Petawawa River, Ontario - Bob Chantler
Canoe trip —Petawawa River coming out of Algonquin down river. A bunch of us from the port Stanley Sailing Squadron, all sailors, just decided one summer we were going to do a canoe trip. Four couples around the Petawawa River, out of the park. We gathered all of our gear together, and had a master canoeist with us, who had done the river before.
We went into the park, got everything rigged up and headed of to the head of the river. When we got there, the master canoeist in the group said, ‘We’re not doing this…the water is way to low; we’ll ruin the canoe, or break someone’s ankle, as they try to get out to save the canoe”
We camped on an island at the top of the river. *Remember all eight of us are sailors* We were there for a couple days, and on the second morning we woke up to a blasting, 30mile/hr wind, coming across the lake. At about 9am, after we ate breakfast..we had to have a sailboat race.
We had four canoes, and latched two of them together to make a catamaran. We had the ground sheets and the tent covers, everything we could find to make sails out of. Somebody had a GPS watch and we got a mass from the woods somewhere, and used it as something we could hold up.
We paddled out as far as we could; each together and about 300 yards into the lake, we couldn't paddle anymore. We decided thats where the race was going to start. So we all turned, and started back. Ground sheets for spinnakers and sails, and believe or not, one guy’s watch said we were going 9 knots…that is pretty fast, in any kind of sailboat.
However we made one mistake, the canoes were too close together, and all the water that was coming between them had to go somewhere…it went straight up. By the time we hit shore, we had 6-8 inches of water in the canoe, and we were all laughing and having a great time. There were a lot of pictures taken.That was 10 years ago, but we talk about it every summer at our sailing club in Port Stanley Sailing.