Hello fellow adventurers!
The following 5 posts (#2 to #6) tell the story of the Spanish Donkey's adventure. Please read on at your leisure. Pics are available upon request.
Canoe and Kayak Adventure
from Spanish (on the North Shore of Georgian Bay)
to Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
The Travels of the Spanish Donkey Aug 7/07
2- Georgian Bay
3- The Trent – Severn Waterway
4- The Bay of Quinte
5- The Rideau Canal (175th anniversary)
6- Post Script
We paddled over 1100 km. in 42 days on the water. We, are 4 retirees from Elliot Lake, Ontario: (aged 59 to 70) Bill and Iris, Gord and JR. Our trip started from Little Current, on Manitoulin Island, down the coast of Georgian Bay to Port Severn. (13 days) Then, we paddled the Trent-Severn Waterway (16 days), along the Bay of Quinte to Kingston (4 days) and then up the Rideau Canal System. (7 days) There were only 2 days that we took-off, one in Peterborough (to see the Canoe Museum) and one in Trenton. (due to bad weather)
The idea of this trip started with Bill, who wanted to connect his two previous trips on the canal systems with a series of “day trips” down Georgian Bay. The other motivation for this trip was to help celebrate the 175th anniversary of the Rideau Canal. “We are the unofficial representatives of the Rideau Canal Anniversary!” Also, we were sponsored by: Elliot Lake Retirement Living (retireelliotlake.com) and by Manitoulin Wind and Wave, Canoe and Kayak Sales and Service, Kagawong, Manitoulin Island. (paddlemanitoulin.ca) The canoe, paddled by Bill and Iris, and the 2 kayaks displayed banners from our sponsors. Perhaps you had seen us on the water. Our own blog site is: http://spanishdonkey.blogspot.com After you have read this article you can follow our postings on the blog. We hope that this trip with inspire other seniors, and juniors as well, to participate in “silent, environmentally friendly” outdoor sports.
We carried with us: a GPS, navigational charts for Georgian Bay, a marine radio and a cell phone. Safety was our Number One, zero tolerance issue. If the winds got over 15 km. or if the conditions were just to hard to handle, we would head for shore. In case of a spill, which always happens in non-ideal conditions, our plan was not to try to make a re-entry but to haul the equipment and paddler(s) to shore with tow ropes. During the entire trip we all wore Salus PFD’s, and skirts on the kayaks. The canoe was outfitted with a skirt that was on for most of the trip. Each kayak and the canoe were packed with their own tent, sleeping/cooking equipment and clothing/food supplies. We encourage anyone who is planning overnight trips to get the right equipment and training. At Manitoulin Wind and Wave, Brian had us try out a number of kayaks and put us in the right kayak for each person. Gord and JR had never kayaked before! This trip was going to be their first mammoth, experience!
Everything went extremely well! There were no tip-overs, the weather was close to paddle-perfect, and no one had to stop due to pain or health. Gord, video taped our journey under mostly gray, cloudy skies. Amazingly, we were only rained on once, on the upper Rideau, near Smith’s Falls. God answered our prayers, kept us safe and kept us humble by causing only a couple of navigational errors.