Monday 1pm I arrived at the island and pulled out on a pebble beach on the south east shore in front of a run down pavilion and set about to find a place to pitch camp.
There were about a dozen cruisers tied up at the two mooring docks so there was a festive air about the place. The Big Rideau Lake can get windy so I wanted to have some shelter but in the end decided to camp next to a sea wall between cedars and a birch tree cluster. There were no staff in evidence and the public washrooms were all self managed with signs to be neat. The real problem was a lack of potable water. I had assumed I would be able to refill my water supply. I consume about 4 liters a day and had only brought 10 liters for a 5 day visit.
Narrows to Colonel By Island is about 3.5 km.
Tuesday 10 am I was in the kayak planning to be in Portland around noon/1pm to pick up ice and water. Portland is a picturesque waterfront town and I pulled up at a boat launch next to an art gallery/restaurant. Supplies in hand and the wind strong at my back I practically surfed back to Colonel By Island by 3 pm.
Colonel By Island to Portland is about 10 km return.
Wednesday 8am The water was like glass and a heavy fog lay on the lake. I couldn’t see 20′ past the bow of the boat. I took a liesurely and silent paddle along the shore around and up to lost lake where I found spiders had decorated everything with their dew jeweled webs. I continued exploring north eastward past an Innukshuk and Tar Island where I stopped to explore for a while. My compass and maps were essential on this trip. I enjoyed lunch at Murphys Point sitting in the channel next to a huge trianglular navigation marker. The sun started to clear as I returned along the opposite coastline. In the evening I enjoyed the company of a couple of delightful kayakers.
Colonel By Island exploring to Pine Point is about 12 km return.
Thursday morning was foggy again and just as fantastic. There were a lot of fishermen out enjoying the completely still waters as well. I explored the south eastern portions of the Big Rideau and into Britons Bay. I was back by mid afternoon and hiked around the trails. There is a self guided tour that tells the story of the island and the tornado that struck in the 60s.
Colonel By Island exploring to Britons Bay is about 12 km return.
Friday I packed up and explored the south western islands on my way back to Narrows Lock. I spent the afternoon helping out with the lock cranks and evening relaxing and enjoying the stars. Saturday morning I was off to Crosby Flea Market and then back to be with family.