Tuesday, June 22, 2010

# 7: Beausoleil Island, Monday, June 21

Three weeks without kayaking it's too much for me. This time I was going to go with my granddaughter Tanya a nice girl 20 years old coming to us for summer vacation from Siberia. I was thinking about something easy and not far from home to minimize driving time. It would be better on Georgian Bay because almost no mosquitoes there. I even began to consider Massasauga Provincial Park though i was there two last times. And all of a sudden friend of mine sent me report of his family trip near Beausoleil Island. The pictures were wonderful and circular trip drawing made by his 5 year old son attract me immediately. The weather forecast was very good for this Monday. Hwy 400 moved well, when we enter it from King Rd (exit 43) at 8:00 AM. At the Exit 156 we adopt a hwy 5 North toward the Honey Harbor and after 13 km stopped near the Church, Library and Public launch site. It was 9:15 AM. Of course everything equipped here for the motor-boats, not for the small inflatable kayaks. So we needed  some time to find proper place to inflate and launch our kayak and to park the car for a day (ended at nearby Joe's private parking lot for $10 per day).
At 10:30 AM we pushed off. The Park brochure we took free in the public box on the street contained the map of the Beausoleil Island. It was exactly the same map where little Tosha  drew his route.
Below is Google aerial view of  the Beausoleil Island and Honey Harbor with our South loop (white) and Tosha's North loop (yellow).
Leaving the harbor and having no idea where the Big Dog Channel is we decided to go South and reach the southernmost point of the Beausoleil Island, where the large group campsite has to be as was written in the books I read.
First we rounded small Picnic Island on our left (with the big gas station and store situated on the large wooden platform) then crossed the strait and went South along the East shore of the Roberts Island.

What we seen then was a huge open water space with the various colors of green on the horizon. Again we had no idea where the Beausoleil Island is. But having no choice and taking into account very good weather conditions (sunshine and light wind) I decided to paddle toward the light green cape in 3-4 km to South-West. And I was absolutely right! Less than in one hour we find out the pavilion among the trees and stepped down on the huge group camp site I read about. Long ago in 1819 Mister or Messier Beausoleil settled here as a first white man in this area. There we had a meal, took a picture of the turtles sunned themselves on the stones and Tanya as a "Girl with the paddle".

Our way back was to the North along the East coast of the Beausoleil Island.
More pictures at:My Picasa Albums