September Hoot & Blat Tips

I thought we could think about life lessons. This season there was at least one incident of folks being on big water with wind and waves that should not have been out there. After the motor boat rescue, they were fine but the boats were not as happy being smashed against some rocks. It seems like all of us could use a lesson in physics and the power of wind and water.

My first lesson in physics was an ill-advised ride on the back bumper of a soap box derby looking wheeled vehicle down a paved side road that happens to be part of the Niagara Escarpment. Although I did not inspect the steering system I suspect now that it could be best described as post and beam with a cheap rope as a nod to technology. Who needs brakes as this was a pure-bred racer! Ricky (his last name was not Racer) was at the rope and you could barely see his noggin above the aerodynamic plywood. His hair was blowing in the wind in true racer style.

As we started down the hill I quickly learned what Newton said about gravity. We were going awful fast and the hill had just begun. The car was not answering to the rope and was already weaving back and forth taking up a whole lane which after taking driving lessons I learned was the wrong side of the road. Perhaps the steering was off because of the weight on the back bumper.

Due to my newfound appreciation of Newton I concluded that jumping ship was my only hope; which I promptly did. Although I was a quick runner for a ten-year-old I was not that quick. A few rolls on the road took off all the excess speed and I was safe but left to watching Ricky hit terminal velocity. I am sure it was Ricky’s finest moment driving as he managed to stay upright all the way down that hill. I was bleeding but not broken. Ricky was ecstatic to still be alive. He had learned a lesson about gravity as well.

What has this got to do with paddling lessons? Good question and as soon as my blood pressure returns to normal I will come up with a few conclusions.

How would this have gone if we had a lesson prior to this episode? A trained professional (any mother) would’ve noted the faded rope steering and the possibility of high speed instability. They would have mentioned it was a one-person-only sort of vehicle. They would have asked where we planned to ride? Our planned route would have raised eyebrows and Ricky would have been sent to his room for even thinking about it. They would have advised something more substantial than hair covering Ricky’s noggin. I would have been sent home for being so stupid to get on the back of the racer at the top of a steep hill that also happened to be a road.

We do something similar in White Squall lessons. We go over what the craft should have to be safe. We show folks how to get in safely and mention things like falling off a SUP board onto a dock is going to hurt. All seemingly simple physics, but with any new thing, to figure all ramifications is difficult at first. A gentle introduction to the joys of being upside down in a kayak is always better than it happening somewhere off shore in big waves. We give folks some skills to handle canoes efficiently and to always think about how the waves will look when you are going to a windy side of a point of land. We ask people about their intended route and think about safety factors with that. We do not send you to your room if there is some crazy idea about a route but we may raise our eyebrows.

Have a great fall and get out on the water!

Carpe diem Hoot and Blat

A sweet summer hoot coming your way. Yes!… the summer days are here after our long, not so patient, wait. You may be thinking “Darn, missed my chance to get on one of those Carling Township Class kayak trips with White Squall”. Well don’t be too disappointed because there are some trips & activities to look into that still have room for more crew members.

Couple of things to consider for the summer days ahead. We’ve got plenty of boats and boards looking for a new home and a great lake to test paddle them on. Nigel Dennis Kayaks and the Sisu and Prana from Current Designs are show casing the new playful sea kayaks in our roster. Boardworks have some new touring boards and BluWave returns with boards that are plenty quick and a lot of fun for folks out for longer fitness paddles As well, our regular clinics can get your strokes and rescues tuned up; they happen every Saturday and we’ve a bevy of great instructors ready to impart paddling prowess.

Trips are booking up but there are few spots left on these awesome adventures.

Paddle Canada – Level One Skills – $350

July 21 (evening)-23, 2017 (2.5 days), August 11 (evening)-13, 2017 (2.5 days)

Have you shied away from the usual Paddle Canada course in mid-April because all the instructors wear survival suits and the big test is to paddle under the ice flows? Leave those sorts to carry on without a trace of fear. You in conjunction with the lovely warm summer embrace of Cole Lake and warm as toast Georgian Bay are going to learn all kinds of skills in the most sensible time of year there is for being upside down in your kayak. The only ice cream headaches available are the ones from the shops with the same name you stop in on your way home. Get the mint chocolate as you will probably be a newly minted Level One Paddler!

https://www.whitesquall.com/sheltered-waters-level-1/

Hot Rocks Yoga – $575, August 25-27 (3 days)

Yoga & kayaking on Georgian Bay is the ultimate combo, especially in the summer for the currently popular hot yoga. Do you recall the Yogi Flyers that were trying to get into Federal politics? They were very good at floating several inches in the air as opposed to the usual politician that are good in going the opposite direction. The closest I have been to such an exalted state of being is in my kayak, sitting still a few kilometers from any Georgian Bay island saying oooommmmmm, I hope I brought my sleeping bag.

https://www.whitesquall.com/hot-rocks-yoga/

Photo Trip – $975September 21-24 (4 days)

Thom Morrissey & Doug Elsey are photo pros. Not only do they provide excellent instruction on feedback on how to make your photographic memories really ‘pop’…but they also are an entertaining pair (think guys in the balcony seats from the Muppets only they’re poking fun at each other). This cabin based trip means you get to sleep in comfort and then explore the beauty of the Bay in September during the day. Whether you’re a photo beginner or just want some focused time improving your already awesome skills or just want to paddle and don’t mind some folks chatting about cameras while you soak in the fall waters – this is a great trip and a great time of year to be on the bay.

https://www.whitesquall.com/autumn-photography/

 

Don’t forget the Rope

It is a summer with what you could call interesting weather. Make sure to take lots of extra rope on your trip on the Bay. Or even for that day trip via SUP on that small lake. The wind can be a trickster and send your way home out on another adventure without you. Carry all the boats away from the shore, rope together and then tie to the biggest rock or tree that is handy. When you are in the tent at 4am listening to the flapping you will be glad that the boats are safe.

Franklin Challenge Rocks!

Franklin Challenge 2017 in Support of Treetops Community Forest

The First Annual Franklin Challenge was a wet, windy and stormy success with 80 paddlers taking on the coast of Franklin Island this past Sunday. Not even the stormy weather could dampen the paddlers’ or volunteers’ spirits!

 

Photography and Video by Meg Wallace Photography

 

“Thank you all for a fun event! As always, marked by very friendly, welcoming and competent organizers, volunteers and staff. We found the marshaling and guidance on the water just what we needed and the snacks were great!! We would have stopped for more cookies along the way had we been better dressed, haha! There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad gear. 🙂 We intend to repeat this next year, knowing that, now we have proven our metal and you have had a memorable inaugural day, you will be sure to provide much better weather in the years to come! Congratulations on a successful day, I hope you have a well earned hot drink and a rest.” ~ Kim W

The youngest paddler was Jada Jean Utas – 4 years old, with her mom Stacy!

Nine year old Sam Mason of Nobel was the youngest paddler to complete the circumnavigation (20km) in a solo kayak – a remarkable feat, and most likely a record, as nobody knows of anyone younger who as accomplished that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over $19,000 was raised for Treetops Community Forest, thanks to remarkable generosity from the entire community! The Challenge organizers want to thank all the sponsors, volunteers and particularly Gilly’s of Snug Harbour for hosting this event. Carling Marine Rescue, Canadian Coast Guard and the OPP Marine Unit were all in attendance to patrol the waters and keep everyone safe. It was truly a community-wide effort – on and off the water!

 

That’s all she wrote folks, so get out and hike, paddle, bike – or just smell the roses – winter will be here soon enough and we have a fine summer ahead of us!

 

Short, Sweet Summer Paddling Hoot

Short, Sweet Summer Paddling & Squaller Dollars!

Time is short, so is summer – and we have two trips we want you to jump on. So much so that if you book now (whitesquall.com) we’ll give you $25 in SQUALLER DOLLARS to spend on anything your heart desires in our outfitting shop. Now you can get that pair of Darn Tough socks you always dreamed of. They never wear out – guaranteed – just like my jokes. For eg., A bear walks into a bar with blood on his foot and says: “Who Shot My PAW!”

Beginners Sea Kayak Youth Adventure

All Young Paddlers 12 & UP. Our Youth Adventure heads out July 4-7 led by Hannah Goodings, a summer camp counsellor and Squall sea kayak guide. . Imagine swimming, sleeping out in a tent ,eating great meals and paddling in the prettiest island waters anywhere. A fine way to start your summer holiday. No experience needed – Call right now for more info (705) 342-5324. ($395) https://www.whitesquall.com/youth-adventure-trip/

Calling First Timers and Anyone Else for a Weekend Getaway!

Experience sparkling waters, sun-warmed rock & pine clad islands in the comfort of a touring sea kayak. Our guides are excited to teach you all you need to know to camp and paddle safely. We’ll then head out of Snug Harbour to an island camp where you can kick back and enjoy a Georgian Bay summer.

July 7-9 – Call 705-3423-5324

https://www.whitesquall.com/first-timers-trip/

Weather or Not, Here we GO!

If you’re like the rest of the province, this lovely weather is a source of coffee conversation and consternation and constipation – day after day after day. But it’s also time for a head check sports fans – if we were living out on either coast, then wet, wacky and wind would be just words and we would get out and enjoy what each day brings. Just give ‘er, you can sleep when you’re dead.

Franklin Challenge Rocks

The First Annual Franklin Challenge was a wet, windy and stormy success with 80 paddlers taking on the coast of Franklin Island this past Sunday. The youngest paddler was Jada Jean Utas – 4 years old!

Nine year old Sam Mason of Nobel was the youngest paddler to complete the circumnavigation (20km) in a solo kayak – a remarkable feat, and most likely a record, as nobody knows of anyone younger who as accomplished that. Over $19,000 was raised for Treetops Community Forest, thanks to remarkable generosity from the entire community! The Challenge organizers want to thank all the sponsors, volunteers and particularly Gilly’s of Snug Harbour for hosting this event. Carling Marine Rescue, Canadian Coast Guard and the OPP Marine Unit were all in attendance to patrol the waters and keep everyone safe. It was truly a community-wide effort – on and off the water! 

That’s all she wrote folks, so get out and hike, paddle, bike – or just smell the roses – winter will be here soon enough and we have a fine summer ahead of us!

 

Jack’s Hoot for June

Tim Has A Problem You Can Fix (parents of great kids please listen up!)

Our bestest & most favourite trip is YOUTH ADVENTURE from July 4-7 and we NEED YOU! We’ve lowered the cost to $395 to encourage everyone! Aimed at 12–16 yr olds with no experience –we’re a few shy of a full load. Join us out in the islands kayaking camping, swimming, eating great meals and exploring the world’s largest freshwater archipelago. Call now to start off your summer in grand style: 705-342-5324 More intel: https://www.whitesquall.com/youth-adventure-trip/

Time To Try Something Different (And Get Away From The Engines)

Just think of the pure experience of feeling the wind and waves trying to plaster you on shore in your little underpowered kayak. However, since you are on a White Squall trip you have some first rate guides to say things like ”paddle harder” or yell “I’ve seen it worse!”. It’s all part of the fun of being out there folks. Our First Timer trip July 7 -9 is designed to get you out there safely and with the maximum amount of fun and even some tips on how to make the kayak dance on the water and feel not quite so underpowered. This trip could be called anytimers as any time you get out there it’s great. So don’t be shy if you have been in a kayak before as we will not turn you away.

The Real McCoy

This is getting bad as I even remember that show. There is no need for the TV for this Real McCoy trip on July 11 to 14. The island chain has all the charm of the original series but has the advantage of actually being here. They qualify as my favorite island chain in my early kayak career and have not disappointed anyone I know yet. Just enough off shore to be on their own and with the ghost of Walter still reputed to be there. Or is that just a rerun picked up by the rudder cables of my kayak?

Ask us if we overbook!

 

The answer is no! We will not drag you kicking and screaming out of the tandem kayak, or any kayak for that matter. If we make a big mistake and there are a few extra on a trip we just call it a second trip and that makes you and the extra staff that get to go very happy.

Selection Selection Selection

Spy satellites have noticed a new bright spot on the face of the earth and it turns out to be right beside Cole Lake! There are so many new kayaks, canoes and SUP boards that they are putting on the shades up there. You would think they are getting used to it as this time of year all the boats have arrived and are waiting for a paddler to select them.

Want to have some fun? Just show up at the Paddling Centre and ask one of the staff that you want a Puddle Skimmer to match their new staff T-shirt. Sit back and watch the action as they grab an inventory and proclaim “yes we have that model in confuscia” and hear the cry go up. “Anyone seen the Puddle Skimmer in Confuscia?” It could be in a vast number of places like the chicken shed, the troll trail, Tim’s closet or even rack # 29A. When they find it go for a lovely paddle on the lake to see if the dream matches reality. While you are there compare the boat of your dreams with a few other like minded boats, just to make sure.

Tim’s busy so it’s Jack’s tip for a change

I noticed the other day when perusing a mirror that my old kayak (1986 Nimbus Seafarer) is looking like the day it was built compared to me. Why is that I wondered? Some kayaks come in to the White Squall infirmary looking sort of beat up and old but they are way younger then the Seafarer.

Well every year (or two) I give the little boat some TLC by cleaning it and doing any gel coat repairs on the inevitable scratches and rub through areas. Then it receives a lovely coat of boat wax. It lets the fibreglass keep its colour and of course makes it faster then your average Seafarer on the water. Maybe I should use some of that black Gel stuff in my hair.

If that kayak that is going to outlast all of us is made from plastic then try giving it a coat of 303. It is space age stuff that acts just like a wax. It makes the plastic slippery and shiny and dare I say, even good looking.

Of course, like all of us older kayaks need some parts every once in a while. Most things can be found somewhere or made from something else but the worst and hardest to fix item are the hatch covers. Your best bet is to buy spare hatch covers as soon as you can. I have a little sports car of a kayak and the rear hatch cover is no longer available. I should have taken my own advice in 2000 and bought a couple of spares right then!

What will I do when this one finally goes even after yearly soakings of 303? I don’t know, maybe the old plastic bag trick with a bungy cord will do the trick but that seems too easy. Maybe instead of the McCoy trip we could run a McGyver trip and I could get a better idea then.

Have a great time on the water.

Jack

 

June 7th- Hoot

Squall Hoot, Hoot & Hoot

Superior Bound

Four Squallions left for Lake Superior this morning to dip their paddles in the greatest inland sea on earth. If you haven’t smelled and felt the power of Superior, think about going if you can – it’s a deep Canadian experience. Need intel on where, when and how? Give our friends at Naturally Superior Adventures a shout – they know her waters well. https://www.naturallysuperior.com/

Musical Chickens

This season we welcome the Cole Lake Cluckers, an upstart chick group that has already hit the top of the charts here in Carling. We’re not kidding – they are really good esp when Martha gets going on the drums. And nope, no drugs involved – c’mon out and see!

Last Minute Basic Kayak Instructor Course This Weekend June 9-11

You are a paddler and want to teach others? We have a couple of openings this weekend for a Paddle Canada Basic Instructor course taught by two of our top staff – Sarah Creasor and Hannah Goodings. Call now and we’ll sign you up! 705-342-5324 for more info: https://www.whitesquall.com/camp-instructor/

Take the Franklin Challenge (and Tim’s Challenge) – June 25

There’s still space to join in paddling around Franklin Island – This is one of those events that you’ll say after “Gee, I wish I would have done that!” We have added in a second shorter route so everyone can join in. All of this is in support of Treetops Community Forest: (https://treetopscommunityforest.com/) Check out: https://www.whitesquall.com/franklin-challenge/ And FINALLY – you can also take the Tim Challenge! I am offering a pedal powered kayak for free use to one person who wants to pedal it for the FC. These things really go so you’ll be at the front of the pack for sure – and you can blow the doors off all the other paddlers. Give me a call on my cell: 705-773-8142

 

Tim Has A Problem You Can Fix (parents of great kids please listen up!)

Our bestest & most favourite trip is YOUTH ADVENTURE from July 4-7 and we NEED YOU! We’ve lowered the cost to $395 to encourage everyone! Aimed at 12 – 16 yr olds with no experience –we’re a few shy of a full load. Join us out in the islands kayaking camping, swimming, eating great meals and exploring the world’s largest freshwater archipelago. Call now to start off your summer in grand style: 705-342-5324 More intel: https://www.whitesquall.com/youth-adventure-trip/

Best Price, Best Selection, Best “No Guff” Return

Bring a picnic, spend a day – we really won’t bug you. You can try out boats and boards to your heart’s content. Why we’ll even bring you a cup of tea, so there ya go.

Tim’s Tip – Shove Off Bugs!

Yer in your tent with the sun going down over the sparkling waters of Georgian Bay – when to your horror, the tent is filling up with friggin’ bugs. Tumbling out of your sleeping bag, you discover rips in the tent screening with little nippers divebombing through for an evening feed. What to do? Well – you could duct tape the openings, but you’ll be sorry later cause it makes a mess and screws up future repairs. Take some “Aquaseal” (found at your local fairly friendly paddling shop) and dab it along the rip or hole. Done carefully, it will congeal quickly and stop the bugs in their tracks. If you were really god’s gift to camping, , you might also have some regular tape (not duct tape) in your kit and you can put some on the backside of the hole – making the application of the aquaseal go swimmingly well – peeling it off once it congeals. This takes all of ten minutes or less and you will have a bug free, beauty sleep.

Am I bugging you? Just hit reply and put “bug off tim” in the subject line and we will off you tout de suite

Thanks for listening folks – see you at the Franklin Challenge?!

Memories of Stuart McLean

Memories of Stuart McLean

Living in the backwoods of Parry Sound by a small lake is a quiet way of sitting out a Canadian winter.  Sunday lunches were happy times in the front of the fire with homemade soup listening to Stuart McLean and the Vinyl Café, our young son laughing right along with my wife  and me.  He grew up with those stories and we found our lost youth in them too.

So it was that we decided one snowy school night to make a 2 hour trip to North Bay, to see this man in person.  Our son was about 10 – and excited to leave school early so we could have a good start on this special evening.  We drove through a snow squall, getting there just before the show started.  It ended all too soon, and so as a final treat – we bought our son a Vinyl Café CD.

He waited patiently in a long line to for an autograph.   It was late, we had a long drive ahead when suddenly Stuart stood up from behind his desk and walked past the entire line of adults.  He gently took our son’s hand and leading him to the front, called out to the crowd and said “this young man needs to get to bed” giving him a big smile as he signed the album.   For years after, our son tucked into bed on a cold Parry Sound night going to sleep with those magical stories and a warm memory of a very special man.

~ Tim

White Squall Staff Canoe Trip 2016: Temagami

~ October 27th – 31st 2016

~ Day 1: Put in by Camp Wanipitei

White Squall Staff Canoe Trip 2016: Temagami

Temagami – land of the deepwater people and home to some of Canada’s last virgin white and red pine.  At the end of October this year and with a long, hot season behind us, Squall staff headed up for a 5 day old-fashioned canoe trip.  We were starting to forget what barrels and canoe packs were all about.

White Squall Staff Canoe Trip 2016: Temagami

To soften the time of year, we brought along a canvas tent and wood stove for the sub-zero nights. The early darkness was no problem with the crackle of a hot camp stove and hot rum.  Bringing along that tent and stove made the entire adventure all the more memorable.  There is nothing finer than being able to dry out every night and tell a few tall tales.

White Squall Staff Canoe Trip 2016: Temagami

~ Diamond Lake Pictographs

White Squall Staff Canoe Trip 2016: Temagami

 

White Squall Staff Canoe Trip 2016: Temagami

 

White Squall Staff Canoe Trip 2016: Temagami

 

White Squall Staff Canoe Trip 2016: Temagami

 

One of our goals was to get into the famous Wakimika Triangle and the old growth pine.  I recalled an old saying from my youth:  “when you think yourself a big man – go into the forest and stand before a pine – and tell that pine what a big man you are”  Well….I did that on this trip, and the pine just stared back as the wind murmured through it’s upper branches.  I think it was basically telling me to get lost.  I got the message.

 

White Squall Staff Canoe Trip 2016: Temagami

 

We were struck by the utter simplicity of canoe travel, where packing up is a matter of filling up oversized packs and throwing them into a waiting canoe, bobbing on the water in the morning light.  Packing sea kayaks is a much more involved and time-consuming chore – one we were happy not to have on a cold, damp morning.

 

White Squall Staff Canoe Trip 2016: Temagami

 

White Squall Staff Canoe Trip 2016: Temagami

 

Temagami is a cut above Algonquin and Killarney.  Why?  Not sure – could it be the jagged, torn and twisted rock – the high cliffs staring down as we paddled by or is it simply it’s deep and dark waters?  It’s got a mystery to it all its own, and we felt it.  It does demand more time  – maybe that’s it.  We all came home wanting to return…
White Squall Staff Canoe Trip 2016: Temagami
Keen to learn more about other canoe routes in Temagami? You can find some at the Canadian Canoe Routes site.

Final Fall Clearout

We’re open all weekend including Thanksgiving Monday with Blow-Out Pricing on new & used kayaks, canoes, boards and gear.

Drop by and put your name in for a chance to win one of 3 outdoor gear prizes personally paw-selected by Charly.

C’mon out and say hello for hot coffee and conversation with us or the chickens or Charly – the latter two will have all day to chat….