Sunday, August 30, 2015
We didn't have a map or GPS. By paying attention to our direction with a kayak compass and using simple landmarks along the way, we were able to find our way without getting lost.
Saint Gedeon is a small community nestled around Lac Saint Jean. Accommodations are limited but we found the perfect waterfront spot at Auberge des Iles. The owner of the auberge was very accommodating and friendly. We found the locals and visitors to the region friendly and relaxed.
You can't beat the fresh local blueberries when they are in season. The Lac Saint Jean region is famous for its small, tart, delicious blueberries. You'll see endless fields of them as you drive around the lake.
You can easily Google Saint Gedeon and look at the earth view.
The islands off Saint Gedeon and Baie des Girard are not far from the auberge and are in a protected bay. When the wind is way up on Lac Saint Jean, the bays can be calm and quiet. There weren't many motor boats around the islands or in the bay, but stay on the look out for them. They come and go from nearby marinas and visit some of the island beaches. Most of the high speed activity seemed to stay out in the big, open stretches of the lake where motor boats don't have to worry so much about rocky shoals.
Watch out for rocky shoals in the area. I would avoid going out when there are white caps and big wind and waves. You won't see the rocky shoals.
You can have lunch or dinner to beautiful waterfront views at the Auberge des Isles restaurant. They have a chef from Saint Sauveur, Quebec. The menu is small, and the food was quite good. If you stay at the auberge, we found the continental breakfast (included in the price of the room rental) was excellent. Lots of fresh fruits, and local creton that guests devour each time a fresh batch is put out.
The owner of the auberge said August was their busiest month. We visited mid-August. Cyclists touring the 256 kilometer Veloroute des Bluets around Lac Saint Jean also take advantage of the convenient location of this auberge. It's a great spot to bring the bikes and the kayaks. The cycle route passes next to the auberge.
If you are planning on camping, there is a big campground in Saint Gedeon. It is jam-packed and busier than a bee hive.
There is also a public boat launch next to a marina off Rang des Iles in Saint Gedeon just up the road from the auberge with limited free parking.
The Saguenay-Lac Saint Jean region of Quebec, Canada is very French and we speak French so it was no problem for us to communicate. If you travel to the region and don't speak or understand any French, you might want to make a few phone calls to the places you plan to visit to see if services in English are available.
Enjoy the dreamscape of Saint Gedeon on Lac Saint Jean.
Friday, August 28, 2015
My kayak has a message in the seat. Harmony. After five years of paddling this kayak that I love, I suddenly noticed it. I was just reaching down to swab out the water behind the flexible back bend. The message in the seat made me stop for a few moments and I wondered, why didn't I notice it before? Harmony in my seat. If it's a brand name. Good choice.
I always felt it when I got in. Harmony with this kayak. And, especially, harmony after I learned how to adjust the seat and foot pegs, harmony after I found a paddle or two that I liked to paddle with, harmony after I took some kayaking courses, harmony when I found some good paddle mates, and harmony when I keep exploring and learning.
If you don't feel harmony in your kayak, perhaps look deeper. Is it your kayak, the paddle, your technique, your attitude, gear that doesn't work or perform to your needs, your paddle knowledge, your fitness level and diet, the people you paddle with.
When you have harmony with your kayak, enjoy every moment.
Your kayak keeps teaching you. What a wonderful and patient teacher. Find one you love.
Happy paddle trails.
Sunday, August 16, 2015
Here's a link to my article on sunscreening your kayak and how to do it properly according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Sunscreen your kayak! 303 Aerospace Protectant. Time to think about it
Thursday, August 13, 2015
Some of it is necessary stuff. Some of it is stuff you forgot you had. You find out some of what you want and need is hidden somewhere else and you spend hours tracking it down. But finally, the mess is assembled and all the sand and grit is dumped back outside where it belongs.
Geez. Look at all this stuff! It's frightening? It's beautiful? It's all good stuff! Now to pare it down and bring as little as possible. And this is all the day tripping gear. The kayak camping gear (sleeping bags, lightweight 2-man tent, pots n' pans, etc.,) are another story and packed away in bins. My paddle partner laughed, "You have a lot of shit down there!" I guess he forgot half of it is his!
Happy paddle trails. We're dusting off the sea kayaks and taking them further North to colder and bigger water than our little local lakes.