Dates: July 29 – August 1, 2011
If you missed part 1, you can read about it here
There was a big and loud thunderstorm at night. Being on a tiny island in Georgian Bay (which is known for violent storms) made it that much scarier. Fortunately, nothing bad happened, and we woke in the morning to the sound of dripping water. This is the time when you appreciate having proper camping habits and hiding everything in a tent or a in a dry bag.
Once again, we got an early start. We needed to find our way through a maze of small islands in Georgian Bay and find the French River Eastern Outlet. I got a little overconfident in my navigation abilities and attempted to find the way without help of a compass. That quickly got us lost. Fortunately, we had a GPS to help us out and put us back on the map, but we lost some time on this. Note to self: don’t try to navigate by eyes only! Finally we found our way around the Obstacle island (what a fitting name!), and started paddling up the French River.
Flying with the wind
We lost some time to getting lost, so were still on the water after noon. The notorious French River wind came back with a vengeance, but this time around it was helping us. The wind and the waves were pushing us so much that we were making noticeable progress even without doing any paddling. Most of the time we were paddling – we were experimenting with how fast we could make the canoe go. It was probably the highest speed I’d ever achieved in a canoe. The only difficulty was keeping the boat straight – steering it at these speeds turned out to be surprisingly challenging.
Lily as a mascot
Lily was getting tired of canoeing a bit. She spent most of the trip perched precariously on the bow of the canoe like so:
Once in a while, she would slip and fall into the water. Eventually, she became cold and tired of constant struggle to balance on the tip of the canoe. She laid down in the middle of the boat, and started making some sobbing and whining noises.
Fortunately, we got to the campsite quickly, and Lily was happy to be on solid ground again. We were very fortunate to grab a fantastic campsite again. It was high on a rock, with a great view in 3 directions. It also had a resident frog, which incidentally seemed to enjoy posing for pictures.
Lightning in a clear sky
We woke up at night to a pretty fantastic sight. The sky above us was totally clear, but the horizon had thick clouds and lightning. We figured it must have been the previous night’s storm moving slowly inland. Unfortunately, it was too dark and too far to take good pictures
We got up to watch the dawn, packed up quickly and headed back to the Heartly Bay. The water was even calmer and quieter than on the previous mornings. It was a really fantastic experience: our paddles were breaking the otherwise perfectly calm mirror-like surface.
Eventually, we reached a more frequently traveled stream, and the dreamy calm was interrupted by annoying loud motorboats. I actually felt pity for the people who never let go of the engine – they would never have the same type of experience as we had that morning.
We quickly covered the distance remaining to the marina, and soon were off driving back.