Saturday, July 31, 2010

Campfire stories.

Everyone has a grand campfire story; even those non paddling types. I decided to expand on my repertoire and talk to some of the older members of my family about as much as I could in between kayaking and sleeping (not to mention the many moments my mouth was too full of deep fried/deadly home cooking!).

A visit to my great uncle landed a grand story of how my great-great-great grandfather came to be in Newfoundland.

His father was a Church of England minister and when 14 yr old Henry was on his way to Sunday service he did something that in the eyes of his father was bad. He told young Henry he would be "dealt with" after service.

Promptly after service Henry walked over 30km to the coast in England jumped on a fishing ship bound for Newfoundland working as a galley boy. He landed in Harbour Grace Newfoundland and never returned to his family again.

Not only was it a great little story to tell around the fire; it was inspirational to me in so many ways. How a 14 yr old boy bravely leaving hardship created such a wonderful family of people in conception bay Newfoundland. How he thrived during hardship. Funny thing is no one in my family knew this. My Great uncle is the last of his generation left on that side of the family; I am so glad we had a good yarn and can now keep a verbal history alive within our family. Which would have been lost.

Stories from another side of my family have award winning American writers, Hermits living far away from the fishery away from everything and everyone during the early 1700's, you name it! I have found out so much about my family this trip it's truly amazing.
Even stories of the free spirits my father hung out with during summer months in a field outside of Calgary. These "anti establishment" guys lived in a huge TeePee with a beautiful firepit built inside. And when the snow fell they packed up their TeePee and all possessions into a old pickup and moved south. Something that was a mere 40 years ago I could sit around a campfire and romanticize.
Currently sitting in a ferry terminal with my vacation just about wrapped up I have so much to think about. From the free spirits in a large TeePee, my great great great uncle John Pollett living in a small cabin miles inland to Young Henry Greenland jumping on that ship and hitting the reset button on his life at such a young age.
Campfire stories are very important to me. Almost primal in a sense. After all this wonderful North Atlantic paddling here in Newfoundland and the yarns had with the elders in my family I now have a few more.
I'm asking everyone to look at the elders in their families, and if you find yourself BEING the elder have a yarn with someone. Pass on the stories.
Speaking of stories; I'll have some Newfoundland posts up early this week.
What a absolutely inspirational trip. It's been years since I've felt this refreshed.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Kayaking Mount Eagle Bay/teaser from my trip thus far

Hey all!
I hope you summer is going as great as mine is. The only days I have taken off from paddling has been to repair damage to my 'yaks. Its really been a great vacation so far. I have a TON of trip reports to post when I get back to Ontario (Boooooo!)however here's a little video I done up from a paddle in front of my home here in Newfoundland. I hope you enjoy!



Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I promise

to update soon....what a awesome summer of paddling so far. Surfing huge waves, watching my kayak buddy disapearing under waves, kayaking with my dad on glass calm ocean....and heading out on a couple 3 day trips here shortly.

There might be a down day here soon...many pictures...many stories...much grub...much grog!

Leaving on a 3 day trip friday from New Harbour to Bellevue. If yah see us drop in and say hi!

more to come!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

North sydney awaiting freedom!

1713.5 km so far. 1 hour of sleep....but I'm here in North Sydney on Cape Breton island. Awaiting my ride to "The Rock".

Got here way ahead of schedule so being slightly addicted we headed to the beach and chilled out. My oldest really "chilled" and spent the afternoon swimming in the Atlantic. If I had his tolerance I wouldn't need to pay copious amounts of money for drysuits!

As per kayaks flock to each other. We had passed each other earlier today and were giving each other whiplash checking out what the other had on his roof. Great husband and wife heading to Exploits bay with some other kayakers from la belle province.

Real excited...I'm hoping to get some planning for our trip in tomorrow and maybe a bit of a wee paddle. Only a 6-7 hr boat ride and a 9 1/2 hr drive left now after that 1713km.....and I'll be home.

This drive gets harder every year.

Friday, July 9, 2010


What seems to feel like it would never come I'm currently packing up the kayaking gear and the family and heading due east. Where the swells from the North Atlantic are foaming along the headlands, whales, icebergs and people free coast. Not to mention the cold ocean smell and most importantly for me family.

I'll be blogging when I get the chance as I now have a Internet stick for my laptop. Having said that enjoy your July! If I'm not camping, kayaking, getting "on the go"...I'll drop back to update you all!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


My buddy John sent me some pics from his first ever canoe trip down in the Adirondacks.
These are "kayakers".
It was taken on July 5th, down in Forked Lake, a New York State Park in the Adirondacks.
Makes you wonder about the "kayakin" accidents you hear about huh?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Canoe paddle making and finally paddling today

So my long weekend. Kinda dull actually. I started on a canoe paddle out of WRC and walnut scraps I had left over in the basement.

It's kinda rough looking here now but I think it may turn out to be a nice looking paddle once I'm done. I'm currently tying up ends at work and getting slowly packed for my trip to Newfoundland here this week as this project may become a "to do" in August.

I finally got out for a trip today....not that I had any drive to do so. It was 38 degrees here today and honestly the humid heat is just killing my energy. It was a little cooler after supper so I went for a trip around the archipelago in upper allumere lake.

The Georgian bay-esque look of the area is really something. And due to the hundreds of large boulders slightly submerged it keeps most motor boats out.

However the traffic was INSANE out on the open lake. Thankfully it provided some small waves that I am seriously missing paddling this inland seaway.

I decided to go check out a camping spot I noticed in passing last year. I had assumed there was a cottage on it, however was really surprised to find it pristine and a small haven from human intrusion.
It's a wonderful little site. The water is knee deep throughout this little cove with beautiful white sand.

the back of the campsite offers a nice sandy location and a premade fire pit. Another option is a nice mossy area shaded by white pine right next to the water.
Human tracks. My barefoot ideology has been gong good. Aside from work where I'm required to and stores, restaurants where I just haul on sandals at the door...I've been shoe free for a month. My feet are getting really tough and aside from newly paved road (OUCH!! HOT!!) crushed gravel doesn't bother me etc.

I had noticed the flash of paddle blades coming for some time and I sat and chilled out on my secluded paradise. Once the gentleman got into the cove and noticed me he was a little weary. I guess a bald 30ish male covered in tattoo's trying to strike up a conversation with yah may be a bit much. Interesting little SOT kayak with a dome storage on the back. Kind of a interesting design.

After a good hour of hanging out and walking in the sand/exploring the wood line I headed strait back to the beach near my house in Lamure bay.

Gave my wife a call when I arrived and spent a good 30 minutes rolling. Got flirted with by some young ladies after I finished rolling...I'm guessing they were from a blind day camp in the area or something.
I finally feel refreshed. Ready to kick Mondays ass.