Saturday, November 05, 2005
Paddling in November
Paddling in November in Algonquin Park is a privilege. The water is cold, weather unreliable and days are short. Lakes in Algonquin Park could start freezing any day now and snow will soon blanket portage trails and campsites. The photos, taken today, November 5, show a good example of a "nice" day for paddling in the late fall (or is it early winter?). You'll notice the securely fastened PFD, paddling gloves and soft-shell jacket to ward off the cold. Falling in the water is not an option! I stayed close to shore and didn't try any manoeuvres that could possibly result in a swim.
Calm weather and an unusually mild day suggested to me that it would be a good time to test out the brand new Bell "Prospector" on Oxtongue Lake. This canoe is a modern reworking of the classic Chestnut model by well-known canoe designer David Yost. The one I'm paddling is one of two in Canada right now and is made in Bell's very light KevLight construction. I think it weighs about 39 pounds! It paddles beautifully - solid, stable, predictable and easy to spin around when it's heeled over. It won't be as quick as some of our other favourite canoes but will be a versatile, high volume tripper for those that prefer a traditional looking canoe. We expect to have more of these in our rental fleet and are anticipating that a Royalex version will be coming for whitewater enthusiasts.