Lake Simcoe, ON - Albert Bedward

Last August I solo paddled from Innisfil Beach Park to Beaverton Ontario. It was about 34km and just amazing. It was a dream I've had for the past 10 years. A lot of people wouldn't paddle Lake Simcoe because it changes so quickly. In a matter of 5-10 minutes it goes from calm to 1-3 meter waves. It was a bit bubbly when I started and an overcast. I was about 2km from the coast of Fox Island, and I saw rain clouds in the Beaverton area. I kept thinking 'that wasn't in the forecast,' so I kept paddling on.

At one point, I was 7km away from any island, and I was thinking do I have to turn back? Or should I go forward? Then I thought, 'I'm here, do it.'

I actually had four weeks off, so every week I was studying all the buoys. Basically I used an app that allowed me to look at the buoys in Lake Simcoe, and see what the winds and waves are doing. Based on that, I was able to divide Lake Simcoe into four micro-systems. The way I calculated it was that between 6-11 I could paddle from Innisfil Beach Park to Georgina, in the calm water. After about 11, it's suppose to go up to 1 meter. Then from Georgina Island Beaverton, the water was suppose to be a meter or so high in height. At about 11, it was suppose to go into calm waters. So instead of leaving at 6 in the morning, I left at about 10 in the morning. I got there at 12:30/1:00 pm.

But the time we hit Georgina Island, the clouds literally created a ring around Lake Simcoe. It was blue sky that was just amazing. It was beautiful. I was paddling toward Beaverton, that was about 2km away from Georgina Island. I stopped and sort of freakout out. I said, "Ladies and Gentleman, Federal Government, everyone..come and paddle! Take your s.u.p.s, your canoes!" It's beautiful.

My next adventure is a secret. But I will tell you this much. It involves crossing a body of water called Lake Erie. From the Canadian to the American side. I chose Lake Erie because it's similar to Lake Simcoe, but a bit more bubbly. There's still that challenge of wind and water, but once you start doing it -- it's like a romance/relationship..once you start doing it, you say, "what's next?"

Lake Erie is about 60km, and after that is Lake Huron which is 70-80km, and after that Lake Superior...but one at a time for now.

Lake Simcoe, ON
Hayley Shaughnessy
Albert Bedward

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