Nellie Lake, ON - Carla Krempien

My Watermark is Nellie Lake, Ontario.

As a child (and kind of still as an adult), I was afraid to swim in lakes. Unable to see what was below my feet, my imagination would go wild wondering what was lurking in the depths. I loved to swim though, and swam despite my fear.

My family went camping often, so our summers were spent portaging through Killarney and Algonquin. I loved camping but my fear of lakes never seemed to dissipate.
One summer, when I was probably 7 or 8, my family was portaging in Killarney and we stumbled across Nellie Lake. I will always remember the first time I saw the bright aqua water and the sunlight glinting on the surface. But the reason I will never forget it; Nellie Lake is like a "dead lake" meaning high visibility- I could see all the way to the bottom of the crystal clear lake. I never swam as much as I did that day. My fear completely disappeared and I fell in love with water in a way I never had before.

We stayed the whole day by the side of the lake, playing cards and picnicking and it was one of the best days of my childhood. We canoed out that evening and on to the next camp, my young self looking over my shoulder as the most beautiful water I'd ever seen disappeared from view. I haven't been back since, but I will never forget that day.

Nellie Lake, ON
Claire Lawson
Carla Krempien