Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Paddle Canada Atlantic Paddling Symposium 2011

After waiting for it for months, the 2011 Paddling Symposium has now come and gone. Unfortunately, I did not take nearly as many pictures or videos as I had originally intended so now I have to rely on my own memory. So, in the words of Bender, the crass robot in Futurama, "We're boned!!"

Getting there is NOT half the fun!!
My first session was Greenland paddling with Maligiaq Padilla. When it comes to Greenland paddling, Maligiaq is one of the best in the world. By way of background, Canoe and Kayak published a great article on him back in Feb of this year.
Saturday AM at Sandy Pond. Cold, windy and wet!

Maligiaq demonstrating his preferred loom length.

Maligiaq and students on Sandy Pond
On Sunday AM, I headed off to Sandy Cove to take part in a wind management session. The day was almost perfect for this session as there was a pretty stiff breeze blowing once out around the headland.

Sunday AM. Parking lot at Sandy Cove.
There was a number of sessions going on at the same time so there were a lot of boats and people on the beach.

That's a lot of boats. Sandy Cove beach.

Instructor Blair Doyle (NS) at the beginning of the session on Wind Management.

Sunday afternoon, I was back at Sandy Pond for Greenland rolling. By now the weather was breaking a little and the sun was actually trying to shine. When it did, it made all the difference in the world. But for some reason, the water in the pond felt even colder than the day before!!

On Saturday, Maligiaq asked me about my boat. I started to explain how it was designed by an individual (Duane Strosaker) in Califiornia but as soon as I said that, he knew right away who's design it was and that was why it looked familiar to him. He said that he'd never paddled one before but understood it to be fast because he was at another paddling event where Duane won the race.  On Sunday Maligiaq asked to paddle my boat.. When he came back, the first thing he said is "This boat is very fast"!!  Having not paddled a lot of different boat designs, myself, I do not have a good way of gauging a boat's speediness but that was my initial impression when I first paddled this new boat.  I'm taking Maligiaq at his word - he'd know better than me
The funny thing is that Maligiaq is so small, when he sat in my boat, he makes it look huge!!

Sunday PM. Back at Sandy Pond. Maligiaq asked if he could try my boat.
As for the event, as a whole, sure, it's great to take in some instruction, but that's only one component of the Symposium (or Retreat). It's just fun to get out there among so many avid paddlers. There's lots to talk about, new boats to see and old friends to hook up with. We stayed in a house with 11 people. There's was lots of time spent sitting around just yakkin' while enjoying a few drinks, beers and/or wine. The two suppers were excellent. I always leave with great memories of the event and looking forward to coming back next year!

Kudos to the organizers and to all who attended. It was a great time!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Testing. Testing. 1-2-3. Testing.

Finally a chance to give the new boat a good test. On Sunday a group of 8 paddlers left from Bauline en route to Pouch Cove. The total distance was 21.8 kms  by my GPS. Total time in the boat was around 3.5 hrs. There was a variety of conditions ranging from flat water, to swells, to clapotis and even some surf. It was good chance to see how the boat reacted and to see how the new setup would feel after being in the boat for a few hours on end. Everything worked out great.

Thanks to Tony, Dennis, Dean, Stan, Tobias, Gerard and Clyde for a great paddle and here's a few shots from the day. Sorry, not much commentary. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves!

Putting in @ Bauline.

Dennis (l) and Dean (r) inside the breakwater.

Gerard cruising along  . . .

. . . and checking out one of the neat caves we encountered.

Stan in a steady downpour!!

It rained pretty hard - 'nuff said!

Fog rolling down the hills.

Playing in one of the numerous waterfalls along the way.

Dean (l) and Clyde (r) sittin' in the surf.



Tobias (l) and Gerard (r) getting ready to have lunch.

High and dry.

Between a rock and hard place. A little white paint was left behind!

Heading towards Pouch Cove.

Taking out in Pouch Cove #1.

Taking out in Pouch Cove #2