September 04, 2006

LSPP 2006 Part 3

We really liked Beattie Cove. We liked it so much that, when the morning dawned gloriously sunny and calm, we decided on a second night there. We did not, however, decide to stay put. The decision was made to paddle as far south as we felt like it, and possibly visit the Lizard Islands, before returning. I was all for crossing right over to the Lizards (I have never been there!), but was convinced that it would be much wiser to paddle along the shore until we were closer. So we did that. We stopped for lunch at Coldwater, which was pretty and all, and May took off on one of her shore explorations. When Kevin launched to go fishing, I put my boat in the water too - and I ended up making myself (marginally) useful by attaching my towing line to him and thus counteracting the shoreward drift. If he hadn't kept telling me to stop, though, I would have surrepetitiously towed him to the Lizards - they were so close! I wanted to go! But we ended up looking at the map, and at the time it already was, and scrapping the Lizards idea in favour of poking along the shore some more.

And then I saw it, the most perfect spot ever, the campsite at Robertson. There is a tombolo, with a sandy beach on one side. There is a little raised pebble beach. There is a huge rock that you can go barefoot on that has waves crashing on it, and a bathtub of warm water within the rock. Oh how I loved Robertson. We stopped, I took a million pictures, I started fantasizing about camping at Robertson. My campsite crush got me over my disappointment at not going to the Lizards. Oh oh oh. Pretty.

By the time we decided to head back to Beattie Cove, I was ready to *paddle*, and the water was warm, and flat... and I had had my fill of poking into coves and drifting, but had yet to paddle at a cruising pace on this trip, so I took off on my own when we launched. I didn't stop until I beached at Beattie Cove, and had no idea how far back the others were (nor, to be honest, did I care on that hot, sunny afternoon on a sandy beach with swimming temperature water and a cold beer). After I had a quick swim and got changed, I wandered down the beach to see who the person with the boat identical to mine was, and felt that I had hit the jackpot of interesting: Joel knew more about Lake Superior Provincial Park than anyone I'd ever met (but then, he is the big cheese of the Friends Of LSPP organization!) and at least twice I thought, I'm bugging him, I should leave. And eventually, I did, but not without saying "please do come over later!". Which he did, with his wife Carol - who had been hiking while he'd paddled - and *she* is the park naturalist. Thus *we* got our own moonlight interpretive session, complete with shooting starts again, and *that* kind of experience you don't get easily. I loved it...

Our original plan - if we'd had a plan on this trip, I guess, seeing as the plan changed from Sibley-Rossport to Rossport-Marathon to Wawa-Agawa to Gargantua, go north then south, to Gargantua, go south then north - had us going back north after our Beattie Cove time. Both he cars were at Gargantua. But in part because of the crush I had on Robertson Cove, and in part because we'd had such big seas and were more in favour of sheltered landings at this point, I started the discussion that maybe we should just keep going south. I knew Joel and Carol had cars at Coldwater and Gargantua, and they'd be taking out that day - I proposed we ask Joel if he'll give some of us a ride into Gargantua, and we could move our vehicles that day. When my group agreed, I once again toddled off to bug Joel - and he was great! He radioed Carol (who was already on the trail) and it was decided that he would take three of us to Gargantua - two to get our vehicles, and a third to get Joel's other car. That way, Carol wouldn't have to do the shuttle when she got off the trail. Our fourth would stay at Coldwater with all the boats. This worked brilliantly, and the result of it was that we now had a vehicle at Coldwater and (thanks to Kevin and Elke's extra shuttling) one at Sinclair Cove, which gave us options. *And* I could stay at Robertson Cove! (this one may have been the primary motivator for my part...)

Shuttle completed, we re-launched at Coldwater. Everybody else did a proper launch, but I was afraid of the dumping surf. Kevin helped me and tried to talk me through it, but I messed it up and had a lot of water to pump out of the cockpit once I got past the surf, but hey, the water was warm. And we were just a few minutes paddle away from Robertson! Where I would get to spend the night!
Except, of course, it didn't work out that way. It remained an unrequited crush...

Posted by Johanna at September 4, 2006 11:18 AM

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