October 11, 2011

You might be a kayaker if...

You might be a kayaker if...

1. Your Mom has stopped saying "be careful this weekend".

2. "Waterproof" only means "a little damp" or "might-float".

3. Your friends or relatives are shocked when you answer the phone at home on a weekend.

4. Houseguests ask where you got the wooden paddle from.

5. You can't drive over a bridge without looking for water under it.

6. The smell of old polypro doesn't bother you.

7. Driving 800 miles for a weekend on a river or a lake doesn't seem strange to you.

8. Your idea of a complete first aid kit is a roll of duct tape.

9. You use a river trip to wash sand and seaweed from your boat.

10. You choose a new car based on whether or not your rack system will fit it.

11. A dress shirt and tie no longer bother you, because they're looser than a drysuit neck gasket.

12. The sight of a person in a tight rubber suit doesn't seem kinky.

13. You have ever gotten frostbitten and sunburned on the same day.

14. You know which leaves make good toilet paper.

15. You're all dressed up and don't notice that you're being rained on.

16. Every once in a while you touch your paddle, just to touch it.

17. You've never set up a tent when it's light out.

18. You have friends that you don't recognize without their PFD, paddling jacket, and spray skirt.

19. Your dog loves to roll in your pile of paddling clothes.

20. You can ID make and model on a car topped kayak at a quarter mile.

21. All career, personal and financial decisions are judged by the criteria of, "How will this increase my paddling time?"

22. You build a two-car garage addition and you still can't park your car inside.

23. You find yourself humming Weather Channel tunes.

24. You change oil in the campground in the evening because you haven't had a weekend home in so long and you can't afford to pay to have it done.

25. You've lost count of the number of boats you have in your garage or back yard.

26. You've gone boating in conditions where you normally wouldn't go outside.

27. You've toyed with the idea of just leaving your boat and gear loaded on your vehicle. (youve toyed with the idea?!?!?)

28. When you hear about a guy in a skirt you think nothing of it.

29. You divide your life into workdays and kayaking days.

30. You're talking paddling to non-paddlers and not realizing when they've glazed over with boredom or left the room.

31. All your rendezvous and evenings out on the town start/end by meeting with your friends at the river.

32. You start thinking seriously about building a paddle pool in your backyard.

33. After a car wreck, the first thing you check for is damage to your boat.

34. You have a huge plastic storage tub that rides in the back seat to hold your wet clothes.

35. You "pour over" streamflow readings the way a stockbroker scans the markets everyday.

36. You practically salivate at the sound of rainfall.

37. There's no room on your speed-dial for anything but gauge readings and the numbers of people with nicknames like Psycho.

38. "Small craft advisories" make you praise the Ocean gods.

39. Window shade means more than keeping the sun out.

40. Pearl means more than a gem in a shell.

41. You co-workers (and non-boating friends, family and your spouse) will not ride in your vehicle between March and October because of the ode de polypro.

42. The sight of a waterfall gives you the uncontrollable urge to urinate in a nearby bush- while you search out the line...

43. You call your buddies in order of shuttle ability

44. Your boat is worth more than your car

45. Even in the dead of winter, you never actually lose the PFD tan lines...

46. You already have several kayaks and are trying to convince your spouse that you really need another one.

47. You build your new house as close as possible to the flood plain.

48. You always have sinus congestion on monday morning..

49. The only thing you worry about when getting naked just about *anywhere* is whether or not you'll get a ticket!

50. You ask the clerk at Eaton's how well these dress shoes hold up to immersion.

51. You measure major purchases relative to the cost of a new boat...('Hmmm, that new computer will cost me about 2 1/2 kayak units')

52. You're the one with the Bright Sunny Smile on the Cold Rainy Day.

53. Every once in a while you let go of your paddle, just to eat something.

54. You have no trouble saying "Rotomolded Crosslink Polyethelyne" ten times fast.

55. You have a bathing suit that's wet from March to October.

56. You start driving around with your PFD and helmet on because you have noticed that other drivers tend to give you the right of way.

57. You've tied up your mate using either a taught-line or trucker's hitch.

58. You can't look at water in a gutter without imagining tiny runs and miniature waves and holes.

59. "Wet, sticky hole" and "blowing a ferry" in casual conversation don't give you pause..

60. You freely discuss how much you and others weigh, and don't feel self-conscious about it (or about asking others how much they weigh).

61. Your only considerations when buying a car are ground clearance, and the size of the rain gutters.

62. You feel all mushy inside when your wife gives you a drytop for Christmas.

63. You visit Niagara Falls and think "This may be runnable."

64. You deliberately watch the whole commercial just to see the kayak on the car...

65. You maneuvre your car on five-lane streets by eddying out behind trucks and making S-moves in the left turn lane. And you lean into the turns.

66. If you live in a town with a river running through it, you give street directions with descriptions like "upstream of the ..." or "two blocks down on river left ..."

67. It takes longer and longer to get your "land legs" back. Solid ground "feels funny"

68. You keep moving the car seat forward, so you can bend your knees and feel good and wedged in for pulling maneuvers on the freeway.

September 01, 2009

The lore of the Rogue's Roost

 The lore of the Rogue's Roost

Rogues Roost is an isolated cove, with narrows  only a few feet deep in some places.

It is located in the vicinity of the villages of Lower Prospect and Prospect, Nova Scotia. The Rogue's Roost and Snow's Cove of Rogues Roost are the sheltered anchorages in the narrow passages between Roost Island and the mainland. 

Notorious for it's unique geological features which trapped many a Pirate and Rum Runner. 

According to some websites, the Roost was popular as a hideout for privateers during the War of 1812. Legend has it that Young Teaser, a soldier and his boat of the same name, now haunt the route.

Notable shipwrecks in the area include the SS Atlantic in 1873 & the HMS Tribune in 1797.



  Roost Island features a small inlet only accessible by kayak during high high tide.

  This "hidden lake" is one of the most quiet spots, but don't be surprised if a kayak tour pops in at high tide. A colony of terns nests here.




Named after a long-time stewart of the area, Capt John Snow, Snow's Cove of the Rogues Roost features a tight exit into Cub Basin. 

During high tide, it allows a sheltered route for kayaks and canoes.

A bronze plaque affixed to a granite cliff face reads as follows:

“In Memory of John Snow, 1914-1970; keen small boat enthusiast, founding member of NS Schooner Association, leader of many organized cruises, an outstanding shipmate; [this plaque] erected by his many friends on this the site of his favorite anchorage, Snow’s Cove of Rogue’s Roost, ‘…and all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow rover, and quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over’; Erected July 15, 1972”. 

John Snow drowned in a a tragic car accident in Halifax's Northwest Arm in 1970.

More Lore

Legend has it that the Rogue's Roost was more than just a sheltered anchorage. 

During all the great oceangoing eras, from pirates, to the exile of the the acadians, to the turn of the century rum runners, the Rogue's Roost's clever geological design was the rogue captain's worst enemy.

For once you had found safety in the anchorage of Snow's Cove, there was only one narrow exit... and the impassable backdoor into Cub Basin. Like a mousetrap, an entire ship and it's crew, could find themselves trapped, with very little effort on the part of the assailant.

 Even as recently as the last prohibition, this safe-haven was notorious for police - and bootlegger raids. 

Evading by Salts & Corks

  Local lore recounts tales that rum runners knew exactly how many corks it took to float a bottle of rum, and exactly how many pounds of salt it took to sink it.  Armed with this knowledge they soon starting evading the hunter by throwing burlap bags filled with salt, rum and cork to the ocean depths.

  While their ships were examined by officers, the rum was safely stowed on the ocean floor. 

   No sooner were the officers gone that the salt had dissolved enough to let the cork float the rum. Another speakeasy could continue to thrive... 

  The universality of this rum running legend is not limited to Nova Scotia culture. In fact, it would seem that the exact scene is shown in an acclaimed Indian film, Nayagan, which is on Time Magazine's Best 100 Films of All Time list.  This bollywood blockbuster even won an Academy Award.

  Take a look at this Music Video where the dumping of good under the sea takes place. At 2.50

   In October of 2009, East Coast Outfitters, a local tour guide company which focuses on tours of the area, recreated the scene.  Using water conditioner salt, a plastic burlap bag, and a mason jar equal in weight to the rum.   Sure enough, the legend stands true. The loot remained submerges for over an hour, before slowly floating back to the surface, unharmed.

Sailing through the Revenue Act

Excerpt taken from a sailing journal dated 1907, a ship returning to Newfoundland from a Trouting expedition:

ugly sea.

V tSH you would come up here and have a look at
the weather, sir." The Rose had been kicking a
good deal for the last half hour, and I noticed that
she was making short tacks. The calm, which
had lasted since early morning, had evidently
given place to a north-easter. I went on deck
and found the Rose close-hauled, diving into an
Exactly where we vere 'e could not make out, for
a heavy fog, with mist, had come up ith the wind and had
completely shut out the land.
'" Looks pretty bad, Captain," I said, " any chance to get to Rogues'
Roost before night ?" Rogues' Roost, I may say, is a small
Cove,  Just how it comes to be called by that uncomiglimentary name I cannot
say. It was suggested to me once that it was so called because it was a place
of frequent resort by Nova Scotia Traders, I never could see the connec-
tion, for be it said, Canadian Traders, with one exception, ith
whom I became acquainted during my Collectorship, were
honest enough not to deserve the implied charge. I am in-
dined to think that the inhabitants of the Harbor 'ere respon-
sible for the name. The one exception above-mentioned existed
in the person of the trader of whom it was remarked on the
occasion of his trial for smuggling "that he was able to sail a
whole schooner through the Revenue Act."

Topography, Fauna & Vegetation

The area is mostly covered in heathers, low grasses and evergreens. Berries abound nearly all seasons. The landscape is rough, and barren. Glacial Striations are noticeable on the top of Roost Island and surroundings. Deep narrow channels were carved out by retreating ice sheets tens of thousands of years ago. In many areas the topsoil has eroded to weather. Large erratic boulders and glacial anomalies salt and pepper the landscape.  Areas inhabited by the Double Crested Cormorant appear as lifeless patches in the evergreens, destroyed by the birds messy occupation.

 Deer, mink, and a variety of other small game inhabit all the surrounding lands.

Hawks, Grey & Common Gulls, Terns and Bald Eagles are common sight in the Audubon life. 

The Great Blue Heron also makes the Rogue's Roost it's home and is a certain sight, particularly in the evening when the sky is overcast.


Visiting the Rogue's Roost

 There is no land access to the Rogue's Roost. It is one of Nova Scotia's marine features. Accessible by sailboat, pleasure boat, canoe or kayak. 

 The local outfitter offers sunset tours at reasonable rates  


Entrance into the Roost

  •  44 28' 18.2" N

  •  63 45' 24.7" W

 Snow's Cove

  • 44 28' 14.0" N

  • 63 45' 2.0" W


    Shipwrecks in the vicinity

       RMS Atlantic

    Year: 1 April 1873

    Location: The Atlantic struck an underwater rock called Marr's Head 50 metres from Mosher Island (Meagher's Island), Nova Scotia. 

    Stats:  562 died with a total survivor count of 390 people of the 952 aboard

       HMS Tribune

    Year: 16 November 1797

    Location: Thrum Cap shoal, in the vicinity of Chebucto Head

    Stats:  12 survived of over 240

     More Photos 

    A sailboat in Snow's Cove. Foreground is Roost Island. Background is the mainland. With secret passages like this, a smuggler could sail an entire schooner right through the Revenue Act

    On Roost Island, the double crested cormorant drying its feathers, doing the chicken dance
    Sea kayaking from Hearn Island to Roost Island
    Bottom, right - Hearn Island Beach
    Top, left - Roost Island
    Top right - Cub Basin


January 24, 2009

Sea Kayaking Level II - Hearn Island NS. Nov 2008.

This is a photoset from our Canada Paddle Level 2 Course on Hearn Island, Nova Scotia offered through East Coast Outfitters

November 1st,2nd, & 3rd, 2008. (yes. thats cold in the North Atlantic!)






















November 28, 2008

Sea Kayaking in Tangiers Islands Videos

Sea Kayaking in Tangiers Islands (Blue Kayak)

Sea Kayaking in Lower Prospect (red kayak)

Tangiers Nova Scotia

Tangiers Islands

Sea Kayaking in Tangiers Islands, Nova Scotia

East Coast Outfitters

Sea Kayaking in Nova Scotia. East Coast Outfitters, 2007

Blue Herons in Nova Scotia

Photos of our Sea Kayaking

Photos of our Sea Kayaking adventure with Hinterland Outfitters on Aug 23 2008 14 km paddle from Baie Sainte Marie to the Sissiboo River powerhouse. Photos of our Sea Kayaking adventure with Hinterland Outfitters on Aug 23 2008 14 km paddle from Baie Sainte Marie to the Sissiboo River powerhouse.

Photos of our Sea Kayaking adventure with Hinterland Outfitters on Aug 23 2008

Photos of our Sea Kayaking adventure with Hinterland Outfitters on Aug 23 2008

14 km paddle from Baie Sainte Marie to the Sissiboo River powerhouse.

Photos of our Sea Kayaking adventure with Hinterland Outfitters on Aug 23 2008

14 km paddle from Baie Sainte Marie to the Sissiboo River powerhouse.

Photos of our Sea Kayaking adventure with Hinterland Outfitters on Aug 23 2008

Photos of our Sea Kayaking adventure with Hinterland Outfitters on Aug 23 2008

14 km paddle from Baie Sainte Marie to the Sissiboo River powerhouse.

Photos of our Sea Kayaking adventure with Hinterland Outfitters on Aug 23 2008

14 km paddle from Baie Sainte Marie to the Sissiboo River powerhouse.

Sea Kayaking Videos

Videos of our 14 km sea kayaking adventure on Baie Sainte Marie and Sissiboo River

Sea Kayaking in Nova Scotia

There are pictures of the Sissiboo River adventure at the following links (three pages):

and two videos:

I hope everyone enjoys this photodocumentary of our day.

Looking forward to next time!

We were doing a 14km sea paddle from St Bernard in the Municipality of Clare, to Weymouth (Digby County). Our adventure took us from Baie Sainte Marie and up the Sissiboo River, passing under three impressive bridges, and deep into Weymouth Falls, to the powerhouse from the hydro dam.

We were with Hinterland Adventures, and we saw seals, bald eagles, comorants, gulls, ducks, and hawks.

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