Finally I am connected to the Internet and the new home is somewhat in order. Between work and unpacking I have only managed 2 excursions on the water this past week. It'll be good to get sorted out and into a routine again to explore this amazing coast.
Alex McGruger of KNL had dropped me a line VIA facebook of a club paddle in Avondale; about an hour outside the city. I figured it would be great to meet a few more paddlers in the area. My wife had planned to paint my son's room that day so she dropped me off about a half hour early. The RV was in front of a beautiful old church on a public boat launch. Being the first day of the cod food fishery the wharf was buzzing with activity. I try to stay well out of the way when launching and found a perfect little spot in front of a old whaling ship rusting into the ocean.
Derek Smith arrived early and decided to launch from the same spot as me. We paddled up to meet the group and sign off on the waivers. Alex explained the route safety etc. Avondale is a very calm paddle and a few first time paddlers came out to join the group which was great to see.
I volunteered to stay in the back of the group and keep an eye on folks. One guy kept dropping back to look at me....little did I know Gerry Power was volunteering for the same job. We hung back and chatted finding out of course we knew similar people and both had a keen interest in "historic" paddle locations through research.
Stopping for lunch Alex told us about a copper mine from the early 1800's in the same cove we had stopped in. I was STOKED!! There is little information I have found to date in regards to this mine, except it was still being mined by the Power family in 1921. The shaft runs strait in very far and a very strong flashlight is needed.
This jem is not marked and very easy to dismiss as another shallow cave that dot's Newfoundland's shorelines. I would suggest bringing a good pair of rubber boots to protect your dry suit in the flooded sections.
Coming out of the mine I could hear the other 11 kayakers laughing and shooting the breeze. These level 1 paddles are not so much about kayaking as just a social outing. It's something very new to this solo paddler; and I have to admit it was a nice change. And a great way to "network" for future trips.
Our paddle out to the headland after lunch was entertained by 3 minke whales feeding on caplin and surfacing very close. A few of us paddled ahead while many in the group remained inside the harbour as a couple of us went out and played in the calm swell going through a "gate".
A great paddle with a great group.
Now settled in I will get back to getting these trips published again a few times a week. Thanks for reading!