Monday, May 26, 2008

8th Annual KNL Retreat

It was great. Terrific guests Bryan Smith and Fergus (forgive me but it's on the KNL website). However, I reneged again on any river stuff but did 3 new paddles: around Swale Island (finding a fantastic cave behind a waterfall - five kayaks inside and still more room); up Bloody Reach (didn't look for Beothuk artifacts, but lots of Osprey); out from Wild Cove around Cow Head (impressive headland with a nice sea running) near Salvage. Lunched on Sailor's Island - another resettled community and gorgeous spot for camping. Bloody big bits of ice (think small mountain) out in the bay--we figured about 1 1/2hrs one way paddle so gave it a miss. Eagles, seals, yada yada. Oh yes, and we partied hard at night too.

No camera, no photos. But check out Stan's website for some. (And Neil's on yesterday's trip in Placentia Bay.)

First pond practice tonight. Bob G smiling into hand rolls and I'm grimacing at the thought of 6 degree water--though that's appreciably more than the 1 or 2 degrees paddled in Bonavista Bay. Finally grin and bear it and roll. Not so bad. Thank you Kokatat!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Kayak Retreat - from bears

[Photo: Jamie Lewis spies a black bear, Terra Nova, 2008 by Alex McGruer]

I collect bear scat. Photos that is. One of several photo projects: this one is about developing a field guide to scat of NL animals. Well, someone has to do it.

Meanwhile, on a scouting trip this past weekend, paddling friends Alex McGruer and Jamie Lewis saw the real McCoy. They drove out to Terra Nova National Park to paddle a beginner's day route for the upcoming annual Kayakers Retreat. And they were rewarded with a black bear close by on shore. Seems Terra Nova has an increasing population of these bears. They just about always scamper off when people show up. (Unless tourists feed them... please don't!) Still, this has reinforced my conviction about staying in a cabin again instead of tenting this year. Cold and damp is one thing... but having some great clawed, hairy and hungry animal looking at a few mms of cloth is, well, a definite deterrent.