Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Paddling Georgian Bay

Last weekend, I drove up to a little town called Tobermory. It's about a 5-hour drive from Buffalo, and is NW of Hamilton, Ontario, on the tip of the Bruce Peninsula that separates Lake Huron from Georgian Bay. Over the past 20 years or so, I've been up there atleast 6 times, mostly on photography trips to capture the unique assortment of orchids and other beautiful flowers that are found there, as well as to enjoy the beauty of the landscape.

My photos: http://tinyurl.com/bobTobermory08Album1

Georgian Bay's rocky coast, and Lake Huron's sandy shores provide a stunning setting for vacationers, as well as those of us with cameras, boats, or scuba gear. It's an incredibly beautiful place where I have taken rides on the glass-bottom tour boats to see the old shipwrecks, and I've trailered my own power boat up there to cruise the big water.

I sold my "stink boat" a several years ago, now have a sea kayak, and am considering offering an ADK paddle outing to Tobermory next summer. I wanted to check it out from a paddler's perspective and "see" how the big water paddling is on those great lakes. It's amazing. I'll let anyone who is interested peruse the links, and gander at my photos from last weekend. If you would like more information about the Bruce, you need only to contact me and I'll be glad to elaborate.

If you wish to paddle there, I recommend you have at least a 14-foot kayak, spare paddle, proper cold-water paddling attire (neoprene), navigation light for night travel (just in case -don't ask…), be able to paddle at a brisk pace into, or with, wind and waves for 2 hours at a time, be comfortable and experienced on big water (great lakes or ocean) up to 2 miles from shore, own the proper gear and be able to self-rescue in waves and assist others (no roll necessary), be able to land and launch in waves (mild surf) on rocky shores, have navigation skills needed to be able to find your way back to your starting point from miles away (map & compass skills, and GPS savvy).

These are just a few things to think about if you want to paddle on big water anywhere. It seems like a lot of stuff to think about, but paddling up on Georgian Bay is worth the bother. Tobermory is one place that is so beautiful, and so close, that all kayakers should visit it at least once! Paddle on.

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