Hello everyone!

The 2013 paddling season is under way! We set off from Hartley Bay on May 30, 2013, under blue skies and calm waters.

We all fit in our 20 foot Esquif canoe…barely

Check out our new website!

Canoe Across Canada has a brand new look. The folks at BXB media have put together a classy new design that includes a map of Canada showing our route and a place to subscribe to our updates. Click on this link to check it out: https://www.canoeacrosscanada.ca

Guess what we forgot to pack?

I was in charge of packing the kids stuff and Geoff was in charge of the big, green pack. In the chaos of getting ready for the trip, we got our wires crossed. I put together the diapers for the kids and gave them to Geoff (thinking he’d be packing them in dry bags to put into the green pack.) Geoff thought I had already put them in a dry bag and packed them.

We got to the Bass Lake Tramway on the French River and I asked Geoff to pull out more diapers for Rane. Judging by the look on his face, there were no diapers in the pack. We had 3 left! Fortunately we were only a 15 km paddle from the marina. We laughed and immediately made plans to meet up with Bob (Geoff’s Dad) to pick up diapers. No matter how thorough we plan, we seem to forget something every year…

Geoff raising the sail to take advantage of the tailwind on the way from Bass Lake Tramway to the marina to pickup the diapers from Bob. It was a 30 km paddle round-trip.

Exploring the Tramway area while waiting for the winds to die down.

Paddling on Georgian Bay

The Canadian Shield is stunning. We have had a wonderful time paddling amongst the thousands of granite islands and shoals.

Camping on Cunningham’s Island on Georgian Bay, ON.

We took advantage of an existing firepit to combat the cool weather. Jude is wearing a sweater I finished knitting the day before we headed out.

Rane likes to sit in his Go-Pod (a collapsible exersaucer) and watch the world go by.

Life in the Tent with a Preschooler and Infant

Jude loves his sleeping bag. He is now old enough that he usually stays inside it throughout the night.

Life in a tent with a preschooler and an infant can be chaotic – it’s also a lot of fun! Taq still prefers to sleep in the vestibule so that he can watch the world go by.

It is tough to keep covers on an infant. Instead, we dress Rane in a Danish wool balaclava and fleece grobag. In addition, I have a sleeping bag extender that allows me to share my body heat with him when it is expecially cold outside.

Keeping Kids Busy

Jude is showing Rane how to play with Rane’s toys.

Jude chooses our lunch spots based on a good rock for zooming monster trucks.

End of Trip Party in Quebec City on August 31, 2013!

The end point of our trip across Canada has changed many times over the years due to our expanding crew members. It started off as being St. John’s, Nfld., then changed to Nova Scotia.

One thing that has never changed is our desire to end the trip with a huge party!!! After looking at the maps, we have now settled on Quebec City, QC. It is a realistic distance, on the St. Lawrence (tidal waters), and a beautiful city of historical significance.

We are planning the big party for Saturday, August 31, 2013. We are still working out details such as the exact location of the celebration and the booking entertainment. One thing is for certain – dinner and drinks will be on us!

Now that we have the big details nailed down, we’d like to know who is going to be joining us. Please send us an e-mail at email@canoeacrosscanada.ca. We will contact those who have responded with the finer details once we have them finalized.

Farewell to Stompin’ Tom Connors

77 year old Canadian Country and Folk legend,Stompin’ Tom Connors, passed away this year.  His love of Canada has been an inspiration to us on our trip across Canada.  Our 18 foot Novacraft canoe was christened “Suzy Jack” in honour of his song “Gumboot Clogeroo.”  The 20 foot Esquif Miramichi bears the name of the song titled “Margo’s Cargo”.

We’ve spent hours singing Jude’s favourite song – “Where would I be?”  We often change the lyrics to fit into the area we are paddling through.

We had secretly harboured the hope that Stompin’ Tom might consider attending our end-of-trip celebration.  Unfortunately, we took a year too long to finish.  If you have never heard his music, we encourage you to take a little time to check it out at http://www.stompintom.com/index.htm.  He was a great Canadian.

Where are we going from here?

We will be continuing south from Pointe au Baril on Georgian Bay to the Trent-Severn Waterway at Port Severn, ON.

Thank you!

  • We are incredibly grateful to have such wonderful friends/neighbours. Shannon King and Mike Nelson will be looking after our house for the summer once again this year. The Hughes family will be keeping our yard from turning into a jungle. We know our house is in good hands which gives us peace of mind while paddling.
  • Deb and Ben Guerard have been kind enough to take on our plants for the summer. We are looking forward to seeing them in Quebec this August when they will be joining us for a few weeks.
  • Wendy Harrison (Pam’s sister) spent a weekend in Calgary looking after the kids so that we could get packed up for the trip. Geoff and I were grateful for the time to make preparations together. It would have taken us a week to get the same amount done. Jude had a blast playing with his cousin Alex.
  • Every year Allyson Wong (Pam’s Mom) takes on the challenge of making or modifying clothes or gear for the trip. This year she helped attach a sunshade to a bouncy seat for Rane in the canoe.
  • BXB Media has done a great job of redesigning our website. They are professional and patient with those of us who are new to the web design world.
  • Once again, Bob MacDonald (Geoff’s Dad) drove us to our drop off point for the season. Pictured below is Geoff with Katy and Bob (his parents) and his nephew, Henry. We are grateful to Bob for resupplying us with diapers, and also for picking us up so we can have a visit with them during bad weather.  Katy is always helping us with the kids, feeding us, or digging out some obscure piece of equipment that we need.

  • We met the band, Fenian Raid, at the dock in Hartley Bay, ON. They took a few pictures for us and gave us a CD. It’s great music! They describe themselves as “Folk Rock band with a Kitchen Party Celtic Stomp.” Check them out at www.fenianraid.ca

  • A friendly sailor from Manitoba named Rod Brown, passed us in his sailboat called “Pickle”. He was quite friendly and wished us well. It was windy that day and we were in a tight channel with lots of shoals. He couldn’t stop to talk without both of us being blown off course. He took our picture on the first pass, on the second pass he tried to give us $50. We politely declined. It was very generous of him to offer to help.
  • Dawn Philips (nee Cunningham) was kind enough to grant us permission to camp on her island. It was a beautiful campiste after a cold day on the water.
  • Maureen and Paul Sheridan have cooked us some delicious meals.  We always enjoy their good food and great company.  We are thankful to Paul for driving us back to Pointe au Baril, ON.


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5 Responses to 2013 Paddling Season has begun!

  1. Peter McKinney says:

    (Copy of email sent for the Quebec City celebration)

    Hello there
    Wow what a trip
    My father, sister and I have done some canoe trips, but this is one for the books!

    We (Tina and I) live in the West Island of Montreal in Beaconsfield, I will follow your map but let us know when you will be arriving in Montreal.

    It seems you would be here mid to late August. My sister will be in from Vancouver, we can offer you a BBQ depending on your schedule.

    Let us know if there is assistance we can provide

    Take care

    Peter McKinney
    Home – 514-428-0381
    Cell – 514-244-7598

  2. Pam Fulton says:

    you guys are amazing, wish I was in Pointe au Baril to see you off. love it love it love it! going to follow your journey to the end. Best wishes. Pam

  3. Pierre Pepin says:

    Hi all of you,

    My name is Pierre and my wife name is Jennifer. We are long distance paddlers too. We enjoy your story. We also live in Quebec City where you will end your trip. We might be able to help you for your last party. We have friends that live by the St. Lawrence river.

    Let us know if we could help you. We are coming back from Georgian Bay August 1st.
    Also if you need any help on that last leg of your trip, we could help you guys. Last summer we paddle from Grand Portage to Quebec.

    Take care and keep your paddle in the water!

    Pierre Pepin
    Cell.: 581-888-3606

  4. Yvonne Hiemstra says:

    It was so exciting (for us) to see you paddling in front of our cottage on Sturgeon Lake (on Sunday) the day after we read about you in the Globe & Mail! I hope you weren’t too tired when you reached Bobcaygeon. We look forward to following your adventures and when you come by Beaconsfield (I note that you have met others from this area), please do give us a shout. Would be happy to help you get provisions or give you a nice bed to sleep in if you like. Best of luck, Yvonne and Michael.

  5. James Sargent says:

    We were curious to see you guys paddling thru Cranberry Lake, and Murphy’s Narrows up to Whitefish on Sunday… our granddaughter had dictated “nap time”, so we were puttering around until she decided we needed to go home and feed her… Best wishes on your travels.
    Jamie, Liz, Sean, Ali… and of course… Ms Liberty

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