I was about to take on the "Canadian Everglades" by pedal power!
Almost one year ago, I summoned all of my courage and took the plunge into the wild and untamed world of kayaking on a small lake that was as smooth as glass. Battling such elements as, um, the theoretical threat of a rogue loon, I heroically pushed past my fear to conquer the world of water activities for the hammock-inclined. And my performance was so stellar that I even said I wouldn't refuse to try kayaking again. But little did I realize the kind of kayaking that exists in Norfolk County.
The shores of Lake Erie around Long Point, Norfolk County, Ontario, have been called both the Canadian Amazon and the Canadian Everglades in tribute to the fine fishing and endless channels filled with water grass and plants. The fishing is so good, in fact, that the water isn't navigated with traditional kayaks at all. Instead, an angler kayak, powered by foot pedals, is used to track down pike, bass, and many other species of fish.
The idea of a modified pedal boat didn't seem too attractive to me at first but I was converted as soon as I stepped "on board". You sit in a comfy seat with lumbar support and use your legs to gently pedal and propel yourself through the water - and a little push power goes a long way! A simple handle is used to steer your craft and there is plenty of room on board to stow belongings and supplies. And best of all? It's virtually impossible to tip your boat over! They are extremely stable and even a big chicken like myself felt snug and secure.
Getting ready to go required nothing more than zipping up our life jackets, kicking off our shoes, and stepping into the kayak - all while it was still touching dry land. Our guide, Barna from Baer Kayak Fishing, gently pushed us all the way into the water and we started peddling as soon as we were ready. I found the kayak extremely easy to control and it was very responsive to my changes in speed and direction.
Between the blue skies and the blue waters, kayaking was the perfect way to squeeze in few more hours of summer. The fish were a bit shy when our guide was casting his line, but the birds were out in force and we saw swans and herons in addition to the many gulls. For better or worse, the area didn't live up to it's nickname "The Canadian Everglades" and no alligators were spotted during our trip! The air was happily bug free but there was one pesky thing - the sun! I should have worn a sunhat and some sunscreen.
Being on the water was calm, peaceful, relaxing, and a lot of fun! I wasn't scared once and I think this will go down as my least stressful anti-adventure yet! I would heartily encourage anyone, no matter their experience or fitness level, to give it a try. You can move as calmly or as quickly as you like and there's no pressure to do anything other than just enjoy the great outdoors.
Our host. Baer Kayak, offers 3 hour sunset rides, 5 hour excursions with lunch included, and can provide custom packaged as well. You can take along fishing rods if you're hoping to catch a little dinner but it's just as much fun to explore the water and the wildlife.
Alright - I want to hear your confessions! What scary or challenging activity turned out to be easy fun in your recent travels?
Read some more of Vanessa's anti-adventurist antics!
Ghost Hunting in Montreal
Snowshoeing in Haliburton
The World's Tallest Inclined Tower
My kayaking adventure was facilitated in part by Norfolk County Tourism. This did not affect my review and all opinions remain my own.
I LOVE kayaking. Sun, water, scenic views - what isn't to love; but the pedal kayaks look like even more fun (and can burn off those holiday calories before the next delicious meal appears before me ;) heheh)
20/9/2014 12:36:22 am
Brunei sounds gorgeous! What a great experience! But I too know all too well about eating way too much in Europe. Happens to the best of us!
19/9/2014 09:37:41 am
Sounds like a good place for kayaks looking for a calm area. My family used to canoe and paddleboat locally in Ohio. Probably the most challenging think I've done recently is Mt. Kilimanjaro (it was hard!) but something that turned out easy was ziplining in Hawaii a couple years ago.
20/9/2014 12:37:59 am
You get huge bonus points for mountain climbing - and zip lining too!! I love Hawaii but I must confess that zipping is something I've chickened out on.
19/9/2014 09:16:32 pm
Way to go! Conquering your fears is a huge accomplishment. Soon you'll be ready for the Class 3 rapids! :-) Your photos are gorgeous. What a beautiful place to be in the water!
20/9/2014 12:38:47 am
If you ever see me do a post about class 3 rapids you'll know I've officially gone over the deep end!!
24/9/2014 02:35:02 am
Way to conquer winter! At least you found something fun to do with allt the snow :-)
I admit the first time I went kayaking, I was terrified! I was sure I was going to tip over, get stuck and die. Seriously. I was that scared- which is almost laughable to me now. Almost.
24/9/2014 02:37:03 am
I completely understand the fears of tipping over and getting stuck!!! Kayaks are scary at first!!! But the angler kayaks are even easier and more user friendly than the traditional ones. We asked our guide how many people had ever tipped and he said just one - and it was a friend of his who was deliberately trying to make it tip just to see if it was even possible. After that, I was reassured!
26/9/2014 04:02:54 am
Next time you see them you should try them! And I bet your kids would absolutely love them!
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