Monday, June 28, 2010

Swag and "swagger"

I ended up having to do a trip to the in-laws house late last night. Due to an appointment I had in the city early today I figured we could drive up there, stay the night at her parents and save me the drive in the morning. Canada is known for it's vast wide space, and it's very true. When I was working in Germany a co worker complained he had to drive "all the way" to Holland to see his parents....which he later told me was a mere 200km away! Heck I gotta almost go that far to get groceries! J/K =0) ( On a serious note the nearest Starbucks is over 150km away...not cool)

I did the following video as an instructional for all husbands/ wife's who don't wanna drive 300km that day. Works like a charm.


That's my "swagger" for this afternoons edition. (Editors note: I don't really drink that much...its just a cultural thing to take a shot so well)

And a huge thanks for the swag from Fat paddler! This is number 2 he has sent, as the last one got misplaced/lost or stolen between his side of the planet and mine. Coming home and seeing a mysterious parcel on my doorstep usually means two things. I ordered something from MEC in my sleep, or terrorist again. Today's was a pleasant surprise.

The beer cooler will get some good use here shortly in Newfoundland! Cheers and thanks for the stuff! Nice high speed stickers as well.

I particularly enjoyed the letter addressed to me or the postal worker who was stealing this one! Quite a chuckle.

So I left my family in Ottawa for the rest of the week and plan on heading up this weekend to get some paddling in on the St. Lawrence seaway. Not having the kids and wife in the house is very quiet..... and very strange. However......

I officially declare this week as kayaking ,beer, and no pants around the house week!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

One day

June 26th. Today will mean a whole bunch of things to different people. Death in the family, a birthday, an anniversary. We always apply meaning to calender dates. For me it was just another day......and this is what I did on your Birthday etc! (P.S happy *insert whatever*!...or my condolences)
All week I have been honestly mentally exhausted. Zero drive to do anything. I actually slept for 16 hours on Wednesday, came home from work, showered and lid down on my bed...just for a second. I awoke just in time for work the next day. I have been running for 1 hr each morning barefoot and swimming on my lunch breaks Tuesday and Thursday. However outside of work hours...besides fighting sleep I've been sleeping. I decided after a wasted week and a wasted Saturday AM and afternoon I would go for a short paddle.

All the baby Geese from what seems like a week ago ,are in their "teenage" state. While they look like their parents they are still clung on to them...and a wee bit smaller.

There were about 20 there. being I was in the mood to meditate and work on some skills/ suntan...a goose inhabited area wasn't gonna work. Besides all the honking....... they crap a lot.

Found a nice secluded part of the beach.

Some birds lunch got me thinking if these things are edible for us humans.

Is this a clam? I have no clue. Anyone with info on if its any good to eat get back to me! The beaches are full of em.

I didn't bring my waterproof camera today but due to the shallow waters in this area I spent about 2 hours practicing edging and seeing just how far I could edge and turn. A great little skill practice with the new boat. Slowly becoming one with the craft.

I couldn't help but take a these two pictures above. You can use many metaphors dealing with life etc....believe me I thought of about 100 to describe the washing away of ones footprints. I kept thinking back to some Christan poem "footprints" which I never did remember although it was in my Buddy's house all while we were growing up.
For me it shows the impact one human being can have on the earth...if we just live as we are meant to live.

So after messing around in the yak I hauled in and lid down in the shallow warm water. I meditated for a good 20 minutes, which is really good for me. I kept hearing the Quacks and it was very difficult to deflect the thoughts about the approaching ducks. From my morning runs I sorta knew I would see the common mergansers tonight in this area. As I went through my ritualistic exit from meditation there I was. Surrounded by young mergansers. What a cool moment. Of course as soon as I sat up they quickly began swimming away.

Common merganser in flight. Note all young appear to be female, the males mature into their bland colours and loose their "spiked hair" later.

New buoys warning people not to touch weird explody thingies.

Being close to sunset I couldn't help but sit back and drift about. There was a nice cool breeze, very little boat traffic and a wonderful setting sun.

Later June 26th.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

5.5 Earthquake today

My first good earthquake.
Pretty neat! My office was a rockin for about 10 -15 seconds.

I couldnt help to wonder what it would have felt like on the river....It was a beautiful act of nature. I really enjoyed it! Never felt the eart move!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Big Rideau Lake

The Rideau system has been on my "to do" list for a while. While Saturdays trip was far from what I would call a "trip", it was a wonderful day in the yak with family....two of my favorite things!

A family member of ours bought a cottage last week near Narrows Lock Ontario, and were awesome enough to invite us up for the day. While it was a two hour drive, it really was a beautiful area to drive through.

We had almost cancelled due to the weather. Thunderstorms and high wind were of course rearing it's head during the one day we had family plans. However we were determined.


The day actually cleared up very nice. The water was warm, the sun shining, and a nice cool breeze. Turned out to be a perfect day.

Rolling was a great way to combine family time and cooling off. What a difference in temp's of the Rideau and the Ottawa! It is so warm on the Big Rideau.

The wee ones decided they would squirt me with their guns....they didn't know about the bilge pump!

As anytime I can I try to pass on the love for kayaking. So I let the little ones paddle in the shallows with me at their sides. Hopefully they will remember the day with great memories...and who knows maybe a few more kayakers in the future!

I played around in the waves kicked up by the storm. Nothing too big but enough to mess about in.

My smallest enjoyed the day floating around in his turtle.

After a awesome day at the cottage we headed back to Morrisburg on the St. Lawrence seaway for my Saturday sunset Coop photo.I paddled over ext to the American border and awaited the sun to set. Quite a current here where the seaway narrows!

Paddling in apres sunset.

Illuminated thundercloud across in the USA.

Family and kayaks....does it get any better?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Saturday Sunset Co-op results!

So I`m currently a passenger doing 75km hr with my feet on the dash of the car. Rihanna is singing something on the radio with a thick enough accent that I really can’t figure out what she’s saying. Eating strawberries and thinking about this very moment. My legs are cold from the AC. The berries are very sweet. The little seeds stick to my teeth. The keyboard on my laptop is warm and clicking out this moment onto a contrasting black on white word processor screen.

That is now the past. It was a mere moment I was in. One moment I was aware of; and fully into that experience.

However lets now jet back a few days ago and it crossed my mind that a great project would be to get out for a sunset in my yak; and hopefully the ideal would inspire or give someone the reason to get out on the great blue oceans,the muddy creeks, or peaceful clear lakes across this great world we live in. And take the minutes to really live in the moment.

So often we live in the past or future in our minds. Sometimes those little minutes of thinking of our future dream house, our past blunders take control and suddenly our whole life becomes a dream. We become human doings and not human beings, as we never truly be.

Here are a couple fellow paddlers who had some great experiences and awesome shots.

"Mattagami River flowing through The City of Timmins and eventually ending up in the James Bay"

"Miller Lake accessed through Mountjoy River via the Mattagami river."
"Above: Hi Lee
Here are a few pics of my wife paddling into the sunset.

Timmins Ontario Canada"

Outdoor dad and Outdoor Daughter on Lake Ontario.

"Well as I type this it is pouring rain and blowing hard!!! This morning was grey, overcast and with showers on and off. The hourly forecast for the Bowmanville area was possible thunderstorms for every hour from 1 PM to 10 PM. Not the best weather for kayaking, especially on Lake Ontario, the nearest body of water. So my daughter and I took a window of opportunity in the early afternoon and went for a paddle. It wasn't sunset and we did get rained on but we still enjoyed the two hours of being out on the lake at one with nature. To make it seem like sunset we even had loons calling to each other. With the lousy forecast there wasn't a motor boat in sight or hearing, which close to the GTA is a rarity. "

-Outdoor Dad

"Here’s a pic we took of the sun setting over Maple Mountain on Vancouver Island tonight. We took the picture from the Saltspring Island side of the channel. You had a great idea! Having said that, the old padre isn’t very prepared for tomorrow (Sunday) having spent the night on the water. Hey, it was worth it. "

Duncan and Joan Click here to read about their trip to the moment...and back!

"I'm not a yakker, but I'm sending you my sunset anyway - with my CANOE!! L8R Taken :Bentshoe Lake haliburton highlands Ontario Canada "


This is my shot at Morrisburg Ontario/ drifting to the USA on the St. Lawrence . Huge thunderstorm earlier on the drive from the cottage down, however it broke just enough to see the setting sun. A great relaxing 15 minutes in a hectic week. Wonderful.

"Gday Lee,
My photo for "Saturday Sunset Co-Op". It's actually Saturday's sunrise, looking out to the Tasman Sean and Pacific Ocean, from Sydney Australia (which means about 13 hours ahead of your sunrise!). I had to paddle out into the sea in the dark to get it! "

Cheers - Sean (

Absolutely WONDERFUL photo's guys. I have to say I was excited to see the response it got. Many wished they took place, but due to life just couldnt make it work. These Photo's from right across this globe are BRILLIANT!!! Thank you so much for making this a reality.
This keeps my opinion that paddlers are by far the coolest people on the planet!

What’s been my experience from this? Well paying attention to a strong current and large waves from huge sea bound ships on the St Lawrence makes mindfulness difficult! However the St Lawrence is quite comparable to life in general. Things pull at our attention continuously, mere thought can make us dream our life’s away. Larger than the normal waves caused by ships wakes are much like life’s larger problems. They require our attention and our thought can sometimes go back to that one wave; instead of focusing on today’s beauty…today’s waves.

Remember to ask yourself.
-Where is my mind
-Am I dreaming.
-focus on your breath.
Thank you all so much.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Saturday sunset Co-op

Over 10,000 visitors. 10,000 people have visited my blog for a plethora of reasons; some were looking up local lakes, others Greenland paddle construction. Minimalist running, kayak rolling, the themes are almost endless......including one visitor who was very interested in eating a live baby goose.............seriously the Internet is a messed up place. Some check back from time to time, some converse through email ( Hi Ginger in NC!) and some are active participants adding the most important thing to my blog; human interaction.

I'm gonna attempt a interactive thing here on the blog to just see the reaction and the response. Please take part if you can!

Saturday sunset Co-op

As kayakers we continually talk about slowing down; taking in nature, scenery, wildlife. Where time is measured by paddle strokes and that huge fireball we orbit. However in our daily life's how much do we slow down? How often do we sit back and watch the little things?

How often are we here? RIGHT HERE!

Ask yourself "where is my mind?"

The Saturday sunset Co-op is a exercise in mindfulness. "Where is my mind" is a great way to start living in the now; and not dwelling on the past or thinking of the future as we so often do. I have found actually sitting back and taking in a sunset in a kayak or a canoe is a great way to focus my untrained mind in mindfulness....a simple sunset...what a beautiful thing we take for granted almost daily! And a great way to live in the now for those mere 10 minutes.

So here's what I'm askin:

-spread the word! feel free to copy paste/ link/feed etc this elsewhere!!

-Saturday head out on the water; all day till sunset or 5 minutes prior.

-take a pic of the bow of your boat and the sunset

-come home later that night fire me a email with your pic.

-Sunday log in to my blog and HOPEFULLY see pics of the same glowing globe setting from other paddlers perspectives across this wonderful world we live on.

So what do you get?

Unfortunately I have no cool prizes. With the purchase of a new kayak and funding my annual pilgrimage back to the mother country (Newfoundland); I cant supply anything....but really the prize is that moment hopefully you will all have. And maybe something as simple as being in that moment, will be greater than any materialistic thing anyone can offer.

Not to mention you can use the "co-op" as a REQUIRED reason to go for a late night paddle Saturday. As I know those people we are in relationships can sometimes not understand a "random paddle". Here's your excuse!

Send all pics to:

And if it's overcast and raining? Still a beautiful scene...and maybe you'll take time the next nice day to appreciate the beauty and spend even more time in the moment!

Thoughts? Anyone in?

Live in the moment!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Relief zipper...The Christmas Storyism

So what do most husbands do just as the street lights turn on at night? I have no clue. This husband drank two redbull and headed to the beach. After a long day at work a kayak "mess about" was in order. My wife gave me that look as the phone rang; of course just as I stepped out the door. It was work. I could have absconded. However I solved that issue quickly and sprinted out the door.

Driving down I actually had to turn the on the car lights. Never the less I was soon in the water. I brought my headlamp and was thinking about a full out night paddle. Yet I figured it was nice and cold/quiet underwater and decided to practice edging and rolling; with a little sculling here and there. My balance brace still sucks...started giving that a try very late last year.Practice Practice!

As per every time I don the drysuit...I gotta pee. I think it's a mental thing akin to one of my favorite movie's "A Christmas Story". As soon as the suit goes on DING!!!! GOTTA GO!!

Thankfully I splurged and got the relief zipper.

I am impressed on how far on edge this kayak goes while turning, even further than my whiskey. Having said that I practiced a few braces finding the sweet spot. Can't WAIT to get this on some big waves out east. I am praying Newfoundland gets 2 weeks of easterly wind!Bring on the swell.


Anyway here's a video from 21h40. hanging out rolling around....all


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Itchy and pissed off.

My legs look similar....also noticed here I am a grown man and my knees and elbows are still skinned out. Guess I didnt grow up after all! Anwho  I blew my ankle out today loading up my kayaks which put me in a sour mood. Lifted the kayak up...ankle rolls and touches the driveway. Puke. I thought the thing was finally strong again. I'm now dropping my plans for Ironman...which pisses me off as well.

27 days till I'm kayaking in Newfoundland.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Big presqu'ile

This morning I slept in like I haven't in a long time. I crawled outta bed at noon feeling refreshed and quickly announced I was taking the SUV up to Deep River and having supper at big presqu'ile. No not a fancy creperie or a Louisiana Cajun home cooking shack;  its a large bay here on the Ottawa river. The menu was whatever prepackaged meal I threw into the "go" bag.

I couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day. The wind was just high enough to keep the bugs away and the air was warm. Just right. I launched from Lamure beach in Deep River and chatted to another fellow kayaker Bruce who told me about a group of kayakers who meet up there every Tuesday. I may just check that out next week. I quickly crossed over to the Quebec side of the river and took a little diet coke break on the beach above.

There were new signs dotting the riverside marking the ecological reserve Quebec has created across the river. It really isn't enforced, and appears to be allowing beach visits anyway.

The amount of kit that can be packed into this boat is awesome. While I am a big fan of lightweight paddling...I may spoil myself from time to time!

Above: The view into big presqu'ile. Another great "sky day" beautiful clouds.

One of my friends was camping on the Ontario side of the river and said we should check out the peak over here. Today was sort of a recce to check it out.

 I found a awesome sandy beach in big presqu'ile; beavers,ducks,and quietness.

I spent quite a bit of time just slowly walking around the beach. I am a very lucky man. A new kayak, the ability to walk around again pain free after years, and the perfect tranquil area made me really appreciative of the things I have. Both material and spiritual.

I decided I would head off and check out the cliff's and eat my supper up there. Packed my backpack and off I went. I ended walking about a km in; climbing a few big cliffs. However the bugs were a bit too much for me. The kind of day where they are inside your ears and nose.  I decided that I had enough of the swarm and turned around and came back to the beach.

The wild strawberries were ripe all over the cliff side. Yummy.

Walking around the forest barefoot off the beaten trail requires looking where you place each step. That's how I noticed this guy! He seemed like something that could bite but I don't know much about spiders....if yah know drop me a line! He didn't mind Joni Mitchell on the he wasn't that bad.

Having scrapped plans to make the summit of the mountain I had a lot of time to just sit around and relax. Wow what a beautiful place this was. Sandy beaches and nice flat rocks for cooking on. I honestly wished  I could stay and spend the night. Alas I am still weary about leaving my wife alone. Maybe in a few weeks if all keeps going well.
Wild Iris.

Soon after hours of meditation, eating and drinking coffee  I snapped this last pic and headed home. 7 hours out in the wild. What a awesome day.

And man am I tired right now. Good Night all!