Trip Reports

French River Aug 2023

French 2023 05French River Aug 2023

Five club members, Delia E., Gail B., Maria L., Megan S. and Xuan Q., joined the 2023 club French River trip.  

In the first 3 to 4 nights of the trip, we had excellent moonlight.  We saw a very large moon, in different colours, and almost did not need a headlamp at night.  

Unfortunately we were not able to take a good photo of it since it would require special equipment and techniques for long exposure time.  But the moon and campfire were just like what is in the photo below taken by Mike B. in Killarney on an earlier club trip.


French 2023 01

Paddling from Wanapitei Bay to the entrance of the Old Voyageur Channel.

French 2023 02

 Paddling down the scenic Old Voyageur Channel.

French 2023 03

Dealing with a 10m liftover on the Old Voyageur Channel.

French 2023 04

Paddling away from the 10m liftover. As can be seen, we put two barrels upright in the 17 foot canoe.  It was needed for our 5 person group along with an 18.5 foot three person canoe which can be seen paddling away.  The 17 foot boat worked well even in strong wind and waves as did the 18.5 foot boat.

2023 08 01 10 14 39

Lining a narrow on the Old Voyageur Channel.  Here it could change each year depending on the water level.  For example, last year we were able to paddle through, and in a few previous years we had to do a liftover. 

French 2023 05

Views from the Green Island Bay campsite.

French 2023 06

Views from the Green Island Bay campsite.

French 2023 07

The wind could be a bit strong at times

French 2023 08

Cooking a meal on a local exploration day on Green Island Bay campsite. 

French 2023 09

The rough water of the Georgian Bay that we saw on a day outing in Green Island Bay.  We were shielded from the rough water since we did not paddle into Georgian Bay.

French 2023 10

Rough water of the Georgian Bay and smiles (as we were not on the rough water :).

French 2023 11

On a day outing in the Fingerboards.

French 2023 12

Baking a cake on an outback oven using a camping stove.

French 2023 13

Unique view of the Fingerboards.

French 2023 14

View on a day outing on the Eastern Cross Channel.

French 2023 15

View on a day outing on the Eastern Cross Channel.  We actually took a wrong turn, but the scenery was beautiful here.

French 2023 16

View on a day outing on the Eastern Cross Channel.

French 2023 17

View on a day outing on the Eastern Cross Channel.

French 2023 18

Rattlesnake to left of tent on Obstacle Island.  Another small one was seen on the Green Island Bay campsite. They are occasionally seen on the French River.  We did not feel that they were a threat to our safety.

2023 08 06 14 29 34

Re-heat some pre-cooked bacon under a tarp at the Obstacle Island campsite.

French 2023 19

On the second last day when we paddled up from the Obstacle Island to Wanapitei Bay, the wind, waves and rain were very strong on the French River. After fighting them for quite some time, most people decided not to camp for another night wet, but rather to go back to Ottawa. So we paddled back to Hartley Bay.

Then at the takeout at Hartley Bay, we had a surprise. One car could not be started, even with help from Hartley Bay Marina staff to recharge its battery. After calling CAA, a tow truck came about two hours later, and he towed the car, with a canoe on top, to Sturgeon Falls, the nearest big town.

One participant very generously used her points and booked hotel rooms for the group at Sturgeon Falls. The next day we went to Canadian Tire around 8am. At the end we were told the broken car could not be repaired until the next week. So we rented a car, and came back to Ottawa about the same time we were supposed to come back originally.

Overall, this was a very good and eventful trip.

2023 08 07 19 54 37