Saturday, October 9, 2010

Think Pink [Toronto Islands]

Think Pink, originally uploaded by Michael Mitchener.
Date: October 9, 2010
Time: ~6:15 AM to ~9:30 AM
Launch Point: Cherry Beach
Destination: Toronto Islands
Crew: William Self, Frank Lemire & Michael Mitchener
Conditions: Light chop and clear skies.
Sightings: The Ongiara, an odd cat-thing, "the" green house-boat, much fall foliage, the CN Tower (you don't see that everyday) and one stealth-like freighter.

After a summer of light canoeing, we were able to get our collective acts together and get out for a sunrise paddle this Thanksgiving weekend morning. We arrived at Cherry Beach in the dark and leisurely organized ourselves while enjoying a cup of Timmie's. Not surprisingly, Cherry Beach was pretty quiet other than a steamed up car or two. The canoe was in the water and all three of us were aboard (cold feet and all) with just a hint of light showing in the eastern sky.

Our goal was to explore the many channels and lagoons of the Toronto Islands and take in some of the fall colours so we kept close to shore in the dim light as we paddled towards the Eastern Gap. It was unusually quiet on the lake this morning, even for this time of day, and we saw very few boats or people for most of the trip. The city was beautifully reflected on the water as we approached Ward's Island with the Ongiara just leaving and heading to Toronto for what must have been one of the first runs of the morning.

Red Blue Canoe, originally uploaded by Michael Mitchener.

As usual we took many pictures, had many laughs and most importantly, managed to keep the canoe upright and our cameras relatively dry. We paddled as far as the dragonboat course at Centre Island and then turned around to head back to Cherry Beach. As often is the case, the wind had picked up as the morning progressed and the water was pretty rough as we approached the Eastern Gap. Cameras went away into dry-bags as a precaution and we hunkered down to paddle into the wind. After a good work-out, and some lake spray, we made it across the channel, past the swimming dogs and back to the lifeguard station at Cherry Beach.

End of Season, originally uploaded by Michael Mitchener.

We wrapped up the day with a tasty brunch and lots of coffee at Lady Marmalade's followed by a visit with Nikolai from Buffalo at Red Rocket Coffee. All and all a great morning paddle, a great meal, many great cups of coffee, and a great way to spend part of an unseasonably warm October weekend. I'm hoping we might manage to fit in one or two more canoe trips this year but if this turns out to be the last trip of the season, it was a fitting way to end the year.