Monday, June 23, 2008

KNL Father's Day Paddle in Cape Broyle

Every year Alex McGruer leads a club paddle on Father's Day to Cape Broyle. This year we had a good turnout and a great day for an adventure. Greg Stamer had a arrived in St. John's a couple of days before and was getting ready to circumnavigate the island. He decided to come out and join KNL members for the day. Above is Greg in the waterfall near the start.

Here's Isabelle wearing a big smile next to the falls.

This iceberg was just off Lance Cove, so Greg and a bunch of us went out for a look. Below is Kam who was visiting from New York and came along for the fun. He loved the icebergs.

We landed at Lance Cove for lunch. Below is Greg wondering if it's safe to join the lunatics by the damp fire?!

You couldn't find a better crowd of paddlers anywhere. The smiles tell the story. Well ... almost...

After the lunch stop, the group split in two. The more experienced crowd headed out to Church Cove and found big swells and excitement. There was no wind, so it was a perfect learning environment for those with less big-water experience. Despite a bout of sea-sickness by one paddler, there were big smiles all-round once we got back to calmer water and the adrenaline subsided. Stretching your comfort zone in a safe situation with capable mentors provides long-term benefits in terms of paddling experience and self-confidence.
The other half of the group headed straight back for the launch site. On the way, a couple of paddlers capsized and were quickly rescued. One swimmer was wet, cold and unable to continue. Alex took him ashore in Freshwater Cove and got him into dry clothes. Alex called the Coast Guard as a precaution, and they dispatched a power boat from Cape Broyle. The Ocean Predator was on the scene in a very short time and took the mildly hypothermic swimmer back to the wharf. A happy ending to the incident. Honour is due to Alex, Malcolm and Peter for their leadership and sound decision-making. And a big thank-you to the Coast Guard Auxillary Boat Ocean Predator and its crew.
With water temperatures here around 5 degrees Celsius now, even a brief swim in a wetsuit and paddling top can seriously chill a paddler. Rapid response by rescuers ensures a rapid recovery.

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