Trip Coordinator: Frank Geddes
Boy, is there ever a lot of pent-up demand for kayaking! We had 13 people on our trip, and I had to turn some away. (Remember: let the trip coordinator know by Wednesday evening if you would like to attend.)
This trip was originally scheduled for 15 May but had to be cancelled due to Covid restrictions. We were to have a trip to Astotin Lake in Elk Island National Park on this date, but the Park is so busy that they are asking people to stay away on weekends if they can. So, it was moved to Islet Lake.
We met at the Islet Lake staging area at 10 AM and were on the water by about 10:30. Due to the Covid restrictions of 10 people for outdoor gatherings, we distanced fairly well so that we were always at least two groups. The weather looked a bit foreboding at first with dark skies and the beginnings of a nice chop on the water, but that turned out to be just a ruse to scare away the timid. We never got any rain all day, and the wind died off. In fact, it was Goldilocks weather: not too hot, not too cold. Great for paddling.
We did the usual circuit, marching up the east side of the lake and then swinging around to the north end where two small, marshy creeks bring water into the lake. Like last year, the water is high, so we were able to take a shortcut through the cattail shallows along the northeast edge rather than going around the point. After finding a lone muskrat and checking out the old beaver lodge in the northeast bay, we headed south along the western side of the lake, paddling and babbling all the way. We took some time to regroup and relax near the outlet at the south end near the lakeside homes of Islet Lake Estates. Then we headed back to the boat launch.
During our reconnoitre of the lake, we saw grebes, a few species of ducks, blue-winged teal, red-winged blackbirds, purple martins, terns, pelicans, cormorants, and one lone loon. And no magpies: yeah!! No swans today, and the typical gulls must have been off at the landfill for an extended lunch. Unlike last year, we saw no snakes in the water, but we didn’t have our snake charmer (Alan S.) to flush them out of their hibernacula.
Eleven were in kayaks, while Doug and Leslie proudly represented the “Canoe” of our club name. Once we were safely ashore, most of us gathered at the picnic tables for a pleasant lunch and chit-chat, maintaining suitable distances. And I say “safely” because one of our kayakers easily showed us the wet version of the dryland exit.
All in all, it was a pleasant day with pleasant people. The lake is still not covered in the blue-green algae scum that afflicts it later in the summer, so get out and enjoy it while you can.
Participants: Frank, Paul, Doug, Leslie, Kamsiah, Theresa, Kelton, Val, Donna, Margaret, Alina, Mark, Audrey
Photos: Paul Bird