Monday, September 20, 2010

Touring by Sailing Canoe

Out Among the Islands by Sailing Canoe

by Bob Halsey
While camping at Sugar Island, I have made several camping trips with my open sailing canoe. I sail to one of the fifteen campsite islands in the St. Lawrence Islands National Park of Canada.
Typically, after a busy week of sailing races morning and afternoon and maybe taking part in the swim around the Island race, I am ready to relax and do something different. For example, at the end of the first week of the annual encampment in 1989 on Saturday, I packed up the canoe with my tent, food, small stove, sleeping bag, clothes, most of which I put in garbage bags to protect from rain or spray. Then Sunday morning I sailed over to shore and went to early church and breakfast in Gananoque and started (from TIV motel) sailing up the river against the wind. The wind is mostly out of the SW and usually is pretty dependable. The seas were not too much for the loaded canoe and I had plenty of room to be comfortable myself. I was sailing my 18 ft cedar strip I had built the winter before and was quite happy with its performance.

As I was tacking back and forth upwind, I got a good view of many of the Islands- Corn, the Punts, Leek, Huckleberry, Bostwick, Lindsey and others. Some islands are wild, some have beautiful homes. I was planning on going to the last of the Admiralty Islands, a park island named Aubrey island, but I had to be aware that if the wind didn't hold up or if I didn't make the speed I thought I could I might have to stop at a different park island. By mid-afternoon I arrived safely at Aubrey Island. I had a government chart of the waters in a zip-lock bag to help locate myself among the islands.

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