Lake Ontario, ON - Marcus Opitz
I am sailor out of Oakville. My favourite waterbody is obviously Lake Ontario, but I also have a close affiliation with Georgian Bay, Lake Huron, and Lake Superior since my family has a cottage there.
In the summer of 2006, I took our sailboats and my two daughters, who were 14 and 16 respectively, and we headed down to Thousand Islands. On the way, I discovered the trick about traveling with teenage girls successfully. The trick is to cast off very early in the morning, crab a coffee and head down to the lake. By 10:30/11:00 am you are able to see some stirrings down below, and some consumption of sugar cereals. Then by noon, heads will pop up and say, “Where are we?” and you could say, “We’re almost there.”
They didn’t spend a lot of time sitting around doing nothing. We had a great trip. We stopped in Cobourg, in addition to the 1000 Islands, Kingston, Damien Island, Gananoque. We also stopped to get some bicycles and cycled down to the winery, which they thought was fabulous. We also cycled around Picton, and the large pioneer cemetery they had there. It was beautiful, and reminded me of the Botanical Gardens in Hamilton.
While at the cemetery we came across a tomb stone of a lady born 1899 and lived until the late 1900’s. The thought of what her live must have encompassed from horse and buggies to moon landings, transport and modern life, was not very different from us riding our bikes around town, probably similarly to her. It was a nice tie back to Canada and Canadian history. As we travelled through Gananoque we saw more of that.
It was an wonderful trip. My girls still talk about it, they remember it well. Both my girls have grown up as sailors. My whole family sails all summer long, every summer. Before that, I used to scuba dive in all the Great Lakes. Now my daughter is running the heritage program at Wasaga beach Provincial Park. We are closely affiliated with the Great Lakes. Both my daughters, and their friends are all tied into that; into water. We are a marine family.