I always forget an item on any expedition...feel free to use my list found in the "great websites" part of my webpage to download my Word document...It will come in handy
Just saw an old documentary about some family man who decided to venture hundreds of miles on the open sea by himself, no partner with him, and no safety boat nearby following him. The guy did not make it and died. Now there are long distance kayak trips and then there are foolhardy plans. Except for much smaller lengths, sea kayakers should stick to the safer circumnavigation trips around land bodies where you can put in if an emergency occurs or weather gets too horrible. A kayaker is not going to win out over the elements at their worst, when in the middle of nowhere.
The same type of thing happened a year or so ago with a Teacher trying to kayak a large part of Lake Superior to raise money for a a just cause....the kayaker was well qualified but, for some reason decided to do it solo....things can happen and if they do and you have no supports, well that just makes you plain stupid! Check out this link to the first story...
Canucks know their environment. It is really important to have the correct gear when kayaking in colder conditions. Check out my video section with my YouTube link for a recent video showing some of the top gear and some helpful hints! Brrrrrrr!!
This was an amazing trip. Start at Kingston so you can take advantage of the currents and wind. They will only charge you a few dollars to camp at each lockstation and they do have toilettes and potable water there. Get yourself a kayak cart...the best one I found for hard bumpy ground is one sold by Seattle Sports. It has what looks like two bike wheels with spokes (high clearance) and the wheels fold in so you can store it atop your back hatch with bungees.
Watch the weather patterns on the Big Rideau. We were kayaking on average each day about 6 to 7 hours and roughly 60 strokes per minute. Take your vitamin "I" (Ibuprofeen) each day...it helps. You can easily make Ottawa within 7 days and stop off in Merrickville or Smith Falls for a pint of Guiness!!
I would suggest on the Big Rideau staying at the Provincial Park right on the water and try to pick a week where the weather looks promising. A dromedary bag for your water is a good idea and hydrate often...remember the rule of thumb....if your urine is not close to clear then you are not hydrated. An SPF rated kayaking shirt and wide brimmed hat will help keep you cool....above all listen to your body.
It is so simple how sometimes you forget the simplest things, like talking to locals about the water you plan to kayak! A case in point, as I was going to kayak with my Buddy Cameron Ashton around Morris Island up around the Ottawa River at Fitzroy dam in late November...we ran into an older gentleman out hiking and he suggested the Ottawa narrows into a funnel right under an old train bridge spanning the Quebec and Ottawa side of the Ottawa River....he said to stay clear of the bridge and cross over farther away. It is very easy to underestimate currents, even in low water. We tried going off in a direction closer to the top of the dam....bad decision when you start to notice the trees are going by in a blur!!! We promptly turned around, luckily and went the other way. Even crossing wide of the bridge was daunting, and even along the water's edge under the bridge you had to read the water for calm spots....tough to kayak through parts of even two feet of water when the current is so strong....glad we ran into that old guy!
Likely my last kayak trip of the season this weekend with my bud Cameron Ashton! Going to put in around Quyon or Galetta and yak some sections above the Fitzroy Harbor Dam....lots of cool nooks to discover on the Quebec side off of Moriss Island. Will have some YouTube Videos posted on proper cold water gear...look for it!
It has been a so-so year for kayaking as I did not get out as much as I would have liked. In 2014 we are planning a 7 day adventure with Naturally Superior near Wawa and a 7 day trip to Tadoussac and the Saguenay River section. Should all be fun!!!
Being part Newfie explains my affinity for water. Getting out in your sea kayak is a way to get away from it all...to get back to nature and what is important. It is a way to challenge yourself! These days with kids around I try every other week to get out locally around Ottawa and Quebec for 4 hour trips with my buddy, and then we always plan one or two large trips each year where we are in the middle of nowhere for seven days.....we read up alot on the lightest best gear and are always learning what to do and not do!
Well a few years ago I tried a kayak at a friend's cottage and thought it much faster and more fun. Bought my first inexpensive PVC recreational kayak (10') and took it out many times until I outgrew it...wanting to of course be able to travel farther and faster!
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