Norman Hooper (15 May 2021)

Canoe Paddle at Petrie Island

This morning was my first opportunity to go canoe paddling within the inlets and bays of Petrie Island. I was not only surprised to see the low water level, but also that the ramp and dock were not install. This did not deter me and I was on the water paddling by 7 am under a light, cool breeze with overhead scattered clouds and blue skies. The sun was trying desperately to show itself and when it did, the warmth was rewarding.

It felt so good to be on the water again listening to a variety of birds sounding out the morning……the Covid tensions had soon disappeared. My favourite paddle is by far through the twisting channel from Crappie Bay to Muskrat Bay……and the scenery was picturesque as always with fallen trees and limbs along the shoreline. I must have been early because the usual number of turtles were not out on the fallen trees sunning themselves as yet; however, I was not to be disappointed upon my return later in the morning.

During my trek, I had a chance to meet Mike, who was out photographing birds along the shoreline path, and later, Sharon in her kayak……..resulting in two great conversations on a variety of topics…….and one in particular, learning about the turtle traps and the research being conducted by students from the nearby university. Hopefully, we will hear about their findings on the turtle habitat at Petrie Island.

One area that really fascinated me was the dam the beavers had built at an entrance off Second Passage to a marsh leading to the causeway. With the raised water level, it certainly would be of a benefit for other habitat. I was aware of its existence, but was surprised in its length and size…….a job well done!

As usual, there were a variety of wildlife to be seen, muskrats, the splash of a beaver, ducks, geese and their goslings, Blue Heron, and scores of turtles and birds.

By the time I put out at 10 am, there were hoards of kayakers already on the waterways and more arriving in the parking lot. It is going to be a very busy day on the isle.