Sunday, July 27, 2008

Picnic at Charleston Lake

We like kayaking. We do go on longer, and overnight trips, but not as often as we would like. So whenever the weather is good, and sometimes when it isn't, we throw the boats on the van, pack a lunch and go for a paddle. One of our favourite places to go is Charleston Lake Provincial Park. It is a short drive, has a couple of nice beaches and two good places to put the boats in the water. One of the great things about Charleston Lake is there are so many out of the way places to put in and explore. Today was quite windy and the water was a little choppy so Margaret wanted to do some sailing. Here I am sitting in a cove we found to get out of the wind while Margaret put up her sail.

Me in my Sun Velocity
Me in my Sun Velocity


I bought this sail for her a couple of years ago and she likes to try it out any time the wind is favorable. Today the wind was good, so as soon as she had her sail up her boat began to move away smartly. In fact by the time I had put the camera safely away she was far enough ahead that it took me ten minutes of hard paddling to catch up.

Margaret hoisting sail
Margaret hoisting sail

Getting under way.
Getting under way.
As I said there are lots of places to put in, sandy coves, rocky points, islands. Some, like our spot today, even have picnic tables. Not very wilderness, but easy on the back. The return paddle upwind was a good workout, conveniently burning off some of the calories in lunch.

Boats tucked in for lunch
Boats tucked in for lunch
Lunch
Lunch


Charleston lake is open to power boaters, and lots of the shore is privately owned. It also has become infested with zebra muscles over the last couple of years. Most of the power boaters are courteous and respectful of paddlers, and there are two areas that are closed to power boats. The zebra muscles have made the many rocky points, that were once great places to swim, more dangerous because the shells are very sharp. But it is still a great place to paddle!

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