Saturday, July 08, 2006

You poor bastards in Korea

I just finished a great, but very short, canoe ride and rushed to the computer to brag. My mom lives on the west shore of Georgian Bay and normally the wind makes nearly ocean-sized surf here; very unpleasant for canoeing. Today, the wind was mild.

The three of us, Mom, myself and GeorgianBayAlex, tried canoeing but the little guy really didn't like it. This afternoon, while he slept and mom kept an eye on him, I experimented with poling.

I am a fairly skilled canoeist although those skills are currently rusty. I'm pretty comfortable standing in the canoe and when the conditions are right, it's a great way to see further and deeper into the water. Here I am, posing near our beach.

Although I am comfortable standing, I still make mistakes.

After using the canoe, I have to put it away. Note the dent in the bow-seat. I did that years ago but may have deepened it today.

Before actually traveling in the canoe, I used it to remove several hundred kilos of rocks from the beach. Who's the guy, Sisyphus, that has to push a rock uphill forever? Removing the rocks creates the same feeling; there are always more just below the ones you cart away.

Anyway, I loaded the canoe and took it out a little to dump where we won't be walking. I had to shift all the stone to one side of the canoe and was terrified that in trying to tip it, I would just fill it with water and have it sink on an even keel. Then, I would have to lift every fricking stone again to raise the canoe. Luckily, it sank on one side and with massive effort, I was able to tip it enough to recover the canoe.

Then I went swimming to some nearby old dock-cribs. There, I saw some monster-bass (Naa, naa, Nomad!) and a frightened looking crayfish. I shot them with a disposable camera so you may see the photos someday.

Then, I went poling in the canoe. Observing from a five-foot-plus vantage is way better than the seated three foot vantage point. I saw a fox or milk snake. I used to know the difference but now only could confirm on sight that it wasn't a rattler, nor a watersnake. I chased it awhile and shot it with the camera a few times. I crossed the little bay and found several garpike.

I am new to this part of Georgian Bay; I am more familiar with the northern waters. Garpike are new and exotic. They are gold and pike shaped with long mouths. Pretty darn cool to see as they frequently sun themselves in shallow water and take off like torpedoes when approached.

On returning home, a mink ran across mom's beach. We later saw it eat a crayfish.

Although I haven't seen any really big mammals like bear or moose, today is what being in Canada is all about for me. It's already been a great trip.


Nathan B. said...

I'm enjoying these posts of you very much, Brian!

skindleshanks said...

My canoeing skills are growing rusty, too.


You've got to remember the first rule of canoe stability:

Are you sure you're really Canadian? :)

"A Canadian is one who can make love in a canoe without tipping."

And the second quote:

"Anyone can make love in a canoe, but the Canadian knows to remove the centre thwart."

Happy Paddling . . .