Saturday, June 26, 2010

Kayaking in Shangri-La

I have been wanting to get a kayak for some time.

My Shangri-La is nestled in at the shoreline of Georgian Bay at White's Bay, which is sheltered by a sand bar extending from the peninsula which forms part of the Collingwood Harbour area.  Sounds kind of funny, eh?  A bay on a bay.  That is because Georgian Bay is about 200 km by 100 km and it sits off and and adjoining Lake Huron  - so it is a Bay itself, but of course there are many bays on its shores.

For my foreign blog visitors whose Canadian geography is not that good go here to see where I am.

I have to thank my son Eric for helping me get the kayak and delivering it to me.  It easily fits on top of a smaller car without much fuss.  I suspect I could even manage to load it on top of my EOS.
So here is my new baby as  I was getting her ready for her maiden voyage.  Still thinking about a name for her.  I will spend some time stenciling it onto the hull.  But not now - time for the water!

The shallow depths of White's Bay make it ideal for a newbie like me - water as calm as glass and shallow.  In any event, if there is a mishap and I tip it is just hip deep here in the bay close to shore.  They have dredged a channel for the boats to get to deep water, but once out of the marina and channel it is not deep.   Sometimes I see fishermen out with hip waders, so no worries for me as I get comfortable with all the paddling and turning skills I need and at some point - tipping and self rescue skills I will need to master before I head out to the deep water beyond the sand bar in Georgian Bay.  I have favourited a bunch of kayaking how to videos on You Tube and will be studying up so that I can do some more adventurous journeys before too long.

Kayaks sit down so very close to the water.  Gives a unique perspective.

Sun was setting down behind the clouds in the western sky.  I am looking back at Rupert's Landing from White's Bay.  I hope to be able to be out on the water during a proper sunset next week.  Should have some fabulous pictures.  There are lots of wonderful places to explore which are close and fine for a beginner like me.  I should be able to have lots of adventures during my week of holiday next week.

 I was trying to get close enough to take a picture of this swan, but she was just not cooperating with her paparazzi and kept swimming away from me.  Her paddle skills were better than mine.

And so back into shore at the Rupert's Landing marina.  When I got ashore, I sorted out my gear and made all sorts of adjustments to the seat positioning (the back support is held in place by adjustable straps) and the feet "stirrups" and then carted it back up to the kayak racks at the end of the marina parking lot.  I guess I will be getting a few muscles with the to-ing and fro-ing!

I am very happy with my new putz about boat.  At a weight of 38 pounds,  I can easily schlep it each day from the racks to the boat ramp and it is just the right size for a beginner like me.  It is a cute little kayak - only 9 feet long when most are 12-14 feet, but it is quite serviceable for a newbie and does double duty for light touring (which is what I will mostly do) "ocean" kayaking and river "white water" kayaking, which is probably what I won't do.  But I do have a standing invitation for my adult children to borrow my new "baby" so maybe they will take it out for some exciting white water adventures at some point.

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