The Unravelling of Izzy’s Great Adventure

I’d just poured a cup of coffee and the idea hit me like a flash.  Izzy knew something was up and he came right over and sat at my feet, head up, with those beautiful brown orbs, he sat waiting to hear the news.

I had a repair kit sitting at Swift Canoe and Kayak and I thought that with such a brilliant day outside, I would drive Izzy up to Gravenhurst for an outing and I could also pick up my parts and have a look at the new canoes.  I got in touch with Swift and Scott said it was a busy time as product was being loaded for another trade show.  Hey, big and busy are often found in the same conversation.  Good news to hear and adventure on so I broke the news to Izzy.  Well the tail wag and the head to head …..”Did I hear that right, you have to buy….look at canoes?”  and I knew in a heartbeat he was game.

Light traffic and “Willie Nelson” blue sky overhead, some water in a bottle, Izzys’ water bowl and we were off.  I know that road like the back of my hand and the sights continued to unfold as we drew near our destination.  Finally the dinosaur flashed its’ teeth by the dock dealer and I started to tick off the driveways until finally that familiar yellow and brown announced the “next stop” was right here.

Upon pulling into the driveway you could see there were trucks and trailers here, there, and what do you mean, WHERE?  We decided to park out of the way of the activity so I puled in right in front of the , AGGGGHHHHHH! …..”the Prospector rack!”

The Prospector Rack!   The cool trickle of sweat made it’s appearance on my brow as Izzy paced from window to my shoulder to the window.  Glossy cherry and the famed cross hatch of carbon tech.  We sat, frozen in front of a wide rainbow of colour and performance.  It was as if Agents Izzy Skully and Mulder had reached the point where they were going to put an X on this file.

Finally, I broke the trance and slowly exited the vehicle, making my way to the beckoning front door.  Within seconds my kit was located and purchased which allowed me time to meet Scott, personally, and yak in general about some of the canoes.

“See ya later”, was said and I made my way back to the truck, and yes, David, it is another Ram 1500, when I caught Izzy, overseeing the loading operation while viewing the storage racks…..almost as if he were making his pick.   It took me a long time to get his backside into his seat so I’m guessing he had a solid pick.  On the way out to the highway Izzy nudged me so I swung left past the racks, each holding 4 of the Northern canoe lines.  Izzy barked and we stopped at the first rack as something didn’t appear to be right…..why only 3 canoes in that rack?  Oh well, just another Northern mystery.

Our little pup was very quiet on the way home and it was the first time during our trip that he actually lay down.  When I asked him if he had enjoyed the outing, I got a peculiar look as you can see in the photos.  The only thing I can figure is that perhaps I was speaking too fast and the “buy some” and the “look at some canoes”  ran together as “buy some canoes”.

Hey,  I’m sure with some biscuits and some time, we can always put together another road trip, for whatever the reason.

@Swift_Canoe @algonquinoutfit @Paddle_In @PasionatePadler @christinasheu #getoutside #getoutdoors @luv2campingmom


Of Fire and Ice

Well the power is back on after 15 hours and we’ve been out surveying the impact the storm had on our surroundings. The trees out front have been damaged by the ice and it appears to be almost a full inch thick taken off the back patio. The sun glistening through the ice coating makes the branches blaze with fiery diamond reflections.

The underside of the deck tells the back of your neck that things are warming up already and reminds you of overhead dangers.

I had three of the girls out back to start doing some clean up and minor cosmetic repairs and when I lay down to check them out, I saw their tears running down. Soon Girls, very soon!

Getting That Spring Coat

I got off the phone with Gillian from Swift Canoe and Kayak in South River and my new gelcoat repair kit is on the way and kudos to Swift for such a remarkably quick and efficient response system. Ms. Scott (14′) is going to be so happy to get rid of the stress marks.
As a bonus to a sombre day, I’ve come across an epoxy compound which is Eco friendly and boasts some fantastic virtues…..and is already in use with some high end boat people. In the promo on this product we read about it being, ” a Plant based, 100% solid, waterproof, non-toxic, non-solvent, non-conductive, epoxy system that is Certified “GREEN”. The UVPoxy kit cures to a clear, UV resistant, glass-like finish that resists scratching and yellowing.”
I’m all for getting back to the GREEN and I know where I’m spending my green to protect my canoes.
If you want to get it, you have to give it!
You can get me at



Well, hopefully that was the flu bug of the season that has roamed our hallways for the last 2 weeks.
A lot of soul searching has been done over the winter and I’m going to get busy, and very selective, when it comes time to thin the fleet and make some additions. One that will never leave the home port is our Lady in Red; a cedar canvas who has been identified as a 16′ Chestnut Pal. This is a canoe who is open to attention just by showing up! Fast forward almost 14 years ago. Our buddy is in the drink with a broken leg; myself and my wife, 5 months pregnant with twins, paddles for help and the guy holding the bow line says, ” Man, She’s a beauty”. I honestly didn’t know if he was referring to Karin or the canoe but he was correct on both counts so I let it go.
Shawn James made a comment on My Self Reliance about “My Perfect Place” and shows a gorgeous cedar canvas canoe and that combination drives the point home to me. Sure, you can have this composite or that kevlar coupled with 40 pounds in an 18′ 6″ canoe but I virtually guarantee you won’t be able to smell the wood, you won’t be able to re-create the deadened “thunk” of the paddle shaft to the gunwale. There is no sound so exquisite as the flow of water around a well paddled canvas canoe.
So this year the fleet will change but whatever your end desire, be it weight, style, function, or level of competence, please, please get out and encourage, admire, and share your experiences.
Canoeing means so much to so many but no matter the height of the tree; she took root at ground level!
To Bill Mason, I say, thanks for lighting a small fire in the mind of a young student so many years ago.  To those wondering if they’re able; stand a bit closer to the fire as it will warm your soul and build your confidence!


Go easy on me, it’s been a while.
Long ago, in a far away place, I used to listen to people who would tell me of wondrous things that could happen. Sad part was that they didn’t happen in that order. The good part was that I learned to embrace many concepts that people fail to respect. The respect to only look down on somebody when you are helping them up, the ability to honestly offer assistance when the question is asked…..and expect nothing more than a thanks in return. By offering your own experience, while keeping an open mind to someone else’s views, or personal challenges, to come to a better resolve. The only way to improve is to continually test yourself to your limit.
It all began with a few, and has grown to many, only because there are so many who give, unselfishly, and so I say, thank you.
My cousin, Tom, offered the very first invite 50 years ago and it has blossomed to a whole new crew from the David’s, Christina’s, Matt’s, Marian’s, Duane’s, Terry’s, Shawn’s, and everyone else.
From here to Scotland and Italy we really need to sit back and realize what a proud community we represent and are thankful for.