Thursday, 12 September 2013

Sinclair Cove - Pictographs

The day began with light winds so I ventured North to explore the cove and Barett Island.  Beautiful rock formations and scenery. 

Unfortunately when I headed towards the pictographs the winds quickly picked up making for an uncomfortable paddle.  Next time I hope to have more time to explore the pictographs and the Agawa islands.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Mica Bay - Alona Bay Lake Superior

Okay enough of the kiddie stuff.  It's time for the big water ... Lake Superior. 

After finally purchasing a paddle float, bilge pump and a 2mm Farmer John wetsuit I headed back to Trout Lake Saturday afternoon to practise some wet exits and self rescues.  Sunday morning I headed to Mica Bay for a day paddle on Lake Superior.  I had been checking the marine forecast and winds were going to be light.

I launched about 4 km south of Mica Bay and didn't quite make it all the way to Alona Bay.  The route was 27 km and although I stopped several times for a snack and to rest I was exhausted after being on the water for 6.5 hours.  It had been several years since I was up this way. We used to scuba dive in this area and I forgot how beautiful the coast line is here.

About 5 km past Mamainse Harbour look for a narrow road towards the water right at the point where Highway 17 comes really close to the shore.  It is short walk down to the beach.

One of the things I enjoyed the most on this paddle was that looking down was just as interesting as looking up.  The water was crystal clear and the underwater boulders, ledges, veins of granite quartz and  pink sandstone made the paddle that much more enjoyable.

Don't get me wrong there was plenty to look at above the surface:

Theano point  to the north of Alona Bay.  Apparently the location of the first Uranium discovery in Canada.   I can't wait until my next paddle in which I will launch at Alona Bay and round this point:

Between Mica Bay and Alona bay there were many channels and outcroppings of rocks to paddle through:

Notice the bright contrast of the orange sunburnt lichens on the dark rock:

Found this really cool sliver of a beach sandwiched between rock:

A perfect spot for a dip and lunch:

I'm not 100 % sure but I swear this same loon followed me for almost the entire return trip:

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

St. Mary's River

I'm pretty certain today was the hottest day of the year so far ... very humid and +30.  Seemed like a perfect opportunity to cool off and go for an after-work paddle.   I also hoped to put some of the skills I learned this past weekend to use.  I will post an account of the course I took in an upcoming blog.

I recently picked up a really cool book:  Guide to Sea Kayaking on Lakes Superior & Michigan---The Best Day Trips and Tours by Bill Newman, Sarah Ohmann and Don Dimond.  It describes a total of 49 different routes.    How fitting that the very first route is entitled "Sault Ste Marie: St. Mary's River.  I would feel silly continuing to call myself the Soo Paddler without ever paddling the river.   It is a nice 3-4 hour paddle with a unique opportunity to sea some huge ships up close. 

The launch site is Bellvue Park marina on the Canadian side of the river.  I headed south downstream to the east dock of the Sugar Island Ferry on Island 1.  South along the island, crossed over and past three more islands.  I then  hugged the USA shore to stay out of the shipping lane and towards the locks.  I crossed back over to the Canadian side and then paddled with the current returning to the launch site.

You can park very close to the launch site and avoid the boat traffic in the marina:

Aim for the strip of pilings when crossing south from the Canadian side to the USA.

Watch out for the Sugar Islander II:

As I popped out of the islands into the shipping channel I just missed a freighter by a few minutes:

Playing chicken with a sail boat tacking his way back upwind:

Edison Sault Electric Co.:

US Locks:

Canadian Locks:

Riding the current downstream towards Roberta Bondar Pavillion:

Never new how pretty the civic center looked from the water:

Fountain in front of Clergue Park and the Art Gallery:

While I was paddling around the locks on the US side there were no boats in sight, however 20 minutes later two freighters passed each other:

Sailing into the sunset?

Bushplane Museum:

International Bridge at sunset: