Sunday, July 22, 2007

Kayak porn

Here's a little something to get you (and me) through the workday, big fella. It's nothing more than a glamour shot of my faithful steed, in full expedition mode, no less (you can tell by the chart case and spare paddle adorning her luscious deck). It was taken a couple weeks ago at another of those magical places on the Great Lakes that my wife and I love to hunt down, Foster Island.

Foster is one of the 30,000 islands that line Georgian Bay's eastern shore. It's easy to get to -- just stay on highway 69 for an hour or so past Parry Sound until you get to a little hideaway called Britt, which is directly across the channel from another small put-in called Byng Inlet. The lumber trade once ruled these two tiny cross-harbour rivals, but no more. Now both scratch out a meagre living serving the small, but slowly growing, tourist trade.

We usually put in at a little private campground called Georgian Bay Cottages, which is at the very end of a tooth-rattling gravel road that leads out of Britt. From here, we paddle west, then south for about four hours in all until we reach the splendid isolation that is the Norgate Inlet, in which stand countless beautiful and desolate granite islands, the largest of which is Foster Island. The bottom here is lined with long, rocky shelves, called the Magnetawan Ledges, that keep the powerboaters away, the cottages to a minimum, and allow the wildlife to run, well, wild. I've seen it all down here ... mink, deer, turtles -- you name it. (Ironically, we spent this past Canada Day watching beavers swim up and down a small canal beside our campsite.)

In other paddlecraft news, my dearest wife, in a fit of capitalistic pique, has sold her vessel of ten years:

And ordered herself an ultra-swanky Impex Force Cat 4 which, at only 20 inches wide, is reportedly a rocket on the water. Hers looks a lot like this, but with a red deck, to match her PFD, I suspect.

Delivery is expected on or near August 1. Should be a pretty fun day, whenever it comes.

Now I'll just have to try and find a way to keep up.

2 comments:

Murray said...

Hello Chad -

I appreciate the notes you've posted here. On Canada Day Weekend for the 4 days, two of us paddled out of Georgian Cottages (wannabe Byng Inlet Estates, mind you) down around Inside Head Is and back behind by Prisque Bay, spotting lots of great sites. Heading North at the mouth of Giroux R, we were able to find the long protected channel that takes one up by Marjorie Is to "Soffel's Hole" and Burritts Bay. It seemed we had the big Bay all to ourselves most of the time.

Chad said...

Thanks, Murray. Perhaps we even passed each other out there (I assume you've seen the more recent posts I just put up about Foster). Hopefully the evolution (if it can be called that) of Georgian Bay Cottages doesn't rob us of a nice, sandy beach to launch from in future summers.