Pugwash 2002

I am remiss I have not sent along a recap of our conoeing adventure in Pugwash.

I think last year, it was unanimous that this was an event 'not to miss".

Aah but this year only the defending champions returned. we just have so many things to fit in and so little time to get them in. Malcolm and I set off on Saturday morning to try it again. Same start place same course (pretty much) as last year. There wwere probably about 25 boats this year so maybe a little more competition.

We used our same strategy as last year. We took off to the right, hard, (an attempt to make people think we are fast, then quickly slowed down to a pace that we could maintain. We quickly picked off the first three controls, then pulled into shore to get a couple of ones on land. We turned to check on the competition. Already, as were leaving this site, there is a canoe (two adults and a teenage girl in it) pulling into shore. Now have brought two canoes with us -the pro boat and the double XX. We decided to use the double XX as there are big waves in the harbour. Now we have to turn with the wind getting us sideways. Wow hard to stay in any kind of line - big waves from the side bigger wind from the side and the double XX rides very high. We finally make the island. It was tiring I dropped off Malcolm and he runs to the left as I walk the canoe around to the right. When all you are doing is waiting, the time passes soooo sloow. I have made it to shore and found the last control, and am still waiting. Finally Malcolm shows and we get the last one and we wade out to canoe. I step one foot to right of the reeds that I walked in to shore on and poof. I am in water that is up to my neck. Well I guess we never thought that we stay dry.

Now straight across the waves No partly from the side All from the side. We finally make it to the far shore and while waiting at the island someone has actually made it past us. The same canoe with three people in it is now ahead of us. We get to the next control. (you remember the one- the one by the railway bridge) they are leading us by 20 yards coming out as we are going into it. We grab it, then we do the portage thing while the competition is trying to paddle aroud the point. Up, over, and back to the water. In we go and get the next control. Now we look up and we are a hundred metres from that one(done) and the competition is still about 200 metres from getting it. Well the look on their faces was worth it. Quick around the corner and up the river. As we are returning down stream we pass them again ( the lead is getting longer). " Oh so you guys portaged?". We answered "Well yes the race should go to the smartest". Now we are in good shape - we have a lead- and the race returns into the wind. We really don't mind going into the wind. It takes a while to get the last 4 or 5 but we pull in first again.

It turns out that the canoe that we worked so hard to beat was a family. The sternsman was an ex prof from Queens and his wife a school teacher. They have lots of canoeing experience and have a cottage in Nova Scotia. I actually won a book (as a draw prize) by this author. "Deep Waters" a great story about the Kamiskaming canoe disaster in the 70's in which 13 boys and a leader drowned whilst trying to follow one of the routes of the voyageurs. We had a good time and we won't be back next year (small hike and all) so we leave our trophy for someone else. It was good way to spend a day.