Thursday, August 25, 2011

trip # 5: Massasauga Provincial Park, Georgian Bay, Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Finally found a day to escape from the downtown Toronto and kayaking on the Georgian Bay. Exit 189 from hwy 400 to hwy 69, High St (Muskoka 11) through the town of MacTier then left onto Healey Lake Road to Woods Bay Marina. This portion of the route was reconstructed last year and now you have no troubles to drive to the Marina. Parked the car at the Marina parking lot and launched kayak at the public launch spot close to marina. It was really windy this day and despite our hope that wind is dying it's not. We crossed near 1 km of the open water from Marina to the entrance to the Captain Allan Channel and went along the Channel. Wind still was very fresh and always in opposit direction.
Reaching the Channel opening on its West side we tried to paddle further to the Northwest, but wind was even much stronger on this open water and vawes were one foot or more preventing us to move well. So we decided to turn back and camp somewhere in the Channel.

Thus we stayed at the site 408 in the Eastern part of the Channel.

Unfortunately no fish at all in the Channel though I put a worm for hundred of times in different places around the site.

Around 6 PM it felt like wind began to calm down and we went out toward the Marina. At the exit of the Channel we made a stop and swam in the calm water. Then back into kayak, crossed 800 m to the Marina, deflated kayak and at 8:00 PM start out home.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

trip # 4: Beausoleil Island, Georgian Bay, Friday, July 22, 2011

It was short improvised one day trip "for fun and pleasure". And we received both!
It was also an attempt to escape incredible heat of the downtown Toronto. This attempt proved to be 100% successful.
We drove North on hwy 400, took exit 156 West to Honey Harbour (about 5 km) and parked there "at Jack" for $10 a day. The launch site is situated near the small plaza with the Church, store, library etc.
2.5 hrs after leaving downtown we were in our kayak on the water of Georgian Bay!

Short trip between the islands through the Big Dog Channel and in front of us appeared Beausoleil Island.

Despite it was Friday there were a lot of boats and every campsite was occupied but one named Sandpiper. When we approached the site everything became clear - we saw the big sign (see picture below).

Thus we were forced to move further to the North, where we stopped for a lunch  on a small cape in front of the private island.

It wasn't hot at all, the sky was cloudy but the water was warm and we swam a lot.
On our way back we have a look at a small bay to the North of our site and came back through the Big Dog Channel again.
At 8:00 PM we left Honey Harbour and at 10:30 PM were at home (we were 30 min late due to a jam on the hwy 400).

And still everything was fine in this trip!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

trip # 3: Crab Lake with Ivan, overnight Monday July 11 - Tuesday July 12, 2011

Being last time on the Long Lake which belongs to the Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park too we discovered that since this year one have to book campsite in advance and pay for staying there. So we did this for the Crab Lake and paid $33.00 ($11.75 per person per night plus processing/registration fee $9.50). Besides this substantial amount of money I encountered a number of  inconveniences: i) to book a site one have to make a long-distance call (there is no free number); ii) there is no campsite map anywhere on the Internet and it is difficult to choose the site you want (I try to correct this putting below a picture taken at the launch site on the Wolf Lake);  iii) campsite labels are old and small - site numbers cannot be read from the water; iv) at the launch site they provide you with the garbage bag, but there is no garbage can there and you have to drive with your garbage to the next rest area to throw it away. I'd like to see better service for my money. And from unknown reason they eliminated one of the best campsites on the small island at the south part of Crab Lake (just in front of site 313)...
Despite this negative remarks which I never would mention if it was free out trip was excellent as it always was on Crab Lake.

Site Map of the Crab Lake

Ready to go. At the launch site on the Wolf Lake

The famous Crab Lake bass 

The turtle's feeding at the camp site

Great Blue Heron lives here

And we're the guests

Thursday, June 9, 2011

trip # 2: With Ivan on the Kawarthas Long Lake (The Kawartha Highlands Park) - Monday, June 6, 2011

Long Lake in Kawarthas (North of Peterborough on hwy 28) was my "point of interest" since 2010. I even printed out the satellite map, but at the last moment switched to another Georgian Bay trip for some reasons. This time I reread the description of the "Long Lake loop" in Kevin Callan's "A Paddler's Guide to Ontario's Cottage Country" and decided to go there. Ivan accompanied me looking for the good fishing.

We left downtown Toronto at 7:00 AM and adopt the fastest way: Gardiner-DVP-hwy 401-hwy 115-hwy 7-hwy 28-Long Lake Rd. It took us 2 hrs only!

Long Lake. View from the launch site.
The public launch spot is situated on the East end of the Long Lake in the very nice place, near the Long Lake Lodge. Due to Monday the parking lot was empty. In less than 30 min kayak was on the water and we were ready to go.
We went initially along the main left channel of the lake and then adopt right channel rounding the Brown Island. Northwest of the Island we tried to paddle a small channel to the North, but very soon were stopped by beaver dam and turned back.
Heading further to the West along the main channel we began to put our warms into any deep place at the rocks and have a lot of fun catching bass of various sizes (of course we released them immediately, because the season for it will begin only on 4th Saturday of June (June 25 this year). In such a way we arrived at the campsite 401 on the right (North) bank. Here we stayed for 1-2 hrs. Ate, swam, relaxed. We were agreeably surprised that there were no mosquitoes at all. may be it was partly due to light wind which came from time to time from the West.
Campsite 401
To finish our first exploration of the Long Lake we paddled 1 km more to another narrowing leading to the west end of the lake. There on the small island we've seen a sculpture curved from the big stone - a lady exposing herself to the sun.
From this point we turned back and followed another (South) shore to the launch spot.
Sunset. Before departure
At 7:15 we were at the Start point, dried kayak a little bit, ate a bit and at 8:05 start our way home. Same route, same speed, same time: In 2 hrs we were back home.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

trip # 1: Solo trip to Massassauga Provincial Park - season opening, Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The 2011 summer kayak season is open!!!
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Long delayed spring 2011 prevent me went out earlier. But I really can't wait anymore and used first relatively hot and sunny day to open the season.
7:10 AM I drove out of underground garage on Front St W and headed to hwy 400.
9:40 AM I was at the Woods bay Marina. Since last year they finally finished repairing the Muskoka Rd 11 and it takes much less time to drive there from hwy 69.
My trip from Moon Marina (B) to the Sharpe Island (A) and back.
10:45 AM Paddling toward the North outlet of Captain Allan Strait and sent an sms to Ira and Tanya: "I'm putting to the sea"
12:00 PM I left behind the Pleasant Island (I rounded it from Northeast) and headed toward Shrack Island
12:30 PM I passed a narrow strait at Sharpe Island, left behind a few small islands and enter the system of small inner bays which I loved since discovering them last summer.
Approaching to The Sharpe Island from the South. In front of me campsite # 334
 we stayed on with Irina last summer

Site # 334 we were last summer
My small camp on one of the inner bays of the Sharpe Island. 
17:00 PM I set out back to marina. In the mean time I burned myself on the sun, but noticed this only later on.
19:30 I was back at marina. This time I passed the South channel of the Captain Allan Strait, but I think the way through North channel is little bit shorter.
20:10 PM I left the Woods Bay marina.
21:50 PM ESSO Gas station near Dunlop St.
23:58 PM Called Irina from the garage.
The 2011 summer kayak season is open!!!
Saturday, May 14, 2011 4:48:00 PM PDT