KayakVagabond

the website of Greg Stamer

Archive for June, 2008

Crossed St. Mary’s Bay

Posted by derrick on June 20, 2008

pointlance525
(Point Lance)

Yesterday Greg Crossed St. Mary’s Bay coping with strong currents and quarting winds the whole way.  He is now staying in Point Lance (population 119), under the care of Orinda & Jerry.   N46 48.7 W54 05.1 -  53K day.

map 4

St. Mary’s Bay is about 25 miles wide and 36 miles deep and lined with many small communities. For a bit of history about life on the bay read:

- Branch, St. Mary’s Bay in pre-confederation Newfoundland

- History of St. Mary’s

Message from Greg:  I was greeted by Benedictine on an ATV as I sorted my gear. The residents remember Freya and I landing in the town last year to use the phone at “Bennie’s” house. Many thanks to Jerry and Orinda for their hospitality!  Not only did they give me a fine dinner, a warm bed,  and breakfast but Jerry drove into town to purchase some marine caulk to use for kayak repairs. Jerry refused any payment and I will never forget their kindness.

Westward ho!

Posted by derrick on June 19, 2008

 Covered Wagon

From Greg: N46 37.2 W53 32.7 Westward ho! Rounded Cape Race and crossed Trepassey Bay. 70km. Many seals. Beautiful moonrise over sea.

Map 3

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Each day I as soon as I open my email I see our new map and update from Greg waiting. . thanks Karel!  It’s amazing what you can do when you have people working on the same projects from a variety of time zones!

* top image: Library of Congress

Cappahayden

Posted by derrick on June 18, 2008

map 2

From Greg Today:

N 46 52.7 W52 56.1 Cappahayden. Early fog turned to sun. Seas much calmer. Huge iceberg in Renews Hbr. Enjoyed some “fizzing” 3,000 year old ice, originated as snow in Greenland, plucked from the water as I paddled. Camp on ridge overlooking sea.

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56.1 Kilometers comes out to about 35 miles. So. . Here’s today’s trivia: Cappahayden is actually half of an amalgamated fishing village now called Renews-Cappahayden with a population of about 400 or so. If you Google “Cappahayden” you’ll find that Cappahayden dating websites come in at #5 & #10 in the search. And wouldn’t you know, Greg spent the night up on the ridge. . .

Witless. . .

Posted by derrick on June 17, 2008
map 1 to witless bay
Greg checks in. . .
N 47 17 W 52 48. 40KM. Quidi Vidi to Witless Bay. Lumpy, confused seas. Challenging along Cape Spear & cliffs to south. Rain and light fog. 3 icebergs in view thru tent door.
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Greg is using a SAT Phone along the way to keep us up to date. Designed a bit like a 1980′s cellphone it takes forever to just key out short messages. By the way, in case you were curious Witless Bay is not a comentary on the residents. The story goes that Captain Whittle and his family from Dorsetshire, England founded the community. Then on his passing his family returned to England. Hence, the remaining settlers referred to Whittle’s Bay as Whittle less Bay and eventually, Witless Bay. Well, maybe that’s a bit of reach but that’s what the guidebook says!

greg’s going south. . .

Posted by derrick on June 16, 2008
greg-iceberg1-nb.jpg

Hi All! Greg is on his way. Here’s this from Neil Burgess. . . .

Greg started his trip at 10:00 this morning and headed south from St. John’s around Cape Spear (the most easterly point in North America). Light NE winds, light rain, 8 degrees C, 1-metre seas.

The photo above is of Greg out paddling with Kayak Newfoundland & Labrador club yesterday at Cape Broyle (which he will probably pass by again later today).

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Cape Spear as Neil said is the most easterly point in North America and is a national historic site in Canada. The Cape Spear Lighthouse is oldest remaining light in Newfoundland and has been restored to it’s mid-19th century glory. You can read more here.

Good luck Greg, stay warm, stay safe and always stay a sociably acceptable distance from icebergs. . . .

Underway…

Posted by Greg on June 16, 2008

Yesterday I paddled with KNL (kayak Newfoundland Labrador) on a daytrip to Cape Broyle harbour. It was good to get out, test my kayak, see some old friends and make some new. Cold, foggy and wet, but we were greeted by two Icebergs off the coast. The “Pro” felt great — surfs like a demon with a following sea, and a good fit (although I was squirming my toes a bit).

Fortunately my third gear bag arrived from Newark, and I was up past midnight outfitting the kayak (installing North Water cockpit bags and under the deck bag), etc.  Thanks to Neil and Isabelle for treating me to a feast of traditional seal flipper pie!

It’s raining now at 9:00am, and is forecast to rain for the next two days. I am expecting to get a late start on the water and make this an easy “shakedown” day, prior to “finding my groove” and getting up to full speed.

It seems that my cell phone — using the Roger’s network, won’t do me much good outside of a few major towns, but I am traveling with a satellite phone and will be sending daily updates. It’s fantastic to finally be setting off!

Luggage Blues…

Posted by Greg on June 14, 2008

Tom Petty summed it up best in his song, “…the waiting is the hardest part…”.   Continental airlines “misplaced” one of my three gear bags. Since I need the contents to outfit my kayak, each day the bag hasn’t arrived will result in a day’s delay. There is only one flight by that airline into St. John’s nightly.  The flight last night was cancelled.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the bag has been found and will be delivered tonight. That said, this is just a part of traveling that you have to take in stride…

Immigration interviewed me for quite some time when I landed Thursday night. Apparently the combination of a one-way ticket and staying 60+ days, spelled “trouble”. I was asked a number of interesting questions such as “what kind of work do you do that allows you to take 2 month vacations?  Where will you sleep and stay along the way?  Why are you travelling around the island?”  My unspecific answers, “I will paddle until I find a beautiful spot and then camp”, didn’t fit nicely into the safe, strict ininerary that the officer wanted to hear. Eventually, though the officer smiled and said “have a nice trip”.

Airborne…

Posted by Greg on June 12, 2008

Bags are packed, I fly out of Orlando this morning, and will arrive in St. John’s Newfoundland just before midnight. Many thanks to Neil Burgess and Isabelle for hosting me in St. John’s! The new luggage fees are making these trips more expensive. One bag is free, the second is $25.00 and the third is $100.00. Ouch! I didn’t want to risk shipping items by ground and having duty charged, or worse, the items held in customs.

It will take two days to outfit my kayak and purchase some food and other items that was not practical to carry on the plane. If preparations and weather cooperates, I will be on the water next Sunday! The waiting is difficult — I want to be out there!