Sunday, June 24, 2012

Oh da beaver, what were we tinking? [Leslie Spit]

Angel Eyes by Michael Mitchener
Angel Eyes, a photo by Michael Mitchener on Flickr.

Time: ~5:30 AM to ~8:00 AM
Launch Point: Cherry Beach, Toronto, Ontario
Destination: Leslie Spit and thereabouts
Crew: Frank Lemire, Michael Mitchener & William Self
Conditions: Light and variable winds with smooth seas
Sightings: A sunrise cult, many sailboats at rest, wild broccoli, a large boat, cranes, an owl, a million cormorants, four obnoxious birds, an old wreck, tennis ball chasing dogs (although we missed Chyna), and one brave swimmer.

Cherry Beach at Sunrise

Outer Harbour Marina


For the first paddle of the season, we met up at 5:00 am just as some of the neighbours were heading off to bed - always a sign that you're up too early.  Given the recent summer solstice and the longer days, an early start is the only way you'll manage to catch the sunrise on the water.  There was a thin strip of pink on the horizon as we drove across the drawbridge and approached Cherry Beach.  It didn't take long to park, unload Nessie, and carry everything down to the water where we were treated to a beautiful sunrise with much colour against the clouds.  In short, perfect conditions for canoeing.  

Birds of a Feather

William, Frank & Jonathan


After paddling past the iconic lifeguard station, we canoed towards Ashbridges Bay and cut across the water to the Inner Harbour Marina.  There was an amazing variety of boats moored in the marina and I always get a kick out of the quirky boat names (e.g. Seas the Day).  After a quick cruise through the marina (where we were warned to watch our wake), we turned around and headed out towards the red bridge at Leslie Spit.  

The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With the Sea


It was a peaceful and quiet morning until we reached the cormorant nesting area which is normally inaccessible during the summer months unless you're in a boat (or roll like William Self).  Thankfully, the cormorants kept their distance and after many pictures and many sites, we turned Nessie around once again and headed back to shore.  It was a great morning on the water other than we were either too early or too late to meet up with Chyna the Wonder Dog.  

Sunrise beams

Like a Duck to Water

After strapping Nessie back on to the car, we stopped for a coffee at Voulez-Vous and admired Frank's new camera which thankfully survived its first canoe trip.  A great first paddle of the season.  Here's to many more.

Self Reflection

Urban Voyageur

The Urban Voyageurs

Want more Nikon meets Nessie?  Be sure to check out Frank Lemire's Sunrise Canoe with the Urban Voyageurs story on

Friday, June 22, 2012

Urban Voyageur "Kids in the Hall" Style

Heading out canoeing this weekend with fellow urban voyageurs, Frank Lemire and William Self.  I'm looking forward to the first paddle of the season and the chance to shake off the urban dust while exploring nature.  This video from Kids in the Hall, shows that you can explore nature within the urban jungle as well (as long as you don't deplete the stock).

Je te plumerai la tĂȘte.