Sat, Jun 4 2016, Sun, Jun 5 2016 - LAST MINUTE FRANKLIN ISLAND CANOE TRIP (View Original Event Details)

Event Coordinator(s): Kevin J
Participants:Kevin J, Fleur, Yvonne B, Bogna Pinkowska, Mark Soubry, Terri Northstar, David, Aaron, Linda D

Write Up:
A couple of participants write: We set out on Saturday morning under blue sunny skies and pleasant temperatures, paddling into the stunning scenery of the variegated and layered rock encircled islands of the Georgian Bay. With the wind at our backs we made it to Franklin Island in record time, explored a few inlets before finding the perfect site with a sandy beach, multiple tent spots, a functioning thunder box, great fire pit, prep table, benches and a great view of the nearby islands. What else could one ask for in a site? There were lovely burgundy tipped flowers (whose name I do not know but that I’ve paid big bucks for a the city nurseries) as well as a lone lady slipper whose soft pink blossom was just emerging. In addition to my delight in the flowers, we had humming birds dropping by to dine on the nectar. After setting up tents, including Kevin’s new 8 person mansion, with two rooms and a vestibule no less, most folks grabbed a bit of lunch and hit the beach. The intrepid team of Kevin, Kaleb, David, Aaron, Bogna and Fleur swam a circle route from one island to another in the frigid water before arriving back and trying to convince the sun bathers that the water does get warmer once you are in. Next up was a paddle to explore other parts of the island shores, meandering into inlets, and fishing along the way. Mark was the fish magnet or maybe it was Kevin’s tackle. He caught three and, as in all fish stories, the big one got away by biting through the line. He tells us he kissed one and threw it back but kept another for dinner. Aaron donated his orange in lieu of a lemon for baking of the fish, resulting in succulent tasty morsels to be shared by all. Apologies to David and Terri who were out for an evening paddle. People leisurely cooked in shifts over the open fire. Yvonne made a tasty looking healthy pot of rice, tofu, spinach and tomato pesto and then took advantage of the hammock for a little horizontal digestion. We awoke to rain overnight that went on and on. Aaron, who was camped on a rock at the shore and therefore wasn’t pegged down, sought shelter by dashing into the big tent in the dark. Morning was a slow affair as we dried out and packed up. The paddle back was a little less laid back. Although the morning had been calm, the waves were high by the time we were ready do depart. There was much debate who or what to put in the smallest canoe. Poor Caleb practically had his knees to his chest on the paddle in, so that wasn’t an option in the high waves. So, poor Kevin, our fearless leader, soloed the small canoe for the first leg of the journey battling the wind and lagging behind the rest. He had an inland route selected for part of the way back, providing a much appreciate leisurely paddle mid-way through the return journey but we were once again out on the bay in the large rolling waves. It felt a little like being on the kiddie roller coaster at the Ex. Periodically, water came crashing into the canoes leaving a few wet bums. We all arrived safe, sound, a little soggy, and very satisfied with our weekend escape. After packing up, most then enjoyed a fish meal at Gilly’s. Hope it was good! Linda Doran Much gratitude to Kevin for organizing a laid back weekend. Kudos to Kaleb for hanging out with people, double, triple and quadruple his age and doing lots of the heavy lifting! Awesome location as I did not even know wonderful locations like this existed, great comradery from all the participants especially as the weather provided us with a few challenges. As the wind increased and paddling conditions deteriorated, our leader identified the risks early and then through his knowledge determined a revised route back with a few options that all worked out great. He got us all together, talked through all the scenarios and then lead us through the path of least resistance, adjusting as necessary to the point of reconfiguring a few canoes + people to met the demands of the weather. Great leadership turned a potentially ugly situation into a managed solution - Kevin is my guy as a team leader going forward. It was my first trip with the TOC, now I am hooked. Regards Mark Soubry

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