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Category: Summer Expeditions

French River Eighteen Mile Island Loop

French River Eighteen Mile Island Loop

The Eighteen Mile Island Loop on the French River takes advantage of the complex nature of the French River waterways, combined with the ability to traverse this type of river both downstream and upstream, creating the opportunity for a varied, circular 70km (44 mile) route, taking in some fine, fast moving white water and pleasant conifer-lined flat water, through archetypal canoe country, along a Canadian Heritage River of unique historic importance. We took four days to make a canoe-camping journey from Wolseley Bay down to Dry Pine Bay and back again. Here I share photos, video, a written account of the trip and campfire notes.

The River Crake Canoe Caper

The River Crake Canoe Caper

While the Crake is a short river, it’s definitely a worthwhile adventure in canoe. It’s a narrow, and often rocky, creek of a river, never reaching any great width. Three of us headed to Coniston Water in the English Lake District, out of which the Crake flows for a day of adventuring by water, some of which literally became bushwhacking by canoe…

The Canoe: A Film To Be Savoured

The Canoe: A Film To Be Savoured

Even as an outsider, as a non-Canadian, this film resonates with me, as a canoeist, as someone who loves wild places and as someone who loves other people who love wild places. Narrator James Raffan’s opening statement is bold, broad and inclusive. It sets the tone for the film ahead, highlighting five stories of people, their relationship with paddling, with the land that gave birth to the canoe and with the country made possible by the canoe, these portraits made all the more vibrant by Goh Iromoto’s lush cinematography…

Canoeing The Spey With Kevin, Ray & Justine part 12 – Battle To The Sea

Canoeing The Spey With Kevin, Ray & Justine part 12 – Battle To The Sea

It’s the last day on the epic Spey trip. It’s normally an interesting enough run down to the sea, particularly after Fochabers as the river becomes unconstrained and braided. But with the river rising significantly overnight and a brutal headwind, this final section to the sea becomes a real battle…

Canoeing The Spey With Kevin, Ray & Justine part 11 – The Final Day Starts With Poignant Reflection

Canoeing The Spey With Kevin, Ray & Justine part 11 – The Final Day Starts With Poignant Reflection

The morning after the night before, Kevin is at first a little bleary eyed and reluctant to emerge from his tent. Besides it’s cold out and has been raining all night. Justine warms herself by the fire as I make proper porridge over it. It’s the last day of the trip and time for some poignant reflection…

Canoeing The Spey With Kevin, Ray & Justine part 10 – Special Guests Come To Our Wild Camp

Canoeing The Spey With Kevin, Ray & Justine part 10 – Special Guests Come To Our Wild Camp

Our final wild camping spot on the Spey. We get well set-up with a communal tarp area and plenty of firewood. This serves us well over an increasingly draughty evening, which even included a hail storm. Despite this, it’s a warm and fun evening around the campfire, with some friends joining to surprise Kevin with some special Scottish produce…