How it all began...
Typically my summer vacation consists of a few days scattered over the summer to play golf, ride motocross and the odd boat ride down in Georgian Bay. This year, I wanted to do something a little different and actually take a real vacation.
I grew up and spent most of my formative years in Port Severn, which is the last lock in the Trent and surprisingly, the only lock I have ever gone through. I did ride the original Marine Railway when I was a kid (when it was still in operation) but haven’t been on the current one, kind of sad considering I have been to Big Chute about 1000 times over the years. Seeing as I own an inboard/outboard with a sleeping cabin, I thought the idea of doing the Trent Severn Waterway sounded like a good plan, at least to be able to say that I’ve done it once.
Now I had my vacation idea, time to do a little planning. Little did I know at the time that my simple Google search “trent severn waterway” was going to lead me down a completely different path.
I came across a blog about 4 people from Elliot Lake who travelled 1100km over 42 days, through Georgian Bay, down the Trent Severn and up Rideau Canal in two Kayaks and a Canoe. What I found more inspiring than the trip itself was the fact that these four people ranged in age from 59 to 70 at the time, amazing. Blog can be found at http://spanishdonkey.blogspot.com/ it’s a great read.
Anybody who has known me for any length of time knows, when it comes to modes of transportation I live by a simple philosophy, “If you can’t push start, pull start or kick start it, I don’t want to ride it” so even now, a month later, I’m still not sure why this blog got me thinking that paddling for days on end would be something I would consider in the first place, but it did. So it’s only fitting this trip is dedicated to them.
The more reading/research I did, the more interested I became until eventually, what started out as leisurely cruise with all the comforts has now become a solo kayak from Georgian Bay to Lake Ontario, while 700km shorter than what the Spanish Donkey group accomplished, I do have a job after all and can’t be taking 2 months off ;)
Decided to keep this blog primarily because there are thousands of Kayaking articles, reviews, stories etc on the web, however, I found very few that were specific to the Trent Waterway and fewer still that went into much detail on planning for an extended excursion when you are a complete novice. Hopefully this will provide a different perspective than somebody who actually knows what they are doing. Who knows, maybe this will provide motivation to others.
For the record, I grew up on water and have done some canoeing but have never sat in a Kayak let alone tried to paddle one.
Here we go!