Look Up, It’s Paddling Time

She’s here folks. Don’t let the weather guys fool you, spring is shining down, patiently waiting for us to look up and take in the heat. Just ask the robins and the pussy willows, they know what’s going on. Cole Lake hasn’t got the memo yet but we’re close.

Franklin Island & Red Rock Mysteries & Song – Squall Night April 16

This is a one-off event kids. Jamie Hunter, former curator of the Huronia Museum will tell some lively yarns of Camp Franklin and the keepers of Red Rock Lighthouse. Juno-nominated musician Douglas John Cameron rounds out the evening with water songs – a musical history tour you won’t want to miss! Donations gratefully accepted for Global Medic – an all-volunteer Canadian First Response Team. Canadore College Parry Sound – Doors Open at 6:30 for coffee and cookies, Show at 7pm.

CANWARN Storm Spotter Training Session – Free April 24

The frequent storms we’re all seeing is something Geoff Coulsen – one of Canada’s top Warning Preparedness Meteorologists – has studied his entire life. Geoff will share the latest on how we can all help and learn with the CANWARN system. Canadians are famous for yakking about weather, but let’s be honest, it’s often bull, bolstered by beer. Now you can be the hit of the party by saying “hey – did you know I’m a Storm Spotter”. At the very least, you could at talk more intelligently about Canadian weather J Kindly hosted by Carling Township from 7 – 9:30 at the Carling Community Hall April 24. Let Fire Chief Gord Harrison know you’re coming and he’ll put out more chairs and coffee! [email protected]

A Sea Kayak Weekend for Your Life May 31 – June 2

Take a weekend to learn introductory sea kayaking from two of our top instructors – Gracie Crafts and Ayden Dermenjian. They’ll meet you Friday evening for snacks and startup and Saturday will be out on cute, cuddly Cole Lake, learning fundamental strokes and rescues. Sunday we’ll head out to the sheltered islands and inlets out of Snug Harbour to try out your new skills. It’s all part of a Paddle Canada Level 1 Skills course and designed to help you become a confident and efficient paddler. https://www.whitesquall.com/course/sheltered-waters-level-1/

Drysuits That Won’t Bust the Bank

We’re stocking and renting the Stohlquist EZ Drysuit again this year (http://www.stohlquist.com/touring/drysuits/ez.html ) because it’s tough and has a nifty neck seal that won’t strangle. The $725 price is pretty awesome too and we’ve happily used them in our courses. Best for all day paddling with occasional head immersion cause there is a trickle that comes in the neck – the price paid for more comfort.

Ostrum Barrel Harnesses are Back

Bill and Anne Ostrum, legendary outdoor gear builders from Thunder Bay had us all over a barrel. When they stopped making their famous harnesses, the wild world was a poorer place – but things are looking up! Check out Kevin Callan’s article: https://www.explore-mag.com/The-Happy-Camper-The-Best-Barrel-Harness-Is-Back They cost a bit more but will outlast you – a fine legacy you’ll leave by having one of these hanging up in the garage. We hope to get these harnesses in the next few weeks.

Franklin Challenge the 3rd, June 23

A furiously fun summer Sunday paddling challenge. Our 3rd annual circumnavigation of Franklin Island, the jewel of the Georgian Bay Coast. Get your paddling buddies together and join us. Not a race, nor a walk in the park. Canoes, SUPS and kayaks all welcome and all proceeds going to help clean up Franklin and surrounding islands. The whole shootin’ match is 20k and we have a shorter 8k route if you’ve been partying the night before. Registration is now open, for more info check out: https://www.whitesquall.com/franklin-challenge/

Tim’s Tip

Here’s an easy way to do real life risk management before heading out on a crazy adventure – ask yourself:

GEEE – What have I missed? (Group, Equipment, Environment, Ego)

Group – do we know what in hell we’re doing?

Equipment – is it going to work when we need it?

Environment – tornado about to hit? – let’s go to Hortons!

EGO – I don’t have an ego do I? Oh yes you do and it can screw things up.

I hope you get the point there are lots of questions to be asked – but I promise that if you scratch your head, say “GEEE?” and do an honest scan of those 4 categories – you’ll have done more for staying safe than most. The topping on the cake? Anytime anyone in your group (including yourself) feels their gut saying this is a bad idea – LISTEN – CHANGE PLANS – SUCK IT UP. This has been the way we’ve run trips for 34 years and so far, so good. Things can happen, but if we can lessen the chances of boo boos while still getting out, means everyone wins.

Not into GEEE moments in your life? Not offended – just hit reply and throw in the subject line “Listen timbo – go away” and I will pick up my shattered ego and do just that.

And remember – leakproof isn’t….