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April 2011 Pre-season trips

With less then a week left before the season opens we are all getting on the water more and more. Over the last week a good number of ECO guides and some of the guides in training headed down to Lower Prospect and checked to see what has changed over the winter months. We managed to get on the water just about every day, heavy winds / thunder on the 21st kept us off the water, and after about four hours on the water Friday we decided to take Saturday off. Below are the routes we took and a quick description of each trip. At the very bottom there is a short video with clips from each trip.

April 16th, 2011 – Betty Island Beach

With swell under two meters and light winds Kirk, Dan and I headed out to check out the beach on the back of Betty island. We headed out from ECO past Roger power island and Shannon island out towards the buoy marking the channel between Shannon and Betty. We paused there to say hi to one of the local Lobster fishermen before heading on to the lee side of Betty for a quick stop off at the beach. After a quick break on the beach we headed towards the tip of Hearn, taking a few opportunities to play on some rocks. Rounding the corner of hearn we headed back to base, going through Cub Basin, through the narrows and past otter island. An awesome sunny paddle.

April 18th, 2011 – Roger Power Island and the Narrows

April 18th we had some rather serious waves. The Halifax Harbor buoy reported swell at 3.1 meters (~10 feet) every 8 seconds. Luckily there were light winds and it was a nice sunny day. Guides Erin, Kirk and I headed out with Guide in Training Corynn. Kirk and I were in the mood to do some playing so we headed out to Hermit Crab beach on the back of Roger power island. This is an ideal spot to look out into some of the rougher water from a protected and safe location. After a quick discussion Kirk and I headed out into the waves. It wasn’t very organized so we had some trouble catching any good surfs but we managed some rock hopping and general crazyness. You can check out the little video clip we put together on youtube. After getting tossed about in the waves for a bit everyone decided to do some calmer paddling and headed for otter island and the narrows. There was a rather strong current running through the narrows which was fun to see.

April 19th, 2011 – Wreck cove to the Window

It might have been a cloudy day but the air was warm and there wasn’t much wind so I set out with guide in training Jessyca. We launched from Wreck cove just across from the ECO boathouse and headed out past Woody island and Ryan’s gut to a small opening between Norris island and Marrs island we like to call the window. It’s an excellent spot where you can sit in calm flat water and watch the crashing waves just across a little line of rocks. After watching the swell for a while we headed back towards Lower Prospect and the government wharf. The tide was just barely high enough so we were able to squeeze under the bridge in Lower Prospect and head back around to the boathouse.

April 20th, 2011 – Wreck cove to Norris’ gut

Expecting a storm on the 21st, we headed back out on the 20th even though it was a little cloudy and windy. I headed out with guide in training Kelly. Again launching from Wreck cove we headed out towards Lower Prospect village, but instead of going to the window we hung a slight right to get out of the wind and looked out Norris’ gut which has an excellent view of one of the most active spots around Lower Prospect, a long thin rock just under the water creates a long breaking wave in almost any sea state. Since the water is always moving in that area it is sometimes referred to as “The move”. After taking a quick peek we turned around and headed up through Ryans gut and back to the boathouse. As we turned the corner from Ryans gut the sun came out and we were treated to the classic beautiful Lower Prospect sunset. Great way to end a work day.

April 22nd, 2011 – Marrs island to Wreck cove

On good Friday the sun was shinning and the wind was calm, with some of us having the day off we planned a longer paddle out to Marrs island for lunch and then back in through Lower Prospect to Wreck cove. ECO Guides Dan, Kirk, Eleanor, Sean, Erin and I launched from the dock around noon. This was not my first paddle of the day, I started the day in Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia in my whitewater boat surfing at 7am. The group headed out past the move and then down up the coast a bit turning in at Norris’ gut headed for the beach on Marrs island. After a nice delightful lunch we headed back out to a little shoal just off of Marrs island and played around a little bit. After some great surfs and seal launches we headed on to Lower Prospect village on our way to wreck cove. As we rounded the corner into wreck cove Kirk and I got sight of the waves breaking on the rock that sits in the middle of Wreak cove. Quite quickly we were rock hopping and surfing to our hearts content. I put together a little video of our fun set to some epic music. Around 4pm we headed back to the boathouse and sat on the dock and enjoyed a little lunch in the sun. There are few things better then relaxing on the ECO dock on a nice summer afternoon.

April 24th, 2011 – Back bay cruise

The forecast had called for rain and high winds, but around midday the skys cleared so we quickly organized a Easter sunday paddle. Full of chocolate and other sugarie confections guides in training Kelly and Jessyca headed out with me. We decided to take a nice calm, flat cruise into Back bay. Going past Otter island we headed for what head guide Lisa has deemed porch island. Rounding the corner of porch island we headed past some lobster traps and a nice dolphin statue along the water. Weaving through some of the little islands at the entrance of Back bay we decided to go up towards the narrows then across to otter island and back to base. All together, a nice calm paddle and a great way to end a long weekend.

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3 Responses to “April 2011 Pre-season trips”

  1. Very much appreciate your illustrated journals. Am intrigued by the cold weather kit being worn.

  2. David,

    Most of the guides pictured are wearing Level Six dry suits (http://www.levelsix.com/) The guides in training are all wearing 2/3mm wet suits + additional wool/synthetic layers. Normally during the winter months I would have the following.

    - Drysuits (Level 6) 2 layers of fleece and one wicking layer 2 layers of wool socks
    - PFD w/knife, whistle,compass,flare (Hydraulics)
    - Neopreen Hoodie (IR)
    - Whitewater Helmet (Predator)
    - NRS Toaster Mitts
    - Towbelt (Level 6)
    - Cowtail (Level 6)
    - Firstaid Kit in dry container
    - Cellphone in dry bag
    - VHF Radio * don’t have this yet need to get my license, should have this hopefully within a month or so
    - Spare paddle
    - Hot Drink (Tea/Hot Chocolate)
    - Water
    - Sunglasses (especially when surfing)
    - Spare food (small snack)
    - Spare dry clothes
    - Chart of the area

    I also always leave a float plan with a friend who is staying on land. It includes who is going, what boats, where we are going and when we will be back by and how we can be contacted while on the water.

  3. In addition to the cold weather wear & kayaking safety, I have made of list of other things I carry why I Guide trips… http://acadiankayaker.blogspot.com/2010/07/my-gear-review.html

    Excellent Posts Karl!!!!

    Dan