We slept last night in a camper. The owners of "Ice Cream on the Rocks" kindly offered to have us sleep in one of their campers, rather than sleep in our tent. We of course accepted! "Ice Cream on the Rocks” is located right next to a marina and it is the last place to launch your canoe or kayak from Britt. In addition, travelers can leave their vehicles safely and enjoy the excellent Kawartha Lakes ice cream.
Our departure was not early in the morning. We took our time as we had promised ourselves not to count miles, but rather to take care of my shoulder. The day was good for me after all. I still felt the pain, but there was a great improvement. Some movements were painful during the day, but nothing dramatic and persistent. Before resuming our navigation in Georgian Bay, we met a man in a boat. This man was making the Great Loop by rowing and sailing, one section per year. It was very interesting to meet someone as passionate for adventure and travel as we are. We wish John a good season and may the wind be at his back.
At lunch, we stopped on a granite island. Jasmine could roam freely. When it came time to leave, she had gone across to another island (very close to the one we stopped on) and was not listening to our commands. We decided to trick her. We boarded our canoe and started to leave the island. Ha! Jasmine did not have the desire to play anymore! She was back on the island (where we had dined) and was waiting for us at the shore, so that we could retrieve her. Our little trick worked. It was so successful that Jasmine, a little panicked, tried to jump into my arms instead of boarding the canoe at her usual place. I did not expect this at all. I remember her flying towards me and her eyes squinting before the impact. I bent over quickly to avoid capsizing. Jasmine landed in the water on the other side of the canoe. Pierre and I laughed so hard. She made the short swim back to the island, rolled on the ground to try to dry her completely soaked hair and then wisely boarded the canoe the proper way. We laughed about this for a long time. We believe she has learned her lesson. We saw evidence of this in the afternoon when we were looking for an island for the night. She came very quickly when we called her.
Off Key Harbor, the islands are beautiful. This is one of the most beautiful places we've seen. This is probably what paradise looks like. The color of the water, the brightness of the rocks and their formation, sometimes covered with deep green vegetation... It is when exposed to such beautiful things that we know how privileged we are.
Towards the end of the afternoon, after finally a good navigation on my part with the GPS, we arrived at the entrance to the French River. Two years ago, almost to the day, we were in the same spot during our Perseverance Trip. It is a fairly large island where we stopped for the night.
July 15, 2014
The conditions were not favorable for travelling today. The sky was heavy this morning and the wind was beginning to rise. It rained almost all day and it thundered too. We took the opportunity to sleep and relax in the tent.
July 16, 2014
Georgian Bay is beautiful! We never tire of discovering and rediscovering the region. We travelled here just two years ago, but today it seemed that everything was new. The intensity of the light, reflections, the variable color of the rocks and their shapes, turquoise water ... How beautiful!
Today, the forecast gave us a northwest wind up to 20 km/h. The reality is that we had a good 40km/h in the afternoon forcing us to stop on an island in the "Voyageur Channel" before Grondine Point. We were stopped a good three hours, but that wasn't such a bad thing. The island was full of wild blueberries! I picked for 2 hours. We will have Harvest Foodworks pancakes with blueberries tomorrow morning.
Around 4:30pm, we left “Blueberry Island” and found an island to camp on overnight, located in The Chickens. There was a beautiful sunset. The place is so beautiful. A second good navigation day for me with the GPS! ☺
July 17, 2014
The wind did not take long this morning to show its force, from 6:00 a.m. it was consistent. We made good progress. We stopped for lunch on an island which is part of the Fox Islands. Again, an amazing place. Pink lilies and rocky hills flow into the turquoise water ... it's amazing to see. It just lacked the heat to make us believe that we were somewhere in the south. We had to put warm coats on over lunch.
In the afternoon, we did not progress at the rate that we would have wanted. I felt so tired. I believe that the anti-inflammatories have messed up my system. But, on a positive note, today we arrived in Killarney. Tonight we can sleep in a real bed and get a good rest.
July 18, 2014
A day off and a day of surprises. Our friends from Quebec, Karine and David, arrived in Killarney along with their new puppy, Sam, this afternoon. We were super excited to see them. We have not seen them since we left Quebec. What a surprise! They arrived with their usual good humor and great sense of fun. It was a beautiful day. They delivered our food supply that we had been expecting. We had lots of laughs and ate well. We will be with our friends for the weekend. What a joy!
July 19, 2014
Another beautiful day with Karine, David and Sam. We went shopping in Sudbury in the morning, by car of course, and then took advantage of the day to visit Killarney with our friends by land as well as by canoe. We finished with a very good dinner and chocolate fondue from “Chocolat Favoris” ... Mmm mmmm! Karine and David, thank you for the chocolate surprise!
July 20, 2014
We stayed in Killarney throughout the day and took advantage of the rest. It was a beautiful day. Our friends will leave tomorrow morning. The separation will surely be hard, it will be a long time before we meet again. We used to see them almost every day and Friday evenings were often spent together.
July 21, 2014
Around 7:30am, we left Killarney Mountain Lodge travelling towards McGregor Point. We left, in our wake, our great friends, while remembering the good times we had together this weekend. We had heavy hearts as we knew that we won’t be seeing each other again soon. Our day promised to be a good one despite the separation. We would join other very good friends later on near McGregor Point. They are kayaking for a week in the region. We found them at lunch time. What a joy! It has been a year since we last paddled with them and we will spend the next few days together. The group is composed as follows: Jane, Michael, Leah (who has been promoted to CEO of Wild Raven Adventure), Nancy, Lisa and Jim. These are all long-time friends. We were really happy to see them. Jasmine was too! She knows she will be spoiled.
Karin and David: thank you again very much for all that driving and time you took to see us. You have been very generous and your jokes will be missed. Sam is a great little dog. You brought us joy and happiness during the last few days. Thank you for being such good friends!
July 22, 2014
A beautiful paddling day with the gang. The landscape is very different here. Pink granite rocks have changed to grey and white rocks. The terrain is steep, but very pretty. There is more vegetation and the waterways a little more protected. In the morning we had the wind at our backs ... we were happy! This does not happen often. We stopped in the afternoon on one of the few islands that we saw that could accommodate us all. The place was perfect. There was even a place for cooking. We just had time to empty our canoe and kayaks and pitch our tents before an unexpected storm struck. Afterwards it was calm. We had a good dinner and a nice evening in good company.
July 23, 2014
During the night, shortly after lying down, the wind rose. It was present all night and gusting very strong at times. Pierre was up all night securing and checking on things. Around 4:00am we had to re-anchor one end of our tent, as it was off the hook. None of us got much sleep. The wind this morning was still blowing strong and the sky was overcast. Gradually the clouds dispersed allowing us to enjoy the radiant sunshine. The wind was present all day so we decided to stay in camp. Michael and Jim were the only two people to paddle today. They left in the afternoon to confirm if a passage was possible at a specific location for our navigation tomorrow. So we had a rest day on one of the finest campsites.
July 24, 2014
A beautiful day of paddling. There was wind, but no big waves. The scenery was beautiful. We saw cottages on the islands we passed. Several boats were also anchored on the other side of the small passage in the West and East Channel. We talked to a friendly group who stopped to chat with us. They suggested we stay on an island owned by Tom Murray. In late morning we found Mr. Williams and asked permission to sleep on his island. He had just purchased this deserted island hoping to donate it, and therefore preserve it, to the Georgian Bay Conservation Authority. The island was a former resort and we were told that F.D.R. and Peter Fonda were two of the celebrities that had vacationed there. We stopped on this island for lunch. The group was not happy with the place for camping as it was covered in poison ivy and a bit spooky with its abandoned buildings and tennis court. Michael and Jim left after lunch to scout for another place to stay. They returned without good news. Just before their return, Pierre went in search of Jasmine, who had been free to roam the island. We realized she had be gone almost an hour. He did not find her and had seen a boat leave the island from the opposite shore, the island was relatively large. In a panic we quickly launched our canoe and went in search of Jasmine going around the island just as Michael and Jim arrived. We found her on the other side, near where Pierre had seen the boat leaving. She had found a beaver lodge and was trying to get inside it. Ouf! We finally got her into the canoe and paddled back to find our friends. Meanwhile, Jim and Michael were also searching around the island and the girls searched the island on foot calling for her. Dear Jasmine... she gave us all a scare! She remained leashed the rest of the day. Mike and Jim did not find another campsite in their search, so we would remain here for the night.
After we set up our camp, we came to the conclusion that the island was not so bad after all. We had fun and we shared a great evening with our friends. And best of all no one broke out in a poison ivy rash!
July 25, 2014
We had a very nice night. We had set up our tent on a docking platform and had been rocked by a slight swell overnight. In the morning, our favorite cook, Jim, prepared pancakes and bacon for the group. Then we packed up and were back on the water for a final paddle with our friends. The day was beautiful and the landscape as well. We stopped on a small island for lunch where Michael gave us their extra food. A big thank you again for all of that food.
About midafternoon we arrived at the marina at Birch Island where their cars were parked. The kayaks were emptied and loaded onto the trailer, all equipment was transferred to the cars. Then, inevitably, the goodbyes were said. We honestly felt so sad. Jasmine cried long after the group had left. She must have felt like us. We had a great week, first with our friends Karine and David, then with the Schwengers and Heywoods. From now on we are alone, and probably for a long time. Our next destination is Drummond Island where we hope customs will allow us to enter the United States for the next year.