Tuesday, June 29, 2010

15 Day Countdown

Hard to believe it’s been almost a year since the trip last year,  15 more days and will push off from shore for a repeat trip.  Excited and starting to switch into vacation mode, we have a stat holiday this week and took a couple days of vacation so really only 1 more full week of work left.

Don’t think I will be posting anything between now and when we leave on 15th of July, everything is packed and organized, rental complete, etc.  Only outstanding item is to pack food which I will be doing over the next couple of weeks but nothing worthy of posting.

As with my previous trip I will be posting daily trip reports, if you followed along last year I will try and keep it entertaining.

Hmmm, should I hop on the twitter bandwagon……

Renting Again

Decided to rent again this year for two reasons.

  1. Still a little up in the air on which Kayak I want, this gives me an opportunity to try a different style from last year
  2. Wanted to have two identical Kayaks for Julie and me, Kayaks handle differently so one or the other may have to work harder to keep up if they are different

Here are my basic requirements

  • Fiberglass,  polycarbonate is heavier and lugging in/out of water every day is a pain
  • No Third Day Hatch,  just takes away from packing options in the rear hatch, anything I need on the water I will have in cockpit or deck bag
  • Full Size front hatch cover,  don’t want to be messing with trying to get stuff down some 8” round hole twice a day
  • Rudder, makes things so much easier, especially for Julie on her first trip
  • Proper Seal between cockpit and hatches,  this is more on the condition of the boat, last year had issues with leaking into hatches because the silicone seal was essentially gone

Ended up Renting from MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-Op), they had better selection of boats and the price was cheaper than all other outfitters, $510 plus tax for 17 day rental is very reasonable in my opinion.   They also allow you to pickup day before after 3pm and return before 1pm the day after at no additional cost and threw in car carrier kit and spare paddle which I had to pay extra for last year, definitely a bonus.

Ended up going with the Seaward Cosma, a little smaller than I had last year as it’s only 16’2” long but had everything else I wanted.  Not as much cargo space as last year either but with two boats shouldn’t be a problem.  I did go down and inspect the kayaks because I thought might be a little small but definitely not, very happy with advice from staff.


Another nice feature on the Seaward boats is the Smart Rudder System, instead of having to turn rudder by pressing rudder pedal forward and back with each foot, the pedals are fixed and you turn by pressing forward like a gas pedal, suppose to be much more efficient, will see.

Would have preferred the Seaward Tyee for this trip as it’s bigger but they only had one available and wanted two exact Kayaks for the trip.

Other outfitters I checked out

Swift Canoe/Kayak – No availability on touring Kayaks meeting my requirements, had a few plastic wilderness boats but can’t stand them, have rented twice and just don’t like them at all.

Muskoka Outfitters – They don’t have a lot of demand for touring kayaks so limited selection, wasn’t happy with service, called in and they said they had the Kayaks, were busy and said they would call back when they confirmed details,  after a week I called back and they said they didn’t have anything in stock during the time of our trip, also meant would have to drive there to pick up (2 hours each way)

Paddle Toronto – Checked out their boats when I was down at Harbour Front, great selection but only do hourly/daily rentals and very expensive, almost 3 times the price to rent for the day and they don’t do extended rentals.

Complete Paddler – Only carry polycarbonate Kayaks

Change of Plans…

Haven’t posted in quite some time and figured time for an update.  My original plan for this trip was circumnavigation of Georgian Bay, the majority of this blog so far has been around the planning of that trip.

Good news/Bad News, downside, will be postponing the Georgian Bay trip until next year. Upside, still doing a trip this year and will do essentially the same route as last year,  Trent Waterway from Georgian Bay to Lake Ontario.  I will be doing the Georgian Bay trip at some point in the future but my reason for trip change this year is simple, bringing a date. 

After stopping in Buckhorn for a day last year, I planted the bug to Julie that she should give kayaking a try, well… she heard me loud and clear and since that point hasn’t stopped bugging me about coming along this year, after she went out and picked up all her gear, how can I say no, joking of course on the bugging part.

Will be a blast to have her along,  we did do a kayak weekend last year to make sure she would enjoy,  went out in Georgian Bay for overnighter, weather wasn’t the best but she was a trooper and didn’t loose interest in the thought of going this year.

Having said that, when I think back to planning last year and never having kayaked before, wouldn’t of considered doing Georgian Bay so with this being Julie’s first real trip I didn’t think it was fair to put her out in Georgian Bay for 2+ weeks unprepared. 

Julie maintains that I should keep my original plan and not change just because she is coming but I think it is the wisest decision.  I enjoyed the Trent so can’t think of any reason why it would be any less enjoyable a second time, especially when I know what to expect now.

Point is to get away from the city and be out on the water, destination less important to me.  She will give me grief when she reads this but too bad Julie, trip planner prerogative.

Here we go!