Tag Archives: boats

Kayaking

Toronto Walk-1

We hadn’t intended to buy kayaks. We threatened to do so for several years, wondering where to store them in our small downtown house or using them enough to justify no longer renting. It dawned on us that, living 10 minutes from Ashbridges Bay on Lake Ontario, our use would increase. So, at an outdoor show we had never intended to visit, we bought two kayaks to be picked up in May.

I started canoeing in my teens and did several 2-week wilderness “voyages” through lakes and down the Spanish River before returning to university at the end of summer. We camped on small islands and slept under our canoe or tarp. We saw all kinds of wildlife and at night the magnificence of the Aura Borealis and more stars than I have ever seen since.

A few other images flash through my mind. A flashlight bobbing in the water at night, marking the spot my now swimming friend had slid into the water cleaning the night’s dinner plates.  The smack of a canoe hitting a tree in the forest as another portaging paddler, canoe on his shoulders and pack on his back walked with determination,  blissfully unaware he had left the trail and marched into the woods. The laughter as florescent-colored ponchos lashed to paddles propelled us across the lake.

Kayak at Outdoor ShowAnd the rapids. Walking alongside, planning a route. The excitement, the spray and the elation of making it to the other side. Oh, and hanging from a rock in the middle of the Spanish River, holding a pack too heavy to lift out of the water waiting to be rescued by my companions, the current too swift to paddle against.

Then life got in the way and except for a vacation or visit to a friend’s cottage, I canoed very little. My wife enrolled us in a 2-day kayaking course and that was it – I was back and loved kayaks.

My challenge is photography. We are planning several overnight kayak backcountry paddling trips this summer and I have been looking at various camera alternatives. At the moment, I’m leaning towards a GoPro to create video and time-lapse photography and since it is waterproof and small, would suit me. I’m looking for a good still-shot alternative even though the GoPro does still photos, too.

I see better in the fog

Foggy Day at Indian Point, Nova Scotia

When you travel, you just have to take what you get. I mean about the weather. Instead of a beautiful sunrise, I was faced with thick fog. I mean really, thick fog on the east coast? Should have seen that one coming.

I like the fog. It creates an atmosphere, hinting at things in the distance through a veil. Everything is a little (or a lot) muted. Distracting backgrounds disappear or fade in a way that enhances the focal point. I feel I can almost see better; at least see differently, photographically speaking. A little post processing to bring up the contrast of the main feature and you can have some interesting pictures.

In hindsight I am grateful for the fog. It created something different, and different is good. The fog lasted well into the day, so I was able to wander around and see the area in a different light (or lack of) than I had in the previous clear, but overcast days.

I even revisited a number of sites to see what they looked like with a little mist floating around. Despite the fog, it was one of my more productive photo-taking days. It reminded me that a site, or view, can look very different at other times of the day or year or in different weather. I sometimes forget that, always looking far afield for a new view rather than to revisit one nearby.

The long road home

Garage Doors

Catching up on last year’s photos. I usually create a yearbook and I’m starting the process, which usually takes me until April to complete. Each year I promise I will stay on top of the photo editing and each year I find I’m spending most of the first few months of the new year on the previous year. So be it.

Anyways, I came across these photos I took on a trip along the north shore of Lake Erie returning from a stay with family in Windsor. One of the things I like to do is wander the coast and see whatever presents itself.

Boathouses

Instead of taking the direct route along Highway 401, we took the slow road along the coast, at least for as long as my wife allowed me to (she is very patient with this self-absorbing hobby of mine).

I like to take photos of graffiti or signs on walls as well. Getting in close. Sometimes it’s the graphics that attract me, sometimes the colour or contrast.

Fish Market Sign

Finally we ran out of lake, or patience, I can’t remember. My photographic fix fully sating me, we headed home. I have made a conscious effort to not take my camera everywhere I go, but it still feels funny.