The long wait is over! After sixteen months of work and the amazing support of many, our anticipated book order arrived at the door! If you want a sneak preview, check out the first twenty pages at Goodreads! To purchase your own copy, visit our website Canoe for Change: A Journey Across Canada.
The first significant paddle of 2021 under our belt, short as it may seem, was extremely rewarding. Ten wonderful days along the beautiful Georgian Bay coastline, Ontario’s inland sea.
Circumventing Philip Edward Island, paddling down and into the Old Voyageur Channel of the French River and back. Exploring every cove and bay we could find. One could get lost for hours absorbed in the sights of weathered islands and old-growth Pines. Pines that are firmly establishing their existence rooted into the smooth rock surface. We even located an old wooden boat hull submerged in a bay most likely the result of a violent encounter with a storm from decades ago.
The area is an exciting maze of islands called The Foxes, Hawk Islands and The Chickens among others. The land here is extremely sensitive, unregulated and not maintained in any way. It is important to accept the responsibility to protect and respect these islands. As in the past, we follow no-trace camping leaving sites cleaner than we find them, allowing others to continue to enjoy the beauty of the area.
We are glad to have returned and explored this area in greater detail with our canoe. The last time we were here was during our cross-Canada paddle and we never stopped to admire the majestic scenery, except for the occasional glance over our shoulder.
When we paddled across Canada, people would frequently ask questions about what food we would take, how to prepare it etc. Following is what we learned, which works well for us:
- Fresh food is dehydrated and vacuum-sealed for freshness. It is possible to dehydrate anything from carrots to pasta sauce to bananas! Dehydrated food is lightweight to carry, does not spoil and stores well in bear barrels. No need to hang food in trees!
- A sarong that serves as a table cloth keeps the camp kitchen organized with less chance of losing something vital.
- A small stove is used to cook food ninety per cent of the time. In remote locations with less chance of restocking fuel, food was cooked over a fire. The goal is always to always leave no trace!
- To save precious fuel, food is cooked in a pot until it reaches boiling point and then the heat source is removed. The pot is placed in a Hot Pot Cookware Insulator (much like a tea cosy) leaving the food to cook/steam itself to perfection! (Note: brown rice or quinoa must be cooked a bit longer.)
- Four servings are always cooked at the end of the day. Two are eaten at supper and two are saved for lunch the next day. Cold food is delicious as well!
Check out some recipes here!
Upon our exit from Georgian Bay at the Municipality of Killarney, we had the absolute pleasure of meeting Mike Ranta! Mike is a solo paddler and has accomplished three canoe expeditions across Canada! Of course, he could not have done any of his trips without his faithful companion, a pure-bred Finnish Spitz called Spitzii. Mike was honoured with the Governor General’s Award – Meritorious Service Medal in 2020 for melding his passions with advocacy work for youth, veterans, and first responders.
When Mike is not paddling, his latest project is building the world’s largest paddle! The Big Dipper at the water’s edge in Killarney is indeed an amazing sight to behold! The paddle is 107 feet long, 17 feet high at the blade and has a built-in compartment for a time capsule.
Mike assisted us with route logistics for our own paddle across Canada and we can’t thank him enough for being a positive influence and an inspiration to both of us! What an amazing guy!