Sunday, November 21, 2010

Cerulean Waters of Killarney

 I was in Wolf Country, a billboard caught my eye and told me so. I would love to see a wolf in the timbers. I drove north out of Britt and towards Killarney, a two hour drive.  I turned onto Hwy 69,  the only road to Killarney.  I wanted to see the landscape, but the silhouette of pine trees at dusk was all I could catch of the area. Arriving in Killarney after dark I knew there were camp grounds around there some where, but I was dog tired and pulled into a pay parking lot behind a church to sleep in the van.
The evening was still hot at 11:00pm, as I tried to figure out how to set the tent up in the van for the mosquito net. I stretched the netting between the clothes hangers in the van, crawled in, zipped the net shut and slept to  the drone of bugs. A great source of white noise.
Sounds miserable, but I slept well and it wasn't that bad, The bugs didn't arrive until after dark .

The next morning I walked about Killarney to find a place for breakfast. I wanted to get acquainted with the area and the people of this little town.There were no traffic lights.  There was one grocery / dry goods store under renovations, three marina's, three or four restaurant / bars, A fishing business that ships fish out as well as offers fish and chips on the dock, It fills up on the weekends with travelers and boaters.

Killarney Church on Main St

I met John, a sailboat owner who was repairing his boat after a winter in drydock and launching that day. He was looking for a buyer for his sailboat and an adventurous type to join him on a trimaran sailboat that he would sail from Florida to Cuba to Cancun Mexico. Actually it was his wife looking for some other person to join him in his trip. He was going to go alone. I considered it for about two seconds and thought about the last time I was out on the ocean. a captain kept asking me "What ya looking for down there? I was leaning over the edge all day LONG.

I drove out to the view the light house on the edge of town looking for a launching place.

Area around the light house

Light house view from land

Parking is a premium in Killarney. The state park wanted $14/ day to leave your car overnight,and there weren't too many access points to the bay close by. A Marina owner, Dutch allowed me to park on his property and launch from the public park next door. Dutch also had some great bear stories. One mother had crossed the channel with her two cubs in tow. The smallest lagged behind and started to cry out. With out missing a beat the mom and the other cub circled around and got behind the lagger and stuck with him till they reached the other side. Another time a cub walked into Dutched marina looking hungry, Dutch put some dog food down, and the cub ate it, and left only to return and leave some scat on the floor. Of course he wasn't welcome anymore.

Across the channel from Killarney

Across the small bay from the lighthouse

I launched from the mid town area about 2:00 pm. There was still about 8 hours of light left. I paddled through the channel that leads out into the northern part of Georgian Bay. I followed the coast towards the light house.

View of the light house from the water, turning the point

I paddled north following the coast through some of the most beautiful water I have ever had the chance to paddle in. and on up to another channel crossing to the islands.

From the wind protected West side of the main land I paddled the coast and towards the channel crossing the narrowest point of the inlet. The crossing was large waves and very windy. I like paddling into the wind and waves, water crashing over the pointy bow of the boat. I was not used to paddling with the waves coming at me from the side lifting me up on the peak and dropping me into the trough. I was not experienced in these conditions, a loaded boat made for a more stable boat. I caught on but was still on alert.  My original course was for Solomon Island, but with the wind and waves I headed towards the lee side of the first island I came too.

Continued  Snake Island

1 comment:

  1. Don't leave me hanging there! Especially with the next title, "Snake Island". Love your writing--it gives me those very few truely relaxing moments. Thanks!