Severen Sound, Ontario - Pamela Bryant
My watermark is about growing into new surroundings, learning a new skill and using it all together to decompress those really tough days. I have fond memories of different activities on the water from sailing on Lake Ontario, a canoe trip on the Petawawa River and swimming at one of the many public beaches in the Muskokas. But this watermark story takes place more recently on Severen Sound in Georgian Bay. In 2013 I graduated from Georgian College with a nursing diploma. I was excited and a little daunted by a total career change at the age of 50. My new career was beginning that fall working in mental health in the Georgian Bay Area. At the time I lived in Bracebridge and after a terrifying season of winter driving conditions between Bracebridge and Midland my husband and I started our search to relocate. We settled in Victoria Harbour, the most lovely sleepy little village rich in Georgian Bay history. We were excited to discover our new surroundings. Our first summer we met up with some local sailing enthusiasts and rekindled a passion for sailing. Then in the summer of 2015 after a weekend of camping at Killbear Provincial Park we visited White Squall to try out a couple of kayaks. I was hooked immediately and with ease made my way around the test area. Every turn of the paddle seemed to release a tension and replaced it with a calm appreciation of my surroundings. A few weeks later we purchased two kayaks and every possible chance we loaded them onto our car and headed to a new location on the bay to discover. It became a ritual for us. I would pull into our driveway after a full day of work to be greeted by my husband waiting, sandwiches packed and kayaks strapped on the roof of our SUV ready to go. Putting in at the public dock down the road we would head out across Severn Sound and take in the magnificent expanse of the bay. Heading west we continued to paddle until the sun dipped into the horizon. The beauty of the blazing red colours in the sky that panned out to purple hues seemed to draw out every worry and stress of the day. I perched my paddle on the top of my kayak and stretched back taking in the view before me complete with the soundtrack of the waves lapping against my boat. Not a word was spoken. There was no need. Decompression was complete.