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Kayaking, Franklin, Mink, and McCoy Islands

The Milky Way was in full bloom that night. There were weather warnings of extreme electrical storms. Some complied and moved tents to lower locations. 

Then like paparazzi flashbulbs chasing Marilyn Monroe, like the US fleet raining 'shock and awe' over Bagdad, all hell broke loose on the eastern horizon. Georgian Bay's kinetic energy, catapulted upward by the hot summer day, rained down as fire on the earth.  

From a distance we watched mesmerized, tent flies flapping in the breeze. Welcome to 'Kayaking Franklin, Mink and McCoys, 2011'. 

These same cycles of earth, wind and fire repeat, 2014, waiting for the mindful to capture in time and place. Waiting for the expectant on a rock in the middle of a water world. 

Itinerary:

Friday, Aug. 1, leave as soon as possible after work for Killbear Provincial Park. Car-camp for the night.

Saturday, pick up local rental kayaks if required. Congregate at Snug Harbor by 9:30 am. Pack kayaks and launch by 10:30. Those not in boats by cutoff time are on their own. 

Saturday option 2 for those renting from Swift in Waubaushene and unable to pickup by closing Friday. 

Saturday 5:00 am leave KW, be first in line when Swift opens 8:30.  Meet the main group at Snug Harbor by 10:00. Launch at 10:30.

Saturday both options:  Paddle to Big McCoy via west side Franklin Island. Setup base camp.

Sunday, Explore the Mink Islands. Possibly venture to the Limestone Islands. Or, relax on McCoy. 

Monday, Aug 4, return to Snug Harbor via stops on Franklin Island. Return rental kayaks by 4:00 pm. Perhaps a  communal meal in Parry Sound and head for home.

Cost:

3 day kayak rental + Friday campsite + gas + misc

Sample costs,

$108 (single kayak) + $8 (Friday campsite) + $35 (gas) + $7 parking + $5 thunder box fund = $163 before tax

$75 (1/2 of a tandem kayak) + $8 + $35 + $7 parking + $5 thunder box fund = $130 before tax

Don't shy from tandems, with the right partner they go fast. Being in the front means no need to worry about steering.

Saturday to Monday we are on crown land where no camping fees apply. There is free parking at the 'government lot' in Snug Harbor if we get there on time. Otherwise (most likely)  $7/day at the marina.

Kayak Rentals:

As always with rentals the issue is hours of operation. To name a few outfitters.

Adventure Guide, Waterloo. Great policies for weekend pickup and return. Poor gas mileage hauling boats long distance.

Sojourn, Barie. (705)[masked] Possible to make closing time Friday night, impossible to make closing time Monday night.

Swift, Waubaushene. [masked] Closes at 8 pm Friday. Opens at 8 am Saturday (contrary to their web site). Closes at 8 pm for Monday, although, they have after hours drop off options.

MEC.ca Toronto  For weekend rentals they provide the option to pick up the day before and return the day after the weekend.

Hiker's Haven (Oakville)  905 [masked]  I believe Hiker's Haven also has the option to pickup and return the day before and after the weekend for weekend rentals.

Caution, if tempted to rent from White Squall in Nobel be forewarned last year they cancelled a dozen boats on us on short notice, a week before the event. Something about our group size being too large. 

Difficulty:

First time kayakers and/or backcountry campers welcome. Anticipate a full 16 km of paddling the first day. Note: last year the larger group never made it past Franklin Island due to unsafe wave conditions further out. Weather could once again determine where we end up for the weekend. 

Gear:

Please view 2011's commentary at http://www.meetup.com/KW-Backcountry/messages/boards/thread/13285141#[masked]

Inspiration:

Photos from 2013 http://www.meetup.com/KW-Backcountry/photos/16570352/

Photos from 2012 http://www.meetup.com/KW-Backcountry/photos/9526722/

Photos from 2011 http://www.meetup.com/KW-Backcountry/photos/2682521/

Sunset photo by Margarita. Night sky above by Saman. 

Sign-up process:

After signing up please create an entry for yourself in the shared document indicating whether you are looking for a ride or providing one etc. 

Join or login to comment.

  • Brian

    Question for all: I'm looking at buying a kayak that would be suitable for trips like this. I've had a 14' kayak but am thinking closer to 17' seems better for open water like Georgian Bay. Any recommendations on a decent poly kayak around 16-17'? (I want to be well practiced kayaking with the dog by time the next trip comes up!)

    August 6, 2014

    • Dave N

      I agree with Annette. Locally we have Adventure Guide. Ask them when their next demo day is.

      August 6, 2014

    • Brian

      Good idea, I'll give that a try. She is a 6 year old black lab, but much smaller than average - about 55 pounds. I've had her kayaking/canoeing/paddle­boarding but never for a full day trip... guess I'll just have to give it a try and hope for the best.

      August 6, 2014

  • Danuka

    My first Kayaking trip. What a great experience! Thank you to everyone for making it even more memorable.

    August 6, 2014

  • Janice J

    Awesome trip! Thanks for organizing. Great meeting everyone :-)

    August 6, 2014

  • Dave N

    Marine forecast for the next few days has waves at less than 30cm ...less than 10cm for today made paddling over here to big McCoy very smooth and easy. The fire pit is already built and stocked. Yes, this island is big enough to have fires.

    August 1, 2014

    • Marv

      Limestones north and south written all over it. Bring resident archaeologist. There's fossils in them thar hills.

      August 1, 2014

  • Drea

    Site on Big McCoy is ours. Coords: N[masked], W 080 28.358. Smooth landing and parking area for the boats in a sheltered bay. Lots of room for tents in open and sheltered areas. Our tent is silver and our boat yellow. See you Saturday!

    August 1, 2014

    • Marv

      You're the best, bester, bestest.

      August 1, 2014

  • Annette

    Darn!! I was looking forward to having a dog around

    August 1, 2014

    • Brian

      Ha ha, you woulda loved her... next time she'll be there.

      August 1, 2014

  • Brian

    Sorry guys thought I could make this last minute plan come together but looks like it won't happen for me. Too hesitant about bringing the dog kayaking on this one. Sounds like a great trip and I'll be looking for the next one.

    August 1, 2014

  • Brian

    Just getting some last minute stuff figured out, is anyone else bringing a dog by chance??

    July 31, 2014

    • Brian

      Ha ha alright that's the plan then. One question - are most people just bringing cook stoves for meals, or are we banking on having campfires?

      August 1, 2014

    • Heather D

      Cook stoves for sure, there is a mandatory fire ban on most islands, alhough we often have a fire, but it can get windy on the islands so stoves are more dependable.

      August 1, 2014

  • Brian

    Hey guys - my weekend plans just fell through and I've had my eye on this event for a few weeks. I'm thinking of joining - I'd be coming from Kitchener Friday after work and I have room for 2 kayaks on the roof rack, or could bring my utility trailer if 4 people (including me) wanted to ride up together. Anyone need a ride from KW and area??

    July 31, 2014

    • Marv

      Perfect, there are still folks looking for a ride. I sent you an email with other info.

      July 31, 2014

    • Kaveh

      Hi Brian, I need a ride and I live in Waterloo. If you have room for kayak I may rent one from KW.

      July 31, 2014

  • Kristy-Lynn B.

    Marv or heather could you e-mail me logistics document. Thank you so kindly :)

    July 31, 2014

  • Sonya

    So wish I could get away ... what was I thinking?! Enjoy... Heather, say hi to Franklin for me.

    July 31, 2014

  • Gayle

    Whatever it is I picked up is not going away. I do not want to make others sick especially if they work with the elderly or have older parents they see. I know if I was going away I would not appreciate someone coming along if they had some sort of cold or flu. So I have decided no to go on this trip (even thought I really really want to) I hope you all have a great time and I look forward to seeing the pictures (even though I will be slightly jealous) Have a great weekend and be safe! I'll see you next year Gayle

    July 31, 2014

  • Marv

    I sent a Logistics 2.0 email Wednesday, 11:00 pm, somewhat important. If joining thereafter please request a copy.

    July 30, 2014

  • Kaveh

    Hi all,
    Sorry I was busy these week and I couldn't follow the comments, and it is also my first kayaking and my first camping with the group. How should I arrange for the ride? I have also not reserved or called for kayak yet. I have no idea what to do now!

    July 30, 2014

    • Marv

      Heather sums it up well below certainly faster than I can type with my thum at the moment. Remember if ride sharing you'll need to haul a kayak at some point on a car roof. I'll email more info once I get home.

      1 · July 30, 2014

    • Marv

      Also see my comments under Danuke below. Similar questions.

      1 · July 30, 2014

  • Dave N

    First check the shared document to see who is carpooling. Call one of the outfitters to reserve your kayak. If you are driving yourself then you can either meet the group at the campground Friday night or show up directly at the marina (after picking up your kayak or having it delivered,of course) Saturday morning.

    July 30, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hey everyone! Is there room for me to join with you?

    July 27, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      ooooh nice1 is anyone going from Gulph?

      July 27, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Guelph

      July 27, 2014

  • Janice J

    Who's driving from KW? Looking for a ride.

    July 27, 2014

  • Gayle

    I caught something, flu, virus, not sure.... and have been fighting it for about a week now, so I am not sure If I am going to come. I know the neighbours across the road are up all night hearing me cough and I also do not want to share this with you guys. (I'm a little selfish I guess) but just letting you know so I am not just bailing at the last min.

    July 27, 2014

  • Drea

    As Marv mentioned in his Logistics email, Dave N and I will be out n' about earlier in the week. We will be leaving from Dillon Harbour a few days earlier to explore north of the McCoys, then camping on McCoy Thursday night. If anyone wants to join us, you're welcome to.

    July 26, 2014

  • Heather D

    Hi D, and anyone else new to these trips- Just to summarize your responsibilities .... . yes there is room on this trip, just click the green buttom above to confirm your RSVP. Then click on the words (in brown) under Sign up process that say- "shared document" this is a link and will take you to a list that you need to fill out. This list addresses who is driving and who would like to carpool, arrival times and kayak rentals. Camp sites are typically booked ahead of time and they will be labeled in this conversation stream (two below) or on the shared document. You need only to pay for your first night of camping, Marv generally looks after this and will require a payment of ($8 typically) -tbd_because we divide the total sites per amount of people) that is for Fri nt camp fee at a Killbear Provincial Park , + $5.00 (Thunder box fee - will be explained for those ?) So plan for approx. $13 to Marv.

    July 23, 2014

    • Marv

      I forwarded Logistics 1.0

      July 24, 2014

    • Danuka

      Great thanks Marv, got it. Sent you my contact info.

      July 25, 2014

  • Annette

    Hello group. As per Marv's email earlier this morning, I'll take on reserving the additional site at Killbear.

    July 24, 2014

    • Marv

      Awesome, thanks. With numbers dropping four sites should do it.

      July 24, 2014

  • Danuka

    Hello everyone. I know this is last minute but is there any room for me to join this trip? I'm new to this group and don't know anyone here :) I'll be driving my sedan so can fit some people if needed and bringing own supplies and tent. Or is this a "You're on your own to find accommodation" things? Thanks.

    July 23, 2014

    • Marv

      You are welcome to join, nothing last minute about it. The organizer is responsible for arranging accommodation, in this case tent sites for Friday night. Participants are responsible for everything else, their transportation, kayak rental, kayak transport to launch, food and camping gear. // Theoretically everyone creates an entry in the 'shared document' (see link above) indicating whether they need a ride or can provide one. Behind the scenes folks arrange ride sharing if interested via email (see 'send mail' button on individual member profiles) or via this web page. // Remember you'll need to transport a kayak from an outfitter to the launch point. Outfitters can provide foam blocks and straps for transport on the average sedan. Two kayaks is the max for a vehicle which limits ride sharing possibilities.

      July 23, 2014

    • Danuka

      Thanks for all the great info/tips. I did signup. (RSVP and Shared Document)

      July 24, 2014

  • Inna

    Going this weekend instead. Couldn't wait for one more week :)

    July 24, 2014

  • Annette

    Hey Marv, which area did you grab sites in?

    July 11, 2014

    • Marv

      Plan B if we run out of tent space in Killbear is stop by the Huntsville Jazz festival on the way up http://www.huntsville...­ Car-camp Arrowhead, and proceed early Saturday to Snug Harbor. I digress.

      July 22, 2014

    • Marv

      Plan C if we run out of tent space at Killbear. Those who can make Snug Harbor by 6:00 pm Friday might as well paddle straight to Franklin Island for the night. Sunset is still around 9:00 pm. The rest can meetup up Saturday.

      July 23, 2014

  • Marv

    As anticipated we've fast reached the capacity of our Friday night's three campsites at Killbear Provincial Park (18 campers).

    Civic Holiday weekend at Killbear is likely the most in demand camping real-estate in the State of Ontario. I was only allowed to grab three sites under my name (at a cost of $150 I should add). Somebody please go to https://reservations.ontarioparks.com and grab whatever sites you can for Friday, Aug 1. Set the conditions at the max, 3 tents, 6 campers. Dive bomb any site that is left. Don't think about it, just do it!

    July 10, 2014

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