1000: Leave home (Dayton, Ohio). Ted just graduated from high
school on Saturday, and this will be another in a series of EXCELLENT
On April 16 Bill and Ted launched two Cape Charles 18 kayaks.
We have been building them over the past two years (but
that's another story -- available upon request). We made the
paddles and the cockpit covers and the spray skirts and the truck
rack too. We have had a lot of canoe experience, but no experience
in kayaks. This is gonna be an adventure right?
We cross the border at about 1500, the boats draw a little attention. An agent asks a few questions, issues us an "E99" form, and we are on our way! (Ohio requires kayaks to be registered and numbered. This drew comments from a number of Canadians. i.e.: you register kayaks but not guns?)
2000: Arrive Honey Harbour, Ontario. We sleep in the back of the pickup -- Honey Harbour seems to shut down at sunset, they even took in the sidewalks.
1000 leave Honey Harbour. We spent about two hours packing
the kayaks -- sure that we are taking stuff we don't need. We
decided that we were going to follow a "bow-tie" route:
we will go out on a four night loop to the north, return to Honey
Harbour, and go out on a four night loop to the south. This means
we can stash some food at the truck to be picked up later.
We are on the maiden voyage for these kayaks and for us kayakers as well. We decide that two short trips would help lessen any disasters.
We leave the truck in a church parking lot where the "suggested" contribution is $5 per day for parking. There is no water source in town -- residents there drink filtered lake water, and they don't give it away.
We head out for Big Dog Channel toward Cedar Springs.
1200 Cedar Springs, Beausoleil Island. We arrive here without any untoward happenings. The boats seem to be riding well, although they exhibit a lot of weather helm which takes some getting used to.
1600 Little Dog, Beausoleil Island. We arrive in time for Ted to take a short (Ohmigodit'scold!) swim before we put up the tent and cook our traditional, first night out, real meat (steak) and baked potato supper. Mosquitoes arrive about sunset and we dive for the tent.
Slight disaster with tent today: a rip started in the upper ridge of the 25 year old nylon wall tent. Ted heard the rip start, and sprang to the tent to keep it from continuing. I spent a little while sewing up the 12 inch rip. We're glad it didn't happen after the bugs got there!
1000 After a real good night's sleep, we wolf down some hard-
boiled eggs and some corned beef hash, pack the boats and are
out on the water. We head up Little Dog Channel, around the north
end of Beausoleil, and stop at Frying Pan Bay for a break.
We screw up our courage and head out into the "big lake" and run north toward Go Home Bay. We get our first taste of big water, and the Cape Charles kayaks take to it like ducks! Navigation is a cinch, all aids to navigation are very close -- nothing more than one mile apart.
We cross Musquach Channel and stop for lunch in something) Landing channel. Our luncheon host wasn't home but we admired his collection of canoes in front of his cottage.
1500 After heading up to Hang Dog Channel and then across the south end of Go Home Bay we enter Bushby Inlet. We find a pay phone at the Go Home marina -- nothing else though: no people, no dogs, no nothing.... B and T call home....
We continue upstream into Go Home River, meet a nice cottage owner who tells us about two campsites which the local homeowners allow transients to use -- on right one mile past "the narrows."
1700 Go Home River campsites. It's buggier inland and we rush around cooking and setting up the tent. A smudge fire helps a lot -- plenty of drift wood on banks. Supper is Polish sausage in a garlic and butter noodle mix, mmmmmmm!
We realize that we are sunburned! Break out the healing salves and ointments. The temperature remains hot throughout the night, we don't zip up our sleeping bags!
1000 It seems like we are keyed into getting up at about 0830
and getting on the water at about 1000. After having my coffee
down at shoreline, I decide to jump in the river, Ted applauds
my efforts at cleanliness.
We take a series of back channels on our way out to the coast. At one point we meet a cottage owner, who, after duly complementing our handwork in building the kayaks, offered up the location of an abandoned cottage where we could spend the night.
We then made our way through The Serpentine, nosed around some islands off the coast, had lunch, napped and worked on our sunburns. Watched a hummingbird zoom around.
1530 We found the Stone House, and it had a screened in front porch with a million dollar (1.35 million dollar Canadian) view. Ted went swimming again, I read for a while. We closed up the hole where the screen door used to be with a plastic drop- cloth.
Dinner that night was home made beef jerky with refried beans in tortillas and Mahatma brand red beans and rice. Mahatma is great trail food! Glorious bug free, tent free sleeping that night. It clouded over and intermittant rain began.
1000 Once again we are out of the sack and into the boats by
10. We decide that we'd take the outside track south toward Beausoleil.
Wind and waves cooperate.
1200 We stop for lunch at Townsend's island. Rain lets up just for the occasion. We heat up some soup -- hits the spot! Shove off later and run into a mini-downpour, so we head into a nearby empty boat house and spend a few pleasant minutes with some very nervous barn swallows.
We continue our slog across to Honeymoon Bay on Beausoleil. We arrive there at about 1500. Find a nice camp spot with a tent platform and we empty the boats and set up camp in a fine mist of a rain.
Supper tonight: fried -- crispy brown -- SPAM cubes in a hot and spicy chicken noodle soup with extra rice noodles added. YUM!
1100 we sleep late today -- decided to stay another night here
rather than take down wet tent and move camp. We are only about
3 or 4 miles out of Honey harbour so we visit town after breakfast.
We pick up the remaining meals and Ted gets a decent cup of coffee,
phones home. It's the weekend and the town is jumping -- traffic
is way up out on the water too.
We get back to camp and spend the rest of the day reading. For supper we have some kind of canned meat and noodle glop. After eating, it begins to clear up and we explore some coves in Goblin Bay, just around the corner. I'm paddling near some 15-20 ft high cliffs when something hit the water behind me -- sounded like someone threw a bowling ball at me. It happens again and again -- I put the beady eye on Ted, but he is not guilty. Then I spot a beaver about four feet off my boat, he flips his tail, splashes me real good and disappears. We watch another beaver perform the same antics further down the bay.
We get back to Honeymoon in time to take some really neat sunset pictures. A few canoeists have arrived -- these are the first paddle powered craft we have seen since we've been here.
During the night we heard at least four different types of owls. Also, the beaver(s) made a transit of the inlet -- they were spashing all night!
1000 and we are on the water (must be some kind of internal
clock). We have pancakes for breakfast along with some canned
fruit -- it is Sunday. We are heading out on a circumnavigation
of Beausoleil. Down the west coast and we encounter winds off
the starboard beam all the way, along with some pretty good chop.
We stop at the Gin Islands for some lunch. Break out the books and do a little reading too. Voices alert us that we are not alone. A man and a girl come into view -- they are snorkeling. I look over the crest of the island (about 200 ft wide) and spot two Cape Charles kayaks! What a coincidence! We spend some time comparing notes -- Theodore Kee's boats are over two years old. He just got them to the useable stage and started having fun. No paint, no frills, just use 'em.
There are so many sailboats out today that I am reminded of Long Island Sound. Victoria Harbor is across the bay -- it is a big yachting center.
We make Beausoleil Point at about 1400. It is so nice and breezy that we decide to spend the night. We read and watch the sailing parade.
After a chicken and garlic noodle dinner (with asparagus) we turn in when the bugs start getting ferocious. I guess they don't get enough to eatout here on the point. A mosquito cloud hangs over the tent -- the noisesounded like the far off buzzing of a small outboard motor.
1000 -- who would have guessed at this timing? We are just
loading the boats when Jacques Bais -- a r.b.p reader, by the
way -- Hi Jacques! -- arrives in his new sea kayak. We chat for
a long while about everything -- education, boats, life, etc.
He is traveling our way and we paddle together up to Cedar Springs.
We had visitors in camp last night -- raccoons. This was the first time we have been bothered. They spring a hatch on the kayaks and get into the lunch bags. We loose a half a log of summer sausage and a couple of packagesof Raman soup. They also opened and emptied a couple of individual Taco Bell hot sauce packets. Now we know why raccoons drink a lot while they eat.
We pull in to Cedar Springs and Jacques tries out the Cape Charles. Hewas polite enough to rave about them for about a half hour. He couldn't say anything good about our paddles though -- non-feathered, made from closet poles -- he called them sticks!
Ted and I enjoy a hot shower. I scrub off all that DEET. Ted loses more skin from his sunburned face. Shiny and clean, we arrive in Honey Harbour at 1400, unload the boats, grab a congratulatory ice cream bar at the store, and hit the road for home.
We stop for dinner and get the traditional re-entry meal. Anything! A salad and a beer hits the spot for me, Ted has a Canadian-Italian sandwich(cheddar and bacon rather than mozzarella and ham) with fries.
0200: we arrive home, it was a 1080 mile round trip.
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