Monday, July 05, 2010

Bellevue Peninsula -- What a Day!

This day is a perfect example of fabulous paddling in Newfoundland! Tony and Leslie organized a paddle around the Bellevue Peninsula in Trinity Bay. About a 90-minute drive from St. John's.

We started out in a calm lagoon behind Belluvue Beach. After a getting around a shallow gravel bed, we headed out through the gap in the beach into Trinity Bay. Below are Ysabelle and Leslie waiting for Dave Mac and Melissa to launch their boats.

The shoreline started out with rocky bluffs and stunted spruce. Below is Darren.

It was a warm day, so Ysabelle used my bow to cool off.

Soon the cliffs started to get higher.
Below is Tony Lee. He took some nice photos of the day, which you can check out on his website (

Soon after we started out, a minke whale came by to check us out. The whale came in for a close look. Then we started bumping 3 or 4 bald eagles up the shoreline. Below Darren takes a close look at an adult eagle.

And the cliffs just got higher. Brian provides good scale below.

When we rounded the north end of the peninsula, out came the sun! The day became even more beautiful.

We headed for lunch on a cobble beach, just southeast of the point.

Nothing whets the appetite like warm sun and an enjoyable paddle with friends.

Basking on warm rock.
After lunch, the rock hopping got better on the paddle south to Thornlea.
Towards the end of the afternoon, a bit of a head wind came up, which made us work a bit more to reach Thornlea. I highly recommend this location for a day paddle (25 km), when the seas are calm and the winds low. We saw whales, eagles by the dozen, mink, osprey, and lots of seabirds. Great rock hopping in a gentle swell, pocket beaches, high cliffs and clear waters. You just have have to love it!

Friday, July 02, 2010

Paddling Around Cape Spear on Canada Day

July 1st is Canada Day, so we decided to paddle around the easternmost point in Canada to celebrate the day. Luckily Hazen brought his camera along, so all these photos are his.

We set out from Maddox Cove and paddled north around Cape Spear. As we past North Head and approached Cape Spear, the swell was rebounding off the cliffs producing big, confused seas. Some of the group was getting queasy with all the bouncing around, but we continued bravely on.

Here's the view of the Cape Spear lighthouse as we paddled by.

We stopped for lunch at Blackhead. It was a good chance to get ashore and let the queasy stomaches settle down.

Here's the group with our Canada Day smiles (l to r: Joy, Neil, Hazen, Gary (in back) and Ysabelle).

Here's the stern of Hazen's kayak emblazened with the Canadian flag.

We got back on the water and set off for Freshwater Bay. Luckily, the seas were much calmer after passing Cape Spear.

Here are Ysabelle and myself paddling from Blackhead toward Freshwater Bay.

Here we are paddling towards Signal Hill and the Narrows. The Fort Amherst lighthouse is on the left and Cabot Tower is on top of the hill.

We noticed a major improvement in water quality outside the Narrows now that the St. John's sewage treatment plant has started operation.
We finished up in Quidi Vidi, the historical small harbour at the north end of St. John's.

It's also home to Quidi Vidi Brewery, in the background of the photo of Ysabelle.

Thanks to Hazen, Joy, Gary and Ysabelle for a great Canada Day paddle!