the website of Greg Stamer


Posted by derrick on June 30, 2008
First Internet access! I’m in the public library in Burgeo making the best of a weather day. Strong winds and rain continue to fall. I’m hoping to be off again tomorrow, but time will tell. I visited the local market and am eating everything in sight. Did you know that strawberry and rhubarb pie goes well with Moose and beer? ;^) My original “freeze-dried” meals are gone and I am picking up local fare as I go — including salt cod and moose. I’m eating much higher calorie foods than on my Iceland trip, so haven’t noticed any weight loss. On a tip from Kevin at Travel Country Outdoors (the shop where I work) I have been loading up all my meals with olive oil to add calories.


Body and kayak are doing fine. The first week is the toughest with blisters on my hands forming and sore muscles. Hands are now toughening up and body is growing stronger — welcoming the exercise. A number of people asked me if I would be “lonely” on the trip. The answer has been no. I’m comfortable by myself and have spent my time thinking, squawking at the birds or even singing on the water (good thing no one is around to hear that!) The drawbacks of not having a partner include the added difficulties of hauling the kayak up and over rocks at the end of the day. Also minor issues, like a jammed skeg are no problem with a partner, but become a major nuisance on your own. At one point I contemplated making a “spacewalk” (leaving the cockpit to crawl back or swim to the stern to fix) but ruled it out as too risky and inconvenient. Fortunately the skeg cleared on its own after the kayak pounded through enough waves.


Getting the dayhatch repaired was a big help. Previously it would have about 1/2 gallon of water by the end of the day, adding unnecessary weight and making it a chore to dry gear.


Many thanks to Karel and Derrick for the weather forecasts, Google maps and for blogging my SAT messages. Also thanks to everyone who has posted comments! Your comments are much appreciated and I will reply personally to everyone when the trip is done – Greg


From Greg: N47 36.6 W57 37.1 Burgeo. 47k. Chased off water due to storm. Tent is getting pelted by cold rain & gusty winds. Several close encounters with humpbacks, nice views of their flukes as they sounded. Followed closely for several mins by light-gray dorsal fin. Fin stayed on the surface — didn’t act or swim like a typical dolphin. Shark? Dolphin? Turned quickly to confront and it dove rapidly. I had my paddle prepared to give a strong jab if necessary. Didn’t see again.
  1. keith Said,

    I’ve found sea shanties do the trick for long paddles alone, let me know if you want some lyrics!

    Cape Cod Girls is a favorite of mine, as is Paddy Lay Back.

  2. Michael Bradley Said,

    Enjoy Burgeo Greg! Drop into the local B&B and say hello from me – they’re kayakers! I was well taken care of while there last year about this time. Best wishes!

  3. Wes Said,

    Strawberry and rhubarb pie goes great with everything! I often sing when I’m alone on the water, too – I love belting out Stan Roger’s Barrett’s Privateers (or whatever it’s called). Be well!

  4. russell Said,

    Beer goes well with everything too!How is the olive oil thing working out for you? Are you cold or are you getting enough fat?

  5. Randa Said,

    Rhubarb is a favorite of mine (I used to grow it in my backyard as a kid in Michigan). The song I like to sing while alone on the water (that no one knows about)…”You’ll take the high road, and I’ll take the low road, and I’ll be in Scotland afore ye, for me and my true love will never meet again on the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond” by Lady John Scott. I want to hear you squawking at the birds! The visual in my mind makes me smile. 🙂 And yes, a partner is good for unjamming a skeg. Be safe and sing with wild, uninhibited enthusiasm!

  6. derrick mercer Said,

    Nice meeting you in Burgeo on Monday Greg. I was happy to chat with you and feed you fresh caplin and beer. As I walked the Sandbanks beaches on Tuesday I saw you paddle past and disappear in the fog on your course westward. Would love to have been on the water myself that day. All the best in your quest to paddle around this awesome island.