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PostPosted: June 15th, 2017, 8:24 am 
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Joined: September 25th, 2006, 2:56 pm
Posts: 161
Location: Gravenhurst
A nice sunny, and cooler day was upon us. A last minute decision take the canoe and paddle somewhere was made … another solo paddle west of Go Home Lake. Winds were forecasted to be moderate, and out of the east, hopefully strong enough to control the bugs, but not strong enough to make my return paddle too much of a workout!
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I parked today at the area by the east end of Minors Bay, and was off padding just before 9 AM. Blackflies were swarming in large numbers, competing with hoards of mosquitos. Hopefully I would lose them out on the lake. Once out on the lake the wind was there, and at my back. Paddling was easy, and it was a quick route down to the far west end of the lake. A group of blackflies, however, managed to stay with me all the way!

Today I portaged out of the lake one bay to the east of my previous trip to the area. A short well forested (and buggy) carry. I paddled up the first pond with the wind now more out of the south, and still pushing me along. The copious amount of bug spray I used helped keep the insects from landing on me, but didn’t deter them from hanging around.
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Another short carry, and I was now into a long narrow lake. There were a number of boat caches along the east shore, an indication that the fishing in here must be good. (or was) I checked out the outlet of the lake, a long narrow channel. We had skied through here a number of times in the past, however canoeing the same route would be a tough slog. Once up to the top of the lake, and after taking some pics of interesting rocks, I attempted to follow the long marshy bay further northwest towards my previous trip, but decided to turn back due to the lack of canoeable water.
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The sun was now behind a layer of clouds, helping keep the temperature comfortable. The bugs, however would not leave me alone. I decided to turn west, through what appeared to be relatively new beaver ponds. There was lots of water, and standing trees to navigate through, and of course the bugs! The water was covered in a yellow film of pollen from the white pines. I remember a trip last year near Kahshe Lake, that with the strong winds, the air became a yellow fog, not as bad today. The blackflies in here were getting thick, fighting for crawling space on my pantlegs. Today was so far the buggiest of the season. So much for the recent heat “burning them off”. I had a few choking episodes, having inhaled a number of the creatures, but still kept the head net off. The thick branches I was paddling through would probably catch, and tear it.
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WHAT FUN!

I continued to meander through the wetlands eventually arriving at a larger beaver pond. The wind had died down, and oddly so had the bugs. Lunch maybe? It was noon. I took advantage of the situation and had a nice bug-free lunch.

From here I planned to portage into the group of ponds I explored previously, but take a route through the ones I missed, dropping into a large bay (part of Georgian Bay) at the mouth of the Go Home River. The sun was still hidden by the clouds, but it appeared that would not be for long as the sky off to the west was a solid blue. I ran into some navigational difficulties making a loop back into the pond I was trying to leave, and not just once … TWICE! Clockwise this time. Usually my inadvertent loops occur in a counter-clockwise direction.

My third attempt was successful, finally arriving at the next group of ponds, and now in bright sunshine. The temperature felt warm, and with the lack of wind, I again had a large following of not only blackflies and mosquitos, but now deerflies as well! Why do I do this people ask? Hmmm not really sure.
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I again, meandered through the wetlands making a few side trips before portaging down into Georgian Bay. I took a look at the falls, before portaging up the road into Go Home Lake.
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Now I would have a long lake paddle, and hopefully a break in the bugs. I continued easterly on the lake, almost bug free now. As usual I got tempted to explore again … short term memory loss?? I was “off-map” for a short stretch, but decided to portage out of the lake and into another group of ponds. I was one bay too soon in leaving Go Home, and as a result had a longer portage than expected to reach the first pond … and I now had the bugs again … geez!

I was again crossing my previous route, this time though staying in the pond system aiming for a large bay of Go Home further to the southeast. This route would allow me to miss most of the main part of the lake, anticipating a battle against the wind, which now seemed to be picking up. One pond was completely bush, and log strewn, and required a lot of “gruntwork” to get through.
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The next pond was good, and then I even had an ATV trail to follow to bring me back to Go Home…and open water!

I headed out into the lake, with intermittent winds, gradually losing most the bugs. By the time I got to the south end, and turned easterly into Minors Bay I now had the wind at my back. Unusual to have it in my favour heading back. It had completely changed direction. So much for the weather forecast!

A leisurely paddle back to the car, arriving there about 4:30PM. Another interesting, but very buggy day of exploring, and I had used almost all my bug spray!

A link to pictures, videos, and a map of the route

https://flic.kr/s/aHskXgYThz


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Last edited by WaterHunter on June 17th, 2017, 12:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: June 15th, 2017, 5:16 pm 
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Joined: June 23rd, 2011, 7:32 pm
Posts: 217
Hey that was very interesting. I wonder how the water levels would be in late summer, when the bugs are hopefully down a bit.


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