Tuesday, July 25

IL-Weather Reports - How Come?

Cyprus Lake, Ontario, Canada at Dusk

Have you planned a trip lately? If you have, you have probably looked to the weather reports to figure into some of your planning for the adventure. If you do not go outside of your normal box and only check one source for your information you may just find the weather report is wrong.

But do not fret...Even if you have checked more than one weather information source you will be even worse off.


Well, we have planned a camping trip to Cyprus Lake at the Bruce National Park for the past six months. Just in the past few days we have began to check out the weather reports online...Boy what an miss-adventure this has become.

The facts are simply that the more sites you check out for weather reports online, the more confusing the reports become. Some say rain, some say thunderstorms, some say that there is only a 70% of no rain, others say 60% chance of rain, and some have promised mostly sunshine and hot humid weather.

If you check out the weather network you will be told that this Wednesday there is a 40% chance of rain with possible thunderstorms.

If you check out the Environment Canada Weather site you will see that there is a 20% increase in your chances of rain; it raises the bar to announce that there is a 60% chance of showers or thunderstorms.

The weather people remind me of computer companies who also give out different ways of giving the customers the same thing. For instance, take digital cameras. Sony has its own memory sticks, whereby Cannon offers SD cards to hold your favourite pictures. Why the difference?

I am sure there is a different reason for varying weather reports compared to varying data cards, but does anyone know for sure? I have to believe someone does, but it is not made public. In the case of cameras it is war. They fight to strive for your dollar, whereby the weather is supposed to be a free service and should be regulated by the Federal government...But it is not adhered to.

Sure, they can blame the various wind change directional aspect of weather reporting problems, but how come there is a variance in two weather reports for the very same day?

If anyone has the answer please email me and enlighten me.

For me, the real reason for knowing the correct weather report (if there is s
uch an animal) is for how we pack. Does the tent and tarps go on top for easy access with our rain suits kept in the front seats? Or do we simply pack the heavy stuff first and adorn our bathing suits and not worry about where the rain suits are stashed?

I watched both Global News weather report and City TV's weather report just an hour ago. Yep, you guessed it - two different weather reports. Unbelievable, literally speaking of course!

Sunday, July 23

Lake Huron - Bayfield

Heaven at It's Best

Ever wonder how much it takes for one to be mystified by something as simple as waves rolling in and out, the sun fading fast behind some ominous cumulous clouds, and sail boats afar from shore, carelessly floating off into the distant sunset?

Not much, is the answer.

Above is the infamous sunset off the coast of Lake Huron, Bayfield Ontario. A place where we have called our "second home". A place where traffic jams, long Walmart lineups, congested contaminated junk food joints, and frustrated freaked out humans are non-existant...Only peace and quiet, a place of a sanctity of sanity.

God Bless all these sacred spots on this planet, as they are becoming ever-so-few...

Friday, July 21

Tripping Along The Saugeen - Flatwater ABCD Course

More Canoe Courses & Training...

Eric Williams is the Flatwater Instructor and he is also the past President (1992-1999) of the Ontario Recreational Canoe Association (ORCA). Eric was also the President of Canoe Ontario (competitive paddling associations 1999-2001) and the President of the Canadian Recreational Canoeing Association (2001-2005).

This is at Denny's Dam, south side of the Saugeen River in Southampton, Ontario.

This is the third ORCA course I have taken, the last being trippingg Level 1 in the interior of Algonquin Park.

The Flatwater course the prerequisite for the Flatwater Instructor's course that I am taking next month through the Canadian Canoe Museum and ORCA. This certification will allow me to teach Flatwater ABCD courses...If I pass the course that is I hope to teach Scouts the basics of canoeing.

I must say that Eric Williams is an amazing person, a "been-there-done-that" guy who has to be prodded a bit to talk about his accomplishments in canoeing. But more importantly, Eric is one of the best instructors I have come acros
s. He has the patience of Job and takes time to explain each and every new stroke that is introduced. He keeps you at it until you successfully accomplish the feat of making the canoe go and do what you want.

Here is Eric demonstrating an outside landing at Denny's Dam...It is not as easy as he makes it look...Trust me!

This is the last point of exit on the Saugeen River, prior to going over the dam, through the rapids and out into Lake Huron at Southampton, Ontario.

Here, you can see students practicing box strokes, prys and draws, encircling the square formed by four buoys placed evenly apart to form a square box.

The idea is to take the canoe around this box without turning the canoe around. You must go sidewards, backwards, forward and then sidewards to complete the task.

Oh yes, do not forget about fighting the mild current and breezes while figuring your next stroke and how much of a draw or pry you must use...sculling draws and prys work great but the regular draws and prys at a far outreach certainly help in fighting the elements.

The Saugeen River is a great place for anyone who wants to tryout canoe tripping down a moving river. It offers rapids, wide sections with islands to canoe about, and several canoe campgrounds along the way.

The river is 102 kilometers, starting at Hanover and ending at Southampton, Ontario.

Next month I plan to make this 60 mile river trip, solo, and I expect to complete the trip in four days. Right now I am in the planning stages, planning food, mapping, and weather reports. This mission will help towards getting the prerequiste for the Canoe Tripping Level II next spring...

But before this happens I will be off to Cyprus Lake, at the Bruce National Park to camp for a week and of course practice up my skills for the Flatwater Instructor's course next month.

After Cyprus I am off to Kilbear Park, north of Nobel, Ontario and have a site booked right on the shores of Georgian Bay...a great canoe site for sure...Then it is off to Peterborough area for the one-week Instructor's course in Flatwater Canoeing. This course is held at Silent Lake.

Right now, I am off to Sarnia Bay for some practice this afternoon...Then off to Bayfield River for more practice...And of course some fishing!

Wednesday, July 12

Hot Hot Hot

And here I was worried about rain this weekend and now the good news is it will be sunny. However, there are warnings of high heat reaching in the 40 degree celcius feeling.

Don't get me wrong I love the heat, hate cold weather, and look forward to this weekend.

I will be on the Saugeen River taking my ORCA Flatwater ABCD certification training. This means at least 8 hours on Saturday and Sunday in a canoe, on my knees and in the direct sun.

To be honest, I am looking forward to this course and where it will take me...my Flatwater Instructor's certification this August. As usual, pictures and rhetoric will follow next week, so stay tuned for the best is yet to come.

Right now I must cut this short as I have to pack up and get ready...But remember, stay tuned and check in next week for the scoop on Flatwater canoe certification in extreme heat.