Sunday, September 27, 2009

Our backyard!

The kayak season might be over - almost - but it is now the perfect time of year for walking the dog. It is too hot for a Greenland Sledge Dog to run in the mountains during the Summer, but Autumn is balmy with temperatures just slightly above and then slightly below freezing. The mountain is right outside our front door and we are on it within the few minutes it takes to get the dog off the chain and on the lead. Perfect!

The snow cover is also enjoyable with plenty of exposed rock to walk upon. Soon, however, we will have more snow, and then the walks get interesting! With ice just beneath the surface you need crampons to walk the dog! Then we get more snow and you need to switch the crampons for snowshoes and some serious gaiters. Nansen, my dog, doesn't have any problems.

As the sun starts to disappear the walks will be confined to the two hours of twilight we get each day during December and January. The ravens remain throughout the winter, teasing the dogs and stealing the fish we hang up to dry. They are clever birds though, I have to give them that!

I have to get out in the kayak at least one more time next week before flying to Ilulissat and Nuuk for a course. The winds are picking up but maybe there will be a slight window of opportunity. I'll swap my oatmeal that morning for a spoonful of cement as a famous paddler once suggested! ; )

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Sleet, snow, hail ... and brief moments of reprieve!

Yep, winter is upon us. The paddling season is drawing to a close as it gets darker and colder and generally less pleasant on the water. I had a quick paddle on Wednesday and had the pleasure of a Fin Whale for company, surfacing just a few metres in front of my kayak. The prospects of paddling this weekend though look very bleak - it is hailing as I write.

The "mothership", our very own Umiak, cunningly disguised as a Folbot Greenland, is now washed and ready for storage over the winter. I say "ready" because it hasn't actually got beyond the kayak rack on the deck outside our house. I have to wait for another dry spell ...

Sledge dog puppies were curious about this rubber whale. They didn't get the chance to chew on it though like they have done my Folbot Cooper!

Back on the water. the light is fading. The winter dark will soon be in effect and it really is all about enjoying the daylight hours before they dissapear altogether.