Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy St. Patrick's Day from The BaffinPaddler

It's St. Patrick's Day. Time to tip our hats goodbye to the ice fishing huts on Lac Deschenes (on the Ottawa River) in Canada's National Capital Region.

Today the wind gusts were a wicked 65 km/hr (40 mph) making it hard to hold on to this flimsy green hat from the Dollar Store!

The ice fishing huts are all off the lake now, well ahead of spring thaw.

Here's a last look at this winter's cozy temporary village on Lac Deschenes with its spattering of quirky little heated ice-fishing huts. 

How these small, transportable shelters can harbor heat and not melt a hole in the ice are a mystery to me.
Winter recreation on frozen lakes wouldn't be complete without the majestic views of the snow kiters flying by on windy days.
Lonely? Check out the views. The Aylmer Marina and the cities of Gatineau and Ottawa are your next door neighbors. It feels remote, but it's not.
Personality. Each hut has its own story. It's tempting to peek into the windows.
Today, the little temporary village is gone. And, we still have a long way to go for spring thaw!

Happy St. Patrick's Day, however you celebrate it. I'm part Irish, and I don't drink green beer.
The BaffinPaddler

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Greenland Bound — A Paddler's Pilgrimage: What's your favorite clip?

At the 10th Reel Paddling Film Festival World Tour, Greenland Bound — A Paddler's Pilgrimage won best Sea Kayak film for 2015.

I can see why. It has won my heart and given me new paddling inspiration. If you haven't seen it yet, you may want to have a peek:

Greenland Bound - A Paddler's Pilgrimage from Ontario Sea Kayak Centre on Vimeo.

I've already watched it ten times today. It's such a wonderful story, beautifully shot and narrated.

The story follows James Manke and James Roberts as they travel to Qaqortaq, Greenland, to experience the culture and participate in the 2014 Greenland National Kayak Championships. They returned to Canada with gold medals, smiling faces, many happy memories and newfound friends.

Dubside is also featured.

Do you have a favorite scene or clip from the video? 

I certainly do. It's the rolling iceberg that tries to steal the scene from James Roberts as he's competing.

Fantastic! Enjoy!

You can also find more about their adventure on their Greenland Bound Facebook page - just Google it. And like their page.

Here's a Paddle Canada article congratulating them on their achievements:

Paddle Canada officially congratulates James Roberts and James Manke for achievements at the Greenland Kayaking Championships 2014. 

Happy trails!
The BaffinPaddler

Monday, September 1, 2014

The easiest way to find mindfulness - Paddling?

Yes?  No!  Maybe . . . I guess your paddle state-of-mind depends on many internal and external influences.

Internal influences may be your own health --- how you are feeling mentally and physically. You come to the water with a good attitude or with pent up stress from daily life and issues you just can't let go of. You may have a sore knee, a tummy ache, or a fit body that feels good all-over.

External influences may be the weather and conditions that you consider awful or totally perfect. A shoreline you'd like to land on is too rocky, or is very welcoming with a sandy beach.

Many things can affect our paddle state-of-mind and influence our ability to be mindful and enjoy our paddle.

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness involves being in the present moment and paying attention with openness, interest, receptivity and without judgement.

Practising mindfulness on land can help us be more relaxed paddlers when we hit the water.

My next story is up on the Wanderlust Journal. 

It's about mindfulness. I enjoyed 4 days of yoga classes and events at the awesome Wanderlust Tremblant yoga festival from August 21-24 in Quebec, Canada. On the first day of the festival I took a mindful meditation class in the historic St. Bernard Chapel.

Here's the link:

Mindfulness is a great thing to practice and share.
Happy trails!
The BaffinPaddler

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Mountain yogis unite - 5 ways to take your yoga practice outdoors

For my outdoor friends and new visitors to this blog, you may enjoy this article. Some people just can't relate to yoga - I know, it's not easy. It can be confusing and difficult to get into, and to keep up with. It's diverse, challenging, and hopefully rewarding. Sometimes, I question myself. "Why are you doing this? Why do you keep doing this?' Yoga!

The answer is simple: It can be good for you.

I am a member of the mindset of people who believe they can shop around and integrate a yoga practice into their lifestyle. One that suits you. Mine is very flexible. I can take it anywhere. And I do.

My ears often perk up when I listen to the reasons why some people don't like yoga. They tried it once or twice. The things they didn't like are the same things I didn't like. But, I changed my perspective. I decided to explore different forms of yoga, and a variety of teachers and studios. I kept going because, even with the things I didn't like, I was seeing good results. And when I kept going, I kept finding more things I liked or that intrigued me. Along with more and more good results.

Some people just don't like indoor yoga studios.

Indoor yoga studios make some outdoor people cringe and feel uncomfortable and confined.

The good news is, many of us get out of the indoor yoga studios and do yoga in the outdoors year round. Yes, even in winter! It's called Snowga.

You can really take it to the next level, literally! when you trek up a mountain trail. It's a great cardio workout to warm up the body and open up the lungs, then do a little, or a lot of yoga in the great outdoors with beautiful views.

Inspiring outdoor views naturally touch the heart chakra. You can feel it, even if you don't know what that is. It feels good. A warm, happy feeling. So sweet! And hey, the heart chakra, the fourth chakra, is associated with the colour green and the element air.

I have found doing yoga, or even just striking or holding a few of my favourite yoga poses in the outdoors incredibly powerful. Always much more powerful and meaningful than what I ever find inside a yoga studio.

The cool thing is, more and more people are doing yoga and finding creative ways to make it interesting, engaging and fun. It's a great way to connect with all things. I love both indoor yoga studios and all those outdoor yoga spaces we find along our path. Outdoor spaces for practice are infinite and roomy!

My next story is up on the Wanderlust Journal inspired by awesome experiences during the Wanderlust Tremblant yoga festival in Quebec, Canada from August 21-24. If you'd like to have a look, here's the link.

5 ways to take your yoga practice outdoors

Happy trails!
The BaffinPaddler