Kayak on the water, paddling trips

Sunday, June 19, 2005

boat bah-hambug waves sun hooray

Weather : Sunny and warm
Wind (km/h) : Due to discrepancies between the weather reports and what we experienced suffice it to say we started with a weak NE than eventually fizzled out.
Temperature : 21°C

Location : Parc national des îles-de-Boucherville, Québec, Canada

Least Bittern, Double-crested cormorant, Canadian geese family (5 babes), Little ringed plover, Killdeer, Common tern, Swallows, House martins, Canada Warbler.

We had originally planned on paddling up to Île Ste-Hélène. Although the wind was weak its action coupled with the large cargo boats created agitated waves that seem to come from everywhere. This was probably the closest to up North conditions (in a very subdued manner, very!). But as we got closer to the Longueuil marina, the sound of Highway 132 and the vociferous boats got the best of my intentions and I just wanted to get the hell out of there. I don't know of anything more irritating that going out to enjoy the outdoors than western world motorized bellowing at me from all directions.

I must apologize to my paddling partner for the bitching and whining but hey, nobody's perfect. So we did an about face and returned to the peaceful (relatively) haven of the Islands. The water was level was pretty high after the week of heavy rains so we decided to see if the new route discovered a few weeks ago was still open.

The marshes were still young and short. Everytime I entered my paddle, something somewhere would disappear leaving large bubbles of water rising to the surface. More than once I almost jumped out of my skin. As the Marshes became thicker I realized that on almost all of the leaves small snails where hanging out. Dark blobs stuck on the long strands and if it had been an overcast day, I would have expected the creature of the Marsh to jump out and swallow us up. As it was a Least Bittern flew up and away, which was a treat this is the 2nd time we have seen one. Alot of plovers seemed to have taken residence in this part, their tiny chattering cursing us away.

Pretty soon, the marshes were too thick to push onwards and we retraced out steps. Glad to have returned to open waters, I laughed at the goose bumps slowly receding on my arms. After all, the largest predator in that area had to be us (I hope!).

As JF tried to coax some wind into the sail, we slowly floated through the channel between the Islands. No boats, barely a soul besides us. Apart from the metal birds that flew overhead the area seemed timeless.

We slowly made our way back to land. Returning to Montreal amidst the traffic I could still feel the gently sway of the water and the sun smiling on the waves.

A grand day, friends, a grand day!

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