Date: Wednesday May 6, 2015
Weather: Sunny and calm. High of 20+ degrees Celsius.
This was our day to explore the south side of Philip Edward Island: all of its granite nooks and crannies, every funky, wind-bent Eastern white pine, each ring-billed gull squawking at us.
We awoke with light starting to peek into the tent around 6:30. Irene asked if I heard a basketball falling and I not understanding, said I hadn’t. We fell back to sleep. I couldn’t believe it was 8:30 when I woke up again. Apparently we both needed the sleep. As I lay there I listened to the ruffed grouse thumping his log and realized that this must have been what Irene heard earlier in the morning. One mystery solved. The next mystery to be solved was the odd blue light Irene thought she saw at the bottom of the tent overnight.
We enjoyed a leisurely morning of pancakes, breakfast sausages, and coffee. We cleaned up, put away all of our kitchen gear, and camp clothes. By the time we had suited up to get on the water it was 11! There are days I love not being on a schedule and this was most definitely one of them. We locked down the hatches, untied the kayaks, situated ourselves in the cockpits, and shoved off. Today was all about the Bay side of the island. We felt speedy in our empty kayaks. As we rounded South Point, I noted the channel marker and the radio tower near the town of Killarney as my landmarks. Then we spent a couple of hours poking around rock formations, examining orange lichen growing on pink granite, trying to match up inlets with where we were on my charts. We stopped for lunch near a long-ish open water crossing. We chatted about where we were in life versus those of our friends who have kids, a conversation I’ve had in many forms with many different people while on trip. We rehydrated, enjoyed our apples and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and reapplied sunscreen.
We made the open water crossing, rounded the next point, and explored another couple of fishing cabins before deciding at 3:30 that we would turn around and head back. I hadn’t paddled northwesterly on the Bay before and I really did feel like I was seeing it fresh especially when the La Cloche mountains came into site over Philip Edward Island’s treeline.
We arrived back at camp around 6, tied down our kayaks, and rested for a little bit as the shadows grew long. Irene’s luxury item was a fabulous lightweight hammock where she enjoyed her book and a glass of wine while I fussed with my inReach device for a bit. We had done much of our dinner prep before we left Toronto, so cooking this evening’s dinner was a breeze. I sautéed chicken marinated in a lemon vinaigrette and eggplant marinated in a balsamic vinaigrette, set them aside, boiled up some pasta and then combined everything into one pot.
The rocks were once again warm from the day’s sunshine, so we enjoyed dinner down by the water, cleaned up our dishes, and watched the sunset one more time. Once again we retreated to the warmth of our tent and sleeping bags when the sun sunk behind the mountains. I fell asleep listening to the spring peepers and waves crashing on the opposite shore.
Be sure to scroll through the gallery of photos for some shots of our second day out. Click here to return to the full trip report.
Up for discussion: Are you new to camping? What sorts of questions do you have or if you’re not new, what pieces of advice do you have for someone who has never done it before?