Canoeing on a dead-calm lake at sunrise

Canoes are simply amazing little boats. They have no systems, no motors, no sails, none of the usual trappings of maritime life. The boat is really nothing more than a hull, a thwart or two, and a place to sit.

And yet this simple boat is a veritable magic carpet, taking you to an unfathomable number of secret, hidden places where no other vessel can travel.

Two whirlpools left in calm water by a canoe paddle

Taking a canoe out solo at sunrise is one of those quintissentially Canadian things that everyone simply must try at some point. A dead-calm lake, a few wisps of morning mist, and the sounds of Northern Ontario's insects and birds shifting from night to day, with a two-millimetre fibreglass shell and a carefully carved stick as your only means of travel.

Looking across a calm lake from a canoe at two rows of trees and their reflections

I have one colleague whose family is proud of doing at least one canoe trip per month- in Canada- for over 50 months running. Including winter. That's how addictive these little boats can be. Personally, I'll wait- rather eagerly, to be sure- for things to thaw out a bit.



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