It was all smooth sailing this time around as Peter Yates and Harold Moore tacked on another leg to their sea kayaking adventures along Newfoundland’s south coast.
The two Corner Brook men have taken a week or so each of the last three summers to paddle a portion of the rugged and remote coastline.
Two years ago, they and fellow kayakers stroked their way from Harbour Le Cou to Burgeo, a distance of close to 100 kilometres. In 2013, Yates and Moore went off on their own from Burgeo to Hermitage on the eastern coast of the Connaigre Peninsula, about twice the distance from the previous year.
Last month, the two were joined by Peter Thurlow as they left Hermitage and made their way along the coastline to the beach of Frenchman’s Cove Provincial Park, just south of Garnish on the Burin Peninsula. This year’s voyage was around 192 kilometres.
Other than a bit of rain one evening, Yates said the weather and sea conditions were fantastic. He said they did have to offer up some assistance to the rookie in their group when some waves knocked the less-experienced Thurlow over, but never had any serious mishaps.
They may have kept close to the coastline for most of the journey, but Yates said there were a couple of lengthy open bay crossings that were between 12 and 14 kms long.
The scenery offered up highlights around every turn of the rocky shores, said Yates, and they saw lots of marine life such as whales and a large sunfish. They did have encounters with some marine life that they hadn’t experience before, including witnessing a marlin launch itself out of the sea at one point.
“That was kind of shocking to see,” said Yates. “We weren’t expecting that.”
The other new experience was finally being able to catch some codfish, of which Yates caught three. They had only been able to hook a few mackerel during previous attempts to take advantage of the recreational food fishery.
The feed of fresh fish was a welcome change of pace from the packed foods they had to eat at their remote campsites. So were the early morning cheeseburgers from the takeout in Rencontre East in Belle Bay. Yates said he hopes to keep picking off portions of the Newfoundland coastline every year until he’s seen it all.
Next summer, he, Moore and whoever else joins them plan to launch from the beach at Frenchman’s Cove and go deep into Placentia Bay, completing the coastline of the Burin Peninsula.