Sunday, September 13, 2009

Aquaforte Paddle

About 40 of us carefully invaded the community of Aquaforte for this traditional end of the season paddle. This is a fishing community, so fishing vessels and other boats are frequently coming and going. We launched from a long beach, which is a small spit extending into the west end of this part of the harbour. We managed to putter around this end of the harbour while waiting for the whole group. Since the tide was high we were able to paddle close to shore where the East Coast trail extends. A group managed to paddle a short distance up the Aquaforte river. Once we were beyond the initial launch site we hugged the southern shore and explored the many rocky features and inlets. I can't remember the source but my recollection from someone knowledgeable in the area, was that Aquaforte Harbour was often favoured as a safe haven for many early arrivals from Britain; this partly was due to the deep waters of the harbour, as well as it's safe location. Apparently between 1675 and 1715 Aquaforte supported a seaonal fishery particularly from the UK. But the surrounding areas in particular Ferryland(which we could easily see as we headed out from the harbour, around Spurwink Island) was a hub of fishing activity from Spain, Portugal and English as early as 1500 on an annual basis.
Although we don't see any evidence of the whale fishery, in 1902 a norwegian made an application to build a factory to process whales.
The name Aquaforte is more than likely a reference to the only strong or fast water we saw or have seen over the years - the fair sized local waterfalls on the north side. No doubt it was even greater in it's capacity at the time Aquaforte was named or it may be that after a finding refuge in this otherwise calm harbour it was striking to come across this fair sized waterfall.
On our return we got a kick out of watching a gull give a bald eagle a bit of a hard time.I don't know if this was typical gull behaviour but I thought it a bit odd that this particular gull was picking a fight with an eagle.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Birchy Bay to Chapel and Coal All Island

This was an excellent paddle with a great group. Mixed conditions made for a varied day. Started out drizzling rain, cold and calm. Shortly after starting the sun broke out and winds kicked up for a while.

Indian Neck to Comfort Cove

The islands in this whole region provided a fair bit of protection and allowed lots of opportunity to rock hop if you were so inclined.
Incredible areas to explore and the chance to move in and out of every small cove likely extended the estimated 15 km distance quite a bit further.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Notre Dame Bay getaway

What a weekend!! - our central NL kayakers went beyond this weekend. The organizers did a great job. A major source of support was the town of Lewisporte and a number of donations were made by the office of boating safety and MEC.
Saturday there were three paddles organized. Shots taken are from the 15 km tour from Indian Cove Neck Provincial Park to Comfort Cove. A funny observation I had was that of all the places we visited - the only time I saw a moose was when it ran in front of me on the TCH just outside of Clarenville.
A number of us stayed in Woolfrey's Camping Park - clean sites and a place to all meet and share a barbeque Saturday and Sunday.