Thursday, December 30, 2010

Bothy Bag

Last year there were one or two occasions when we stopped for lunch and a sudden bit of bad weather popped up. We used a tarp which was a great bit of relief and it has become a standard piece of equipment one of us tucks away.
In one of our winter on land discussion/training sessions the Bothy Bag came up as an alternative suggestion. I happened across one online and my son managed to track one down in Glasgow.
Very handy and simple to use. Shake out, pull it over and sit on internal flaps. You can lean back to support the walls and ceiling, without the need for poles. Warms up inside in no time.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Middle Cove

With all the weather action in the last little while I thought a visit to Middle Cove would be in order - I expected there might be some residual heavy seas. It turned out to be just a nice hike. Unfortunately,I expect some communities on the southern shore may have sustained the worst of the storm surge a few days ago.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

What a year we had.
Kayaking in NL has seen us all over this year - sometimes paddling a lot, hiking and camping. Big event or small, quick dip or a long trip - the kayaking season, which is pretty much year round has been a chance to reconnect with friends, meet new folks and on a few occasions introduce new people to the sport.
As a number of friends have said: any day on the water is a good day.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Lunar eclipse

Winter Solstice Lunar Eclipse from William Castleman on Vimeo.

I was up at 0330hrs this morning but the view of the lunar eclipse was blocked by cloud cover. I could see the star on Signal Hill but that was about it.

Thankfully William Castleman was up and around with a good view.

Mariners have always kept an eye to the sky and this event was well known even in the 1600's. Remarkably it last occurred on December 21st in 1638 according to those who follow these things and won't occur again until 2094.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

China's Terracotta Warriors - ROM

If you get a chance catch this exhibition hosted by the Royal Ontario Museum(ROM), before it leaves in January.
It was quite extraordinary. I found the exhibit fascinating - the kneeling archer pictured is one of 300 or so found in the original pits. The curator Dr.Chen Shen and staff, provided an extensive background of information regarding the Qin army and Chinese history.
The actual pits were discovered accidentally near the tomb of the warrior emperor.
The photo is from the ROM website; which I acknowledge borrowing. More information is available at:

Gift for Christmas

This year a few of us at work joined together to purchase a goat, chicken and rooster for someone at Christmas.

You don't have to wait for Christmas - it can be a great thank you.

But Christmas was our choice this year - and one of a number of good ways to divert some holiday spending.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Mummering just outside of St. John's

Mummering is a Newfoundland Christmas tradition that is a great bit of fun especially in smaller communities. Locals disguise themselves in outrageous costumes and go door to door spreading good cheer. The hosts attempt to guess who they are behind the outfits. The whole event usually involves singing a number of tunes.
Part of the fun is that no piece of clothing, sheets or other gear is safe from use -so kayak equipment and good suits are stored if you don't want them used.

Exercise before breakfast is the best

Here is an interesting study that supports trying to get in that early morning run.
This research may not make it any easier for me to get out on the street before
0600 hrs but, it does provide some physiological motivation.

J Physiol. 2010 Nov 1;588(Pt 21):4289-302.
Training in the fasted state improves glucose tolerance during fat-rich diet.
Van Proeyen K, Szlufcik K, Nielens H, Pelgrim K, Deldicque L, Hesselink M, Van Veldhoven PP, Hespel P.

Research Centre for Exercise and Health, Department of Biomedical Kinesiology, K.U. Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.

A fat-rich energy-dense diet is an important cause of insulin resistance. Stimulation of fat turnover in muscle cells during dietary fat challenge may contribute to maintenance of insulin sensitivity. Exercise in the fasted state markedly stimulates energy provision via fat oxidation. Therefore, we investigated whether exercise training in the fasted state is more potent than exercise in the fed state to rescue whole-body glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity during a period of hyper-caloric fat-rich diet. Healthy male volunteers (18-25 y) received a hyper-caloric (∼+30% kcal day(-1)) fat-rich (50% of kcal) diet for 6 weeks. Some of the subjects performed endurance exercise training (4 days per week) in the fasted state (F; n = 10), whilst the others ingested carbohydrates before and during the training sessions (CHO; n = 10). The control group did not train (CON; n = 7). Body weight increased in CON (+3.0 ± 0.8 kg) and CHO (+1.4 ± 0.4 kg) (P < 0.01), but not in F (+0.7 ± 0.4 kg, P = 0.13). Compared with CON, F but not CHO enhanced whole-body glucose tolerance and the Matsuda insulin sensitivity index (P < 0.05). Muscle GLUT4 protein content was increased in F (+28%) compared with both CHO (P = 0.05) and CON (P < 0.05). Furthermore, only training in F elevated AMP-activated protein kinase α phosphorylation (+25%) as well as up-regulated fatty acid translocase/CD36 and carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1 mRNA levels compared with CON (∼+30%). High-fat diet increased intramyocellular lipid but not diacylglycerol and ceramide contents, either in the absence or presence of training. This study for the first time shows that fasted training is more potent than fed training to facilitate adaptations in muscle and to improve whole-body glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity during hyper-caloric fat-rich diet.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Kayak roll

This is a very smooth and nicely photographed roll sequence.
Thanks to the Qajaq tutorial folks.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Dan Ackroyd, NL and Yogi Bear

I am not a big vodka drinker but purchased a couple of the crystal heads as gifts and for guests over the summer - now will use some for the holidays. It was a bigger incentive because of the NL connection.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Merry Christmas

KNL celebrated their Christmas party at the Crow's Nest last night. A great turnout and a good start for the Christmas season. The Crow's Nest is best thought of as a naval museum with a bar and dining room. Many stories and still functioning perioscope that has a view of the harbour. The periscope came from a German U boat that surrendered to HMCS Victoriaville in May 1945 off the coast of Newfoundland. The periscope had been resting in Halifax so it is quite the coup that a number of officers managed to obtain and mount it in the Crow's Nest.
Lots of kayaking stories and catching up plus great photo selection from a years