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:


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