Thursday, May 28, 2009

Bike Workshops

Just a little self-promotion - BikeShare, which is where I spend a good portion of my time, is hosting some bike workshops over the next few months. I will be teaching some of these, including the touring workshop and the one-day maintenance course. Have a look at this:

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sprained Ankle

During a game of ultimate on Saturday I rolled my ankle badly and ended up with a classic lateral sprain. It was very painful and I ended up very much immobilized. But four days and half a dozen ibuprofen later the swelling is mostly gone and I have recovered a lot of the movement. Fortunately I made a glorious catch in the endzone on the play, so at least it wasn't for nothing.

This is a bit of a bummer though. I've got an incredible history of health - I've never broken, fractured, sprained or strained anything ever before. In fact, this is probably the worst sports related injury I've ever had in my life, which, when you consider how much ultimate, sepak takraw, street hockey, tennis and bicycling I've done in my life, is pretty remarkable. I like to tell people that I'm neither heavy enough nor strong enough to injure myself. But I suppose I will have to take it easy in the weeks leading up to my departure in order not to aggravate my ankle. I might miss the beginning of the ultimate season, and I probably shouldn't do too much hiking/biking in the next little while. I'll take the optimistic approach with this one though, and claim it as an important and timely lesson - I'm not invincible, just lucky.


One major hurdle has been hurdled - my bricks are sitting on a palette on Kenmount Road waiting to be shipped to Conche. It will take 3 to 4 business days for them to get there and will cost less than $500. That's a pretty sweet deal.

Ice Update

It's the end of May and I thought I should post an update on the current ice conditions. We've made some great improvements compared to six weeks ago but there is still significant ice off Newfoundland's northeast coast:

When I called Paul Bromley about 10 days ago I just happened to catch him returning from his first trip of the year over to the islands. Apparently his cabin and wharf made it through the winter without any damage, there is still snow on the islands, and there was no sign of polar bears although he did see several caribou.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

There's nothing quite as romantic as the first snowfall of the summer...

An unusually warm and pleasant spring left me itching to get into the outdoors and reconsidering my decision to wait until the end of June before I head to the Grey Islands. Right on cue an end-of-May snowfall has blown in to remind me that this is Newfoundland, and that I won't be going anywhere any time soon:

Even Kennyloggins, my roommates cat, is in a state of irritated disbelief:

On the upside, I had a great day of receiving packages yesterday. My firearms Possession and Acquisition License finally arrived, along with a few boxes of books I sent myself from Regina. More importantly though, my package from MEC arrived. This included a Thermos, a new tent and groundsheet, a wind-up radio, flashlights, a sleeping bag liner, and my solar panel battery charger. Which brings me to a point: maybe I shouldn't complain about the weather too much - the snow arrived just in time to test my solar panel (which is currently trickle charging a pair of AA batteries despite the lack of any actual solar activity today) in potential Grey Islands-like conditions.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Remember this post? Well it turns out this probably wouldn't be such a bad idea. I am trying to figure out exactly how to ship my bricks from St. John's to Conche and it is proving to be a little tougher than I anticipated. Paul Bromley, the fisherman who is bringing me to the islands, said he'd receive the bricks for me, but when I asked him what his address was he said "Address? Just tell them to ship it Paul Bromley in Conche. Everyone here knows me anyways." I'm highly doubtful Day and Ross Shipping will be able to give me a price for Paul Bromley, Conche.

Eventually I got his mailing address out of him (a P.O. Box), but the concept of a street address seemed beyond him. I thought for a moment that Conche might not even have streets or addresses to go along with them, but then I looked it up on Google Earth and there is, apparently, more than one road in the town.

So next I called the French Shore Historical Society (where I had introduced myself a few months ago) and asked them what the deal was with shipping in the area. On the other end of the phone Joan told me that no one really knows their street address in Conche. She was, however, able to tell me that Paul lives on Stage Cove Road, and in her head she counted off seven other houses that lined the road before his. "So he must be 8 Stage Cove Road" she said. Whether this information is accurate remains to be seen, but whoever lives at 8 Stage Cove Road is about to receive 3000 pounds of firebrick.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


It's been a while since my last post, but I'm not that sure I have anything exciting to report. Preparations continue at a reasonable pace: this week I'm learning to use my new GPS unit and making great headway with my food planning. New tent is on order from MEC and I just picked up a book about foraging for seaweed. My firearm Possession and Acquisition License should be coming in the mail someday soon. And I got (but haven't yet set up) my Spot device.

There are still a few logistical things that are worrisome to me. I still haven't finalized the details of shipping my bricks to Conche, although Paul Bromley says he will have no problem receiving them for me and getting them out to the islands. and I haven't yet figured out how I'm getting myself to Conche, but my roommate's friend Jordan tells me he might have to drive to Roddickton in June for work. That'd be more than ideal, but I haven't actually talked to him about it yet cause he doesn't seem to answer his phone.