Trip Reports

Petrie Island Family Turtle Trip 2022

bubble time Edit EditPetrie Island Family Turtle Trip 2022

On Saturday, June 4th thirteen new canoeists of all ages learned how to transport canoes and go canoeing at Petrie Island.  Most of us were new residents of Ottawa and some of us were also new Canadians.  We had the assistance of seven experienced instructors and trip leaders.  Before lunch we took a short paddle near the canoe launch area.  

At lunch, Mason, from the Friends of Petrie Island, told us about the Petrie Island turtles and answered our questions.  Petrie Island has mostly painted turtles and map turtles as well as a few blanding turtles.

Painted turtles have shiny shells and red stripes on their legs.  They may also have colourful spots on their shells if you see them up close.  Map turtles have dull shells which if you see them up close would remind you of contour lines on a map.  Map turtles can be larger than painted turtles. Turtles are cold-blooded so they get their heat from their environment.  They often sit in the sunshine on logs or rocks to get warm this time of year.  Some kinds of turtles can live to be 40 years old while other kinds can live to be 80 years old!  In June, the female turtles lay their eggs in the sand before returning to the water.  Many of the eggs will hatch in late summer or fall.  The baby turtles will try to walk back to the water and swim.  Many baby turtles don’t make it to the water due to predators (skunks, racoons) or cars running over them.  Most turtles are now endangered so please watch for and avoid hitting turtles on roads.  We walked the short Turtle Trail and saw the turtles basking in the sunshine.  

You can learn more about the turtles here:

After lunch we all went canoeing again.  We learned how to get in and out of a canoe, go forwards, turn and stop.  Some of us tried paddling backwards.  Some of us played Catch the Bubble with our paddles!  The wind was about 35 km/hr so we let it blow our bubbles for us.  We usually paddled in spots that were a bit sheltered from the wind along the edge of the island.  We tried to take a short trip into a different bay but we didn’t succeed.  The wind was too strong.  To combine our forces against the wind, we rafted up, reportedly the RACCC’s largest raft ever!  Dot showed us how to do the Voyageur salute and we all saluted just like the Voyageurs!  The wind nicely blew us back to our launch.  We put our canoes back on our cars and then went to see the huge, beautiful beaches.  We returned home for supper.  We had such a great time and are looking forward to our next trip.  Thanks to all our helpers.

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Canoe Dock

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Turtles Before Trip

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 Frog or Toad

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Turtle Talk

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Turtles During Trip

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Bubble Time

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Lagoon Area

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Petrie Beach