the website of Greg Stamer

Next stop, “the Rock”…

Posted by Greg on March 18, 2008

Greg Stamer off “The Rock” (Newfoundland) 2007. Photo by Freya Hoffmeister. (click on image to see enlargement)

Hello and Welcome to my new blog and website!

For a few weeks this site will be under heavy construction but please stop by and view the changes. In addition to sharing my thoughts on life and kayaking in this blog, this site will allow you to follow my progress on kayaking trips.

I must admit that I’m not completely comfortable with the humility aspect of having a domain name in my own name, and having my face sprawled across a website. If you are put off by this, then I hope that you find the content to be down-to-earth and interesting.

My next long adventure is a solo circumnavigation of Newfoundland, planned to start June 2008. I hope that you will follow me virtually around Newfoundland and freely share your comments. I will be using an NDK Greenlander Pro and Superior Kayaks carbon Greenland paddles. Many thanks to Sea Kayaking UK and also my friend Tom Bergh of Maine Island Kayak company for help with the logistics of obtaining a kayak for the trip. Please see my complete sponsor list for the people and companies that make my trips possible.

Karel Vissel, who provided weather reports for my trip around Iceland will be providing weather assistance on this trip as well. Thanks Karel!

Derrick Mayoleth will be updating my blog entries from satellite phone text messages that I send nightly. Thanks Derrick! I will be adding my own blog entries and uploading images as I find internet access during my journey.

Press Release:

Greg Stamer will be undertaking an unsupported, solo, sea kayak circumnavigation of Newfoundland, “the Rock”, Canada’s easternmost province, starting from St. John’s in June, 2008. This adventure is more than 1,700 miles around one of the most windswept locations in North America. Newfoundland is also one of the world’s most beautiful kayaking destinations with Icebergs, seals, puffins, breaching humpback whales, sea caves and a formidable rocky coastline. Abandoned fishing villages dot the coast.
Greg fell in love with Newfoundland and its people while teaching kayaking at a symposium there in 2007. “The country has a raw, primal beauty. Never before had I seen so many sea caves to play in, or so many thousands of birds, such as what I witnessed at Cape St. Mary’s in the Avalon Peninsula. Likewise the people are among the friendliest that I have ever met and would literally give you the shirt off their back if you were in true need. During my stay there I was offered berth in houses, inside cabins of ships and inside trailers. While I plan to stay in the wilds as much as possible, I know that interacting with the people of Newfoundland will be one of the greatest highlights of my journey. Winds will be a challenge as will the toll of long, high-mileage days”.

During his Iceland circumnavigation with trip partner Freya Hoffmeister last year, Greg completed two crossings of 90km, and 100km, the latter requiring more than 22 hours to complete. Neither of these crossings had been completed by kayak before. For the Newfoundland expedition Greg will be again be kayaking headland to headland, and making a number of challenging crossings, but he will also allow himself to be seduced into visiting the country’s beautiful bays and historic sites, including the ancient Viking settlement at L’Anse aux Meadows. Greg is president of Qajaq USA (http://www.qajaqusa.org), an organization devoted to promoting Greenland-style paddling. As he did while circumnavigating Iceland, Greg will use Greenland-style paddles for his Newfoundland expedition.

  1. Michael Bradley Said,

    Welcome to the sordid world of blogging, Greg! I’m very excited to hear of your Newfoundland trip plans. As you already know, there’s no better place to paddle on the continent and no finer folks to meet along the way. You never know, we may meet up at some point along the way… All the best!

  2. Dawn Stewart Said,

    Welcome to the world of kayak blogging. I have wonderful memories of my month long expedition to the South West coast of Newfoundland in 2003. Take the time to enjoy the scenery and the people, it’ll be well worth it.

  3. alex pak Said,

    Best of luck Greg. We’ll all be rooting for you.

  4. Ron Olsen Said,

    Looking forward to reading of your travels. And your thoughts!

  5. Stevie Said,

    It’s about time you started blogging. I hope it doesn’t take time away from your qajaqusa reponsibilties:-)

    Good luck on the Newfy expedition.

    I’m planning a circumnavigation just north of NF, Anticosti Isl. in 2009.


  6. Olivier Said,

    Welcome to the blogging world !
    I’m looking forward to read your Newfoundland navigation

  7. Stevie Said,

    Did I say Anticosti was just north of NF?
    East of NF

  8. Greg Stamer Said,

    Thanks for the welcome, everyone! I think that blogging will prove to be an interesting experience. I don’t plan to be as prolific as, say, Derrick or Wenley — but I am looking forward to sharing my thoughts, writing, photography and trips with you on this blog!

  9. cooldoctor1 Said,

    I have added you to my list of the kayaking blogs that I read. Derrick, Wenley, and now you. Three. That’s all my information on the world of kayaking.

    Don’t forget to post the occasional scantily clad contortionist like Sir Wenley. It keeps things on the up and up.

  10. Richard Hayes Said,

    Just couldn’t resist after the Retreat, and that trip around Cape St. Mary’s, could ya ;->))

    Should be a wonderful experience – this island is absolutely one of the most unique and beautiful places on the face of the earth, and our coastline and ocean among the world’s most spectacular and challenging. Anyone who’s successfully circumnavigated Newfoundland by kayak has taken an extraodinary journey thru an environment and a society that’s truly one of the last, best places…

    Be interesting to follow your journey…if there is anything we might do to help with information, logistics, etc., drop us an ‘e’…

  11. Medicineman Said,

    As a former student I’m proud to say I knew you when! Well before you became a blogger 🙂
    Good luck and Godspeed in your venture. Also nice to see you’ll be proving the mettle of the GP on yet another major circumnavigation.
    I look forward to armchair paddling with you and enjoying all the tales of derring do and the pictures to come.

  12. Scott L Said,

    Greg – through my eyes, you were always “The Quiet Man” (John Wayne) to Freya’s Maureen O’Hara and for that quiet strength you exhibit, I offer my support and fond wishes that you find your own peace on this journey. Man – I wish I could go!!!!!!!!! Alas, though, but my skills fall short while my incessant chatter would soon result in an EVAC flight home!! 😉

    As CoolDoctor said above – the same goes for me as Derrick’s and your blog are my only blog bookmarks. (with the exception of fine Wendy Killoran’s of course!!)

    Fair winds and following seas, Greg!!


  13. Bob Kelim Said,

    Greg, Looking forward to this.
    Best of luck,

  14. Leslie Wells Said,

    Hi Greg,

    Great to hear you are coming back to the Rock! It was a pleasure meeting you at the KNL Kayaker’s Retreat last May. All the best in your journey. Please contact me if you feel KNL may be of any assistance to you.


  15. Roy Said,

    Good Luck and common sence, fair winds and good food
    I wish you friendly waters and clear skys. (actually it is usually nicer to have the soft clouds, but doesn;t sound very good to wish cloudy skys)

    Best wishes

  16. John March Said,

    He Greg,

    With Dawn and Dan Colodney, who died this year of cancer, we did the Southwest coast and spent some time in the Bay of Exploits. Loved every minute of the trip and also the people we met along the way. One of the joys of the trip was discovering the Newfoundland poet, Michael Crummey. Thought you like this:

    All the best,


    Michael Crummey

    From: Arguments With Gravity. Kingston, Ont.: Quarry Press, 1996.

    I thought I was following a track of freedom
    and for awhile it was

    Adrienne Rich

    Consider the earnestness of pavement
    its dark elegant sheen after rain,
    its insistence on leading you somewhere

    A highway wants to own the landscape,
    it sections prairie into neat squares
    swallows mile after mile of countryside
    to connect the dots of cities and towns,
    to make sense of things

    A river is less opinionated
    less predictable
    it never argues with gravity
    its history is a series of delicate negotiations with
    time and geography

    Wet your feet all you want
    Hericlitus says,
    it’s never the river you remember;
    a road repeats itself incessantly
    obsessed with its own small truth,
    it wants you to believe in something particular

    The destination you have in mind when you set out
    is nowhere you have ever been;
    where you arrive finally depends on
    how you get there,
    by river or by road

  17. Greg Said,

    Thanks everyone. I’m a bit overwhelmed at the support that you folks have given in your comments! I fell in love with both Newfoundland and its people last year, and I have no doubt that I made the right choice to return to Newfoundland this summer. It’s a place that I expect that I will want to return to often. There are still a number of large and small things that must fall into place before I’m ready to leave — find a roommate to help pay the mortgage while I’m gone, automate the payment of bills and countless smaller chores. But each day I get a little excited about starting the trip!

    I’ll be creating a separate page for the Newfoundland trip. I’ll also post some gallery images from last year of the trip that Freya and I enjoyed along the Avalon peninsula.

  18. Neil Burgess Said,

    Great site, Greg! Looking forward to seeing you again this summer. You can count on Newfoundland paddlers for all kinds of support, hospitality and verbal abuse!

    Good luck with your planning. Just let us know if there is anything you need help with.


  19. Mariam Said,

    Hi Greg,

    You site is just fantastic !
    Thank you so much for the Greenland training classes for our club. I got down my shot gun roll on the 2nd try.
    Enjoyed the classes & learned SO much !!.
    If there is anything that Ken & I can do while you’re gone, please do not hesitate, we’re next door.

    With Best Wishes

  20. Greg Stamer Said,

    Thanks Mariam! Congrats on your shot-gun roll! I enjoyed teaching the classes and look forward to sharing tales of Newfoundland with the Mosquito Lagoon Paddlers when I return home! Preparations are going well. I fly off to Wales to teach at the Anglesey symposium on 5/25 and when I return I make final preparations for Newfoundland, to start in early June.

  21. Rudyard (Ruddy) Said,

    Your site is Excellent! I learned so much from you at the Greenland paddle techniques sessions you taught in April, your teaching style and patience is admirable! I’m refining my standard roll and now working on the Butterfly, Shotgun and Storm rolls. I wish you good weather in Wales and of course Newfoundland. I look forward to the pictures and updates, it should be exciting. I and I’m sure many others from Mosquito Lagoon Paddlers will be watching your progress closely. I offer any support you could ask locally, especially since we are practically neighbors.

    Thanks and Fair Seas,


  22. Greg Said,

    Ruddy, Thanks for the comments and I look forward to working with you on kayaking skills in the future.

    Hey — I enjoyed the “going away party” last night with you and local kayaking/canoe buddies. I’ll be happy to swap more stories (and lies ;^) with you over Guinness and Laphroaig, when I return from Newfoundland….