Monday, February 21, 2011

Circumnavigating Windsor Island

My tongue was dry and stuck to the inside of my cheek. Saturday night we had a party where we all pretended to be 20. Sunday morning I realised those days have passed. Sleeping a beautiful sunny day away ensuring my wife knew upon every trip from the bedroom to bathroom/ medicine cabinet "I was never drinking again".

This afternoon feeling full of energy from a days worth of rest; I crossed out onto the ice at Petawawa point under the watchful eye of gathering dog walkers. The wind howled in from he NW actually pushing my kayak sideways as I let go of it to fix my shoes. The ice has closed in since last week; and the usual flat entry into the water was a good foot drop down with it's new found height.

As the front of my kayak torpedoed into the water; a quick stern rudder turned me into the wind and current. Ice formed over my drysuit instantly from the launching splash. The view from the cockpit made the far off horizon appear void of ice. I immediately though of the confusion that may cause one paddling in the Arctic, And how landing on islands to look out over the ever moving ice to pick a route would be a requirement when available.

My paddle space quickly ended at Windsor island about a km or up stream. After100m of ice it reopened in the fast current of Chenal du Chebut and it appeared more open than this side of the islands.

Quickly seal landing on the ice I could feel it bowing around my hull then a solid slide onto the thicker snow covered shelf ice. Knowing the water well I knew to stay close to shore here, as the current bubbled up from a deep hole which would weaken the ice in places. Not to mention this area was mostly new ice since my last visit.

The other side wasn't much better. Where previously leads existed they had finally met and interlaced. The current has increased on this side and it was a work out paddling upstream to find the extent of travel.

Circumnavigation is a word that drives me batty. So many people use it to describe the smallest of trips. Jokingly I use it to describe everyday things like "circumnavigating the block Via automobile" "Circumnavigating the Tim Horton's " Etc Etc.....Today I circumnavigating Windsor Island.

Halfway through the "circumnavigation" I sat and rested after pulling my kayak an enormous distance (20m). I sat quietly hoping to get a picture of an otter, who's wet tracks dotted the ice. I really felt as If I was up north, a real dream of mine to live a simple life. My eye lashes froze as I waited at the opening to spot him. Life felt so right.

My short trip done I stopped for a coffee and a look at perfection. this time of the year left the river unmolested, uninhabited.

The shine of motorboat windscreens replaced with glistening ice.

Unlike most paddlers I'm not wishing the winter away just yet.


  1. Beautiful Lee...Thanks for sharing. Hey, I just "circumnavigated" your day!

  2. Hi Lee

    great posts .... hope your over your cold, flu...and the effects of sat pm... as for wines a good bet is always a reiesling white wine, from alsace france rus about $12.. or a vidal
    $10... any canadian wine that has a VQA notation on the lable is generaly a good bet...
    hope this helps

    re the canoe/kayak front....yes meeting to check out the barron canyon in the summer would be a great idea I look forward to it. when are you moving back to nfl?? hope that all is moveing well to that end...have to say that your tr. and photos, other blogs have increased my interest in this part of canada and ive started reading some of the historey ,,, working on a book now called Theater of Fish, authers great g g grand fauther wast a dr, misionary in late 1600s.... he is tracing the footsteps of is long gone gggrand father...

    if i can find a copy will read Kevin Majors historey of NFL.

    life is well here hope all in the family are well ... norman k.

  3. Lol Thanks for the kind Comments, and sucessfully circumnavigating my day J!

    Norm sounds like my kinda book I'll have to pick it up to add to the collection. Hearing that my blog increased your interest in something is a great compliment. Thanks you. We will be leaving here sometime in early july at the latest.

    Kevin can't go wrong. And I'll keep the VQA in the back of my mind!