where myself and Dean cleared for our hammocks last year.  Once everyone was settled away and relaxed for a while we gathered around the fire and got our suppers going.  I had my fire grilled steak as always!

After supper we went for a little walk up the hill.  I forgot how beautiful this place was.

On top of the hill looking back at camp.

So we get to the top of the hill and this is my favourite part!

Like something out of a movie!  You really appreciate our province once you get out and explore a bit!

 The tenters...they don't know what they're missing dean.

Although Tony wasn't on this trip Abigale did a good job filling his shoes with a Rostenburg Special.

 Drinks, Junk Food, and Laughs by the fire!

Here's a shot I took of most of the group.  Jenn and Barb came up as we were walking back.

We had an excellent trip with great company!  Its fair to say that we might have slightly stepped above level 1 conditions at points along the way, but the group handled it like champions!
Thanks guys I can't wait to go again next year!
And thanks to Brian and Ron for the help and advice!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Adventure Weekend! Bay to Broyle

Witless Bay Chapter

I get off work at 12:30 on Fridays so this past Friday I decided to see if my buddy Ron wanted to go for a paddle in witless bay.  He lives right on the water so I figured if he was home he would be up for it, and sure enough he was.  We ended up waiting a bit later in the day to go which is fine because that seems to be when the whales are more active.

I left from the boat launch in Witless Bay and paddled down the shore to meet up with Ron by his house.

After we met up we decided to cross over to Gull Island in hopes to run into some whales.

On our way over I spotted this little guy with a nice snack in his mouth.

The water was full of small jellyfish the size of your thumb but I paddled right past this big one and had to back up to get a few shots.

One of these birds was on the bigger rock to the right and as I paddled by he jumped over next to his friend...I just assumed "cute couple"

 We got bored with the birds and headed on over to Green Island.

Ron checking out a small cave.

 Once we hit the south end of the island the swell made thing exciting! ....and more birds.
Paddling between Green Island and Bird Rocks you catch an excellent surf ride!

When we broke through between the Island we started seeing some whales in the distance.  we messes about for a while trying to get close but no luck.  We headed back up the shore getting ready to call it a night and then the activity picked up!
While I was taking this picture....

Ron was taking this one.

So we got what we came for and had an excellent paddle!
I like this shot of Ron in the sunset.

Good fun Ron!  I hope we can catch a few more close encounters soon.

 Cape Broyle Chapter

I had originally planned to go to the Iona Islands with Brian and Sue, but after chatting with Dean I decided I should at least do one hike this summer.
Dean and Clyde picked me up around 10 Saturday morning and off we went to Cape Broyle.
It took the bus a few minutes to find the right spot but once they did we didn't waste much time getting ready.

The trail is kind of tucked away down the beach a bit.

And the fun begins!!!

The scenery here is incredible!  I must have took 50 pictures in two days.

After about 2 hours we decided to stop for a short break and have a quick snack.

I just thought this was a really nice part of the trail.

 A grand total of about 3 1/2 hours and we were at our campsite for the night.  I forget the name but it was set up really nicely.
This is Clydes new Tarp Tent.

Dean also has a few Tarpnts but chose to bring his hammock this time.

And I don't own a tent...because Hammocks are better.

After we got our accommodations set up we got to cookin!

Now normally I ALWAYS have a steak cooked on a fire the first night, but a challenge was presented to match pack weights so I decided to play along.  To keep the weight down I didn't bring my grill or half pound of beef.

After supper Dean and Clyde decided to take a walk to Lance Cove.  I thought the day had been taxing enough so I said "absolutely not".  And Dean's response... "are you sure you don't want to think about it?"
I laughed and decided to go along.
Im glad I did because it ended up being my favourite part of the trip!
And this is my favourite picture!

Dean and Clyde decided to walk the whole beach but I was too busy watching the whales and taking in the view to do any more walking.

I must have sat here for a good 20-30 mins watching the whales play.

There was a log bench set up just down from our camp and a often used fire pit so we decided to go down and have a small fire to end off the night.  Camping just isn't the same without a fire.

The bys were up, had breakfast, and mostly packed before I even woke up.
Dean said no rush in the morning... I listened to him.

The way out wasn't as grueling as the way in but a damn good workout all the same.
Midway break / snack.

We finally made it back to Dean's car and I can speak for everyone when I say we were happy to get the packs off our backs and a good meal in our stomachs!
Every trip we do kayaking or hiking we end it with a meal or coffee at a nearby restaurant... I look forward to this part.  It's a perfect way to end the trip and talk about the fun we had.

I'm not much of a hiker and I think to myself "why the f$@k did I agree to do this" when I'm doing it, but when I get to where we are going I feel like a million bucks!
When it's all said and done I love the trips and I like the challenge hiking gives, so I'm excited now for the next trip!
Thanks Dean and Clyde I had a great time!