August 3, 2007

Canada - Lake Superior Gargantua Harbor

Our last day at Lake Superior Provincial, we drive down the long, long 4WD road (well sorta') to Gargantua Harbor. This is a beautifull spot, reminding us of the Caribbean with it's blue-green clear waters. Of course, you wouldn't see this rock beach down there.

The waves were rolling in pretty hard at 2-3 feet so we elected to not paddle and took a walk down the beach. From this area, we could see the remnants of an old fishing village way down in the back of the Harbor.

Our plan was to hike over there ( a couple of miles) but turning back to get a pack, we saw a fellow loading tons of camping gear in a canoe. When I asked about the conditions, he said he'd done it many times before (paddling out to the shelter of a small island, then over into the harbor. I helped him launch, and to Kim & I's amazement, watch him paddle through some pretty high rollers, and and then over to the Harbor. Well, that was it! If he could go in a canoe, I surely could make it in the Seda sea kayak! By the time I launched, things were a little rougher and Kim decided to hike over and meet me at the old fishing camps.

I skirted the Island, as he suggested, and met some other 'yakers who were leaving it to paddle northward. They suggested I stop later and check it out. But for now, I was anxious to get over to the back of the cove to meet Kim.

The paddle over was fun, although I didn't have my skirt on an probably should have. The back of the Harbor (cove) was a neat spot. I pulled up the kayak at the old fishing camp. The water was beautifully clear in both directions, with remnantes of the old cribbing for docks on either side.

And the scenery on land was equally beautiful!

We wandered around, looking at the only cabin left standing and noticing what appeared to be a sunken boat out in the cove.

A short paddle out on the return did indeed confirm our suspicions. From what I could see above and below, it was an old steam-powered, wooden hull vessel, probably from the early 1900's.

On the paddle back I stopped at the Island, pulling into a protected cove on the side opposite the open Lake. I climbed up to the highest point to get a better look at what was there, and on the way up discovered some old pots laying on the side of rocks.

At the top, it became clear where they were from. Hidden deep in thick growth was an old light-keepers cabin. I pushed on to the Lake side of the Island and was treated to a breathtaking view down the lakeshore.

Another couple of hundred feet below me, the waves were crashing hard into the rocks, making me realize that the seas were building, and it was smart to be on the protected side for the paddle back across the open water.

With the action on the water building, I hurried back to the other side, got a quick look at the old light-keepers place, launched the Seda, and began the fun paddle back across. Going with the waves, the kayak was "surfing" most of the way back. What a fun way to end a fun day!