Thursday, March 15, 2007

Winter Snow Shoeing

This past weekend we hit the East Coast Trail,leaving from Bay Bulls. It was
cold but sunny and the scenery spectacular.

The starting point for us was Gun Ridge once thought to be a British battery. More than likely the name reflects the location as a favourite hunting spot in the days when muskets were the norm. This settlement only sustained five dwellings and the occupants worked the land or harveted wood. This area was abandoned as a community in the 1950s and most people moved much closer to Bay Bulls itself.

We didn't make it all the way to the Spout but that is another story.

Monday, March 12, 2007


I have given up trying to grow bonsai. I have had a number over the years - some I have bought, others I have harvested or grown from cuttings. Unfortunately, all succombed to one ailment or another.

I recall mentioning to a friend that I was considering buying or special ordering others, his response was - "why bother?" we are, as the expression goes locally, maggotty with them. So I have moved on to appreciating the bonsai of Newfoundland in their
original state.
Naturally stunted growth by fierce elements and fighting for survival in odd precarious locations for growth.
These photos were taken on a sea kayaking trip from Bellevue Beach to Chance Cove in Trinity Bay, NL.

Sea kayaking provides remarkable access to the most isolated forms of growth.

The photo below is from Aquaforte on the Southern Shore of NL.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Kelly Kettle

A number of kayakers referred to the Kelly Kettle. I picked up mine
some time ago through Lee Valley. Water is poured down an outside cylinder and a
fire is made in the holder below - it almost works like a chimney. It is easy to carry and
a great back up when paddling or camping. Bring some dry kindling in your lunch
bag and usually that's enough to get the water boiling for tea or soups.

No matter where you land you can usually find enough dry twigs to keep it going for a second boil. Save the propane for serious cooking. It's a good idea to pack it in a small bag separately as the inside gets covered with soot and can mess up the rest of the gear you are packing.
A bonus is that is at least one person in camp usually volunteers to keep it going or ready to light.
It's a great gift.

Rotator Cuff Injury Prevention

Kayaking can put the shoulder at risk to sprain and in some cases dislocation. Injury can occur when paddling force on the shoulder occurs outside the power position or when the hands cross the midline or extend beyond the shoulder line. As well muscle tears can occur if the kayaker periodically works the shoulder in a stressful position overhead, much like a baseball pitcher.
The picture above(photo by Ken Whiting)highlights the need to keep that rectangular space between the hands.

Individuals who are at risk to shoulder injury or have had early warning signs would be well advised to include a programme of exercises that target rotator cuff stabilizers. Kayakers should be aware that pain can lead to selective neural inhibition and resultant localized weakness. Some individuals may need a specific training program focused on neural control as opposed to generic strengthening. Included in this post are some suggestions for kayakers who have shoulder pain.
1. get feedback on your technique and shoulder positioning in the kayak
2. seek advice from a health care professional
3. keep in mind the mechanics of movements or biomechanics; many sports tasks including kayaking require shoulder abduction with end range lateral rotation. while stability is critical in this position (think also swimming and tennis swing) the lateral rotators can be quite weak in this end range position. It may be quite useful to train in the inner range first.
4. consider isolated activation of rotator cuff muscles first
5. learn to avoid unwanted activity of the deltoid muscle
6. utilize retraining techniques and mental imagery or visualization.
7. alter training method - start with isometrics,progress into lateral rotation at various angles of abduction.
8. If in the eccentric phase, focus on control and carry out slowly.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Night shot of St.John's

What a month it has been! The next few entries will have to be on treatment of all
the muscle and joint dysfunctions that have been brought on by transporting tons of
snow from one end of the sidewalk to the other.